Monday, 7 February 2011

Comments on comments

Sound systems: as I said in my original post, I'm sure many London sound systems are of good quality. The problem is the arrangement of the speakers, and it's no good relying on two speakers at one end of a hall. The volume has to be turned up to reach and to overcome the inevitable loss of sound, and then people who aren't dancing start shouting at each other to make themselves heard. I take Chris, UK's point about the limitation of house systems, but streamed audio is now possible, and I look forward to the day when neat, efficient speaker systems deliver adequate sound all over the dance floor, preferably without wiring. I agree with Charles Long that good quality sound is really important. If sound is well-focused it can change the dynamic of a milonga.

Several people have agreed that less teaching is good. My feeling is that London tango could do with many more practicas, guided or otherwise. After all, even in 21st century London, men can't dance on street corners with other men, and won't be able to until tango is vastly more widely known and accepted. We all need more secluded places to practice in. Then it should be possible for the dancers to invite in teachers to help and comment, rather than teachers running classes. Then dancers engaged in dancing would call the shots.

& Jantango tells me that Maipu 444 has closed. The upstairs room that housed seven milongas a week has been sold, along with the parquet floor that has welcomed the soles of many great names of tango. It's like losing a friend, even though I can't claim to be at all well acquainted with the place. No more videos on the Cachirulo YouTube channel with the familiar red and black tablecloths! Or maybe the tableclothes will move to Villa Malcolm, where the Saturday night Cachirulo Milonga will relocate, along with the house video camera.

PS: Melina has left a long and very interesting comment here as a reply to what Chris, UK said. There was a problem of emphasis in the translation, and she clarifies the kind of help she and Detlef try to give, to enable people to dance more easily together.

6 comments:

La tanguera said...

I'm shocked and saddened by the news of Maipu 444! It was my favourite venue for Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays...

As for practicas I wonder whether we need more of them or more people actually using them. I went once to the practica at Negracha on Monday and I was the only one there (other than those who attended the class). Perhaps before we can have more practicas students need become aware of the need to practice in order to improve. Going to a milonga is not a good substitute, especially at the beginning.

Tangocommuter said...

We need more of them, and we need more people using them! Everyone knows that to learn the piano you need to practice: you need classes (generally 1-to-1) but you need a huge amount of practice, which is where you teach yourself. The idea that you can learn just by going to classes is nonsense!

Chris said...

> I take Chris, UK's point about the limitation of house
> systems, but streamed audio is now possible

Meaning wireless?? That solves only the wiring problem - still requiring extra power amps and speakers at the far end, being the main teansport and setup problem.

Chris said...

> As for practicas I wonder whether
> we need more of them or more
> people actually using them. I went
> once to the practica at Negracha
> on Monday and I was the only one there

Many classgoers cannot benefit from a practica because they can no longer dance of range of the instructor. We'll see practicas being more useful when beginners use them from day one.

Chris said...

Oops.

they can no longer dance OUT of range of the instructor

jantango said...

A little history about Maipu 444.

The first floor space was rented, renovated and opened as a milonga in September 2004 by Chiri Ortuno and Emilio Lopez. It took time for dancers to go there regularly.

Eventually, organizers like Graciela Lopez, Luis Trapasso and Hector Pellosa moved from other venues to Plaza Bohemia which became known as Maipu 444. There were milongas going every day of the week.

The Monday and Friday evening milongas by Lucy Alberto and Dany Rodriguez were finally established, along with Cachirulo on Saturday.

That's when a milonga shuffle usually happens. The renters lost their space when the owner sold the building to Telefonica. That's the story I've heard. All the milongas were displaced. Monday moved to La Nacional on Alsina. Saturday moved to Club Villa Malcolm (nuevo territory most days). The Sunday milonga Lujos still runs Thursday in El Beso.

The only thing that remains the same in the BsAs milongas is that there are always changes...in organizers, venues, dancers, etc. That way, things are always interesting.