Wednesday, 10 November 2010

As good as it gets

I love this! Every now and again a tango video comes along that makes complete sense of everything. If you ever have doubts about tango, how it should be danced, whether you should be doing something else, what it's for, what it's about, here's the complete answer. It just makes sense.

Cumparsita, the last tango, the end of the night. Only a few couples are left on the floor, and the table cloths are being folded away. This is Centro Leonesa, so it could have been the Nino Bien milonga. Adela Galeazzi and Santiago Cantenys are dancing. They have as much space as they can use, but they aren't dancing a demo and only the camera is watching: they are dancing just for themselves. It's the last dance of the night, they've been on their feet for hours, but there's no romantic softening or slowing down about it: their dance is full-on and filled with the energy of the music, as intense as if it were the first tango of the evening. In effect it says: if you dance tango, do it full on. Put all the meat on the grill every time; no half measures.

Her feet are wonderfully fast and precise: she marks time with her feet, but there are no superfluous, fussy ornaments that get in the way of the dance as a whole, and there's nothing ostentatious about his posture or his dance. They aren't 'old generation' (although they aren't exactly young, either) but this must be about as good as it gets. I love this. It's the fluent dance of a couple who dance a lot together.

& it was her birthday. At least, according to Irene and Man Yung's blog, where I first saw it. OK, so I'm copying them, but at least I'll be able to watch it every time I open Tangocommuter, and anyway, they're in BsAs right now, too busy to notice, I hope! And they mention Adela's site: worth keeping an eye on.

And when I checked out Adela's site I found this: a video of Adela and Santiago joined by Elba Biscay. I linked a video of the three of them dancing together a while back, and I think this one is even better. If that's possible.


Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Tangocommuter,

We're back in Toronto - just down with the flu for about a week and a half!

We're in agreement with you, we think that the video of Adela with Santiago is pretty amazing. We had the fortune of meeting Santiago back in March - he's a young, handsome, down-to-earth, humble, all around good guy - and que bailarin! The torch of tango is being passed down to the next generation, luckily not all of them are dancing nuevo!

Adela loves it when people enjoys her dancing and posts her latest videos on the internet. We'll mention to her next time we email her that she has fans in the U.K. and remind her to post more videos of her dancing for all to enjoy!

Irene and Man Yung

gyb said...

Do you know which version of Cumparsita they are dancing to?
I've listened to all I have (~30) to find it, but no luck. I love the pauses!

gyb said...

(I mean year and/or album. I'm pretty sure it must be D'Arienzo, but none of my 6 D'Arienzo versions is quite that one. Thanks!)

Tangocommuter said...

Thanks, Irene and Man Yung, and I hope you'll soon be free of the flu! & thanks for all the other videos too, but for me this is the one that really stood out, mainly for the dance, but also for the circumstance: the end of another milonga. Yes, Adela definitely has fans in the UK!

Gyb, you know, I went through all the versions of Cumparsita I have, too. Not as many as you have, and I couldn't find it either. It's certainly the arrangement D'Arienzo recorded elsewhere, and I'm sure it's his orquesta. I agree: I wish I could find it!

Tangocommuter said...

PS. gyb, do you know the Orquesta Escuela's versions of D'Arienzo's Cumparsita?

gyb said...

No, I didn't know the Orquesta Escuela version, but if this is the one you mean, it is close but not the same:

Meanwhile I spent some hours digging the net, I think I finally found the version under the video, it's from 1951. Listen to it here:

Would you agree?

The 1971 version is also pretty close, but there are some subtle differences:

gyb said...

A better quality version of the 1951 recording can be reached here:


Tango Salon said...

Thanks for posting this video. I've used it as one of the videos to illustrate my latest blog "Making every moment count".