Thursday, 30 December 2010

Tango at the RFH

One of tangocommuter's new year resolutions is to write shorter posts. This is simply practical: time is always short. But this resolution has failed even before the new year begins, and I have to make time to add to what I wrote about the post-xmas milonga at the Festival Hall. There was just one point I wanted to make: it was much too short! Well, it was free, and the music was live, but one single hour just isn't enough for a tango event in the post-xmas period, particularly an event with live music. & it took many of us more than an hour just to get there!

I haven't been in London the last two midwinters, but I think there has been an afternoon milonga of a good length at the RFH, organised possibly from within the tango community. I get the impression that the event this year was organised by the Festival Hall itself, so if you were disappointed by how short it was, it's certainly worth getting in touch with the Royal Festival Hall! & please do! They must already be aware of how popular the event was, both with the considerable number of dancers who turned up, and with a large number of people listening and watching. Surely it's to the advantage of the Hall to have lots of people there enjoying themselves. I think they should have some feedback in case they plan an event next year, although the budget for a three or four-hour free event is likely to be more difficult.

But it was a real pleasure to have live music to dance to. It makes a huge difference: you can never be quite sure how a live 'orquesta' is going to play, how the music will be phrased, what the tempo will be or how it might change. Live music feels alive, and we don't get enough of it. The set was excellent: there was sufficient music in a familiar, traditional 'compas' which was straightforward to dance to, mixed in with some music that was much more of a challenge. Very enjoyable! But too short!


Preen&Ogle said...

Yup! Good but much too short.

Julian R said...

I understand that RFH didn't have a budget for the all-day event that has taken place in previous years. In fact they billed this one as "the first of three contrasting performances of music for listening and dancing" - don't know what the others were but presumably different musical genres. Anyway we came prepared to do more of a concert performance but with enough alternatives to make it a milonga set if a lot of dancers turned up, which is what happened and thank you all for making it such a great event! I'm sure the venue will bear this in mind in future planning, so hopefully we can do something longer if they ask us next year.
Julian (Tango Siempre)

Anonymous said...

If you like Flamenco, you might like the latest CD from Flamenco singer Diego El Cigala called 'Cigala & Tango' recorded at his concert in the Teatro Gran Rex, Buenos Aires. It's a gem.