Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Comments on comments on comments on...

Chris, thanks for taking up the problems of openness, but I'd distinguish between criticism, which I welcome, and derogatory remarks, which are close to character assassination. As Mari says, you shouldn't use someone else's blog for such remarks. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm the publisher of Tangocommuter, so I believe I'm legally responsible for everything on it, whether I write it or not, and I don't want to be sued for defamation, or even involved in defamation. Ever. (& I was once threatened with legal proceedings for something I wrote... True.) So I've got to be able to draw a line. & why shouldn't I be able to comment on comments? I didn't say that anything was Unacceptable, just that it's unacceptable and discourteous to slag other people off (to use basic English). It happens too much on the net. I'm sure you'll agree.

I linked the video, but Janis has drawn huge attention to it, and got everyone watching it.

I didn't say much about the dancing, but I was curious about the music, a very contemporary, blues-influenced piece. Definitely not golden age tango. Watching the clip again I'm struck again that Pancho leads a heavy, fairly basic dance that feels more like canyengue and seems to suit the music very well. I don't think you could dance a more elaborate 'classic' tango to music like that; it just wouldn't feel right.

Pancho chose the music, and invited Allison to dance with him. The video was made by the Cachirulo milonga, and uploaded by Héctor 'Cachirulo' Pellozo. The thing I like about Cachirulo is that it's never, ever po-faced. There's room for laughter there, as well as for the intensity of great tango. It certainly feels like the friendliest place I've ever been in. As Tina, who has long acquaintance with it, says: 'Cachirulo is a family, and Pancho is one of their own, and this is his "thing". His way.' So why focus the blame on Allison? As Anon says, '...this is meant to be a fun performance between friends, right?' & why not?

I still hope Jantango will withdraw her comment, or replace it with a more reasoned one. I have to say that I can't leave any future comments like it on this blog. But otherwise, of course, you're all always welcome!


Chris, UK said...

The observant reader will have noticed that, in contrast, Joli's personal counter-attack on Janis received not our publisher's censure, but his thanks! :)

Good luck, TC.

Anonymous said...

The video of Pancho and Allison was recorded on the International Women’s Day. I can’t help but notice how the women in the audience at El Beso aren’t enjoying the exhibition as much as the men are. Take another look and notice how the men are howling and laughing, including Hector Pellozo, the organizer. Since when did tango become a joke that is danced? It was just that for all the men.

We have all seen Tete drop his arms while dancing with Silvia, but she never extended her arms to the sides. Pancho and Allison have taken it to another level. And they end the dance laughing.

Imagine the lasting impression some people who have never seen tango danced in Buenos Aires might have after viewing this video: it’s a blatantly sexual dance for the enjoyment of an audience who howls during the performance.

There are countries where dancing tango in a close embrace is avoided; this video won't help dancers warm up to the idea.

Allison may be an innocent player in this macho production, but she had the opportunity to ask that it not be uploaded to YouTube. She is on the channel “Videos de los Cachirulos” -- which in lunfardo means “silly people.” This video has nothing to do an elegant tango in Buenos Aires. It was entertainment for the men, and they got their moneys worth.

Allison said...

When Pancho asked me to dance, I felt very honored that he would want to share his big moment with me. He has been going to Cachirulo for over a decade, and so this reconocimiento is something very close to his heart. His mum came and sat in the front row, and his three sons greeted me like I was part of their family. The oldest told me, after the performance, that he loved it and felt inspired to learn how to dance... so sweet. Many of our friends were there especially to support us, and there was just so much energy and joy in the room. It was a very special night.

So for me, it is especially grievous to read those comments belittling the people of Cachirulo. I find it very disheartening to hear someone imply that Argentine men at the milongas have only ¨one thing on their mind,¨ when that is not the case.

BA is not the easiest city to live in, but I love it for the tango. Cachirulo is my home away from home. I have made so many wonderful friends there, so many people who I consider part of mi familia porteña :-)

I would like to honor them as well as give a big GRACIAS to all the love and support. I was so surprised and happy that so many reached out to me, even when I have not had the pleasure of meeting them in person. Thank you so much.

Wishing you many happy tangos!

T said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NYC Tango Pilgrim said...


You the sweetest! And you go girl!

Tina Ferrari said...

Cachirulo is the name of my favorite milonga, my family. Cachirulo is also the name of Troilo's best tango ever.
And if it means 'silly people', as Janis says, then I am proud to be silly! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Allison,

I support you !!!

With hugs and love,

DQ said...

Not quite sure what the brouhaha is all about. The video showed dancing that IMO was very nice - it was playful, sensual, upbeat, humorous, connected, competent, friendly, intimate (in a community sort of way. Anyone could tell that it was not bawdry, and there was no sexual tension between the dancers. I think the parts where the dancers opened their arms was awesome - it showed how much in control they were in their dance.

As far as feminism goes, I think the dance would meet the approval of feminists just fine.

@jantango - I've read a lot of what you've written. Perhaps nobody has mentioned this to you directly/clearly, but it feels like you are very articulate, and yet a very poor communicator. You simply suck at it. The manner in which you say things makes your readers defensive, and the best effect you seem to have is naught, and more typically, you seem to cause people to dig in their heels and hold their positions. In other words, you seem to have the opposite effect you often intend. It's not because you are saying fundamentally unpopular or wrong things - it's because you are saying it the wrong way. For some reason, you seem to have concluded that you don't have to be respectful when you are vehemently (or even nominally) disagreeing with something or someone.

For most of the world, the internet is a great gateway to learning about tango, and online forums/blogs tend to be especially interesting. Remember that there are so many videos that people are likely to chance upon that are also really really bad representatives of Tango. Quite the contrary - tango newbies are likely to see stage-tango more often than Tete y Silvia, or Pancho & Alison. On the other hand, tango newbies are more likely to read your comments on blogs and DF, and their takeaway is going to be that tango is a a dog-eat-dog puritanical world where vitriol and character assasistation rules, and that the community is simply incapable of self-regulation when it comes to common decency. The sum total of your internet postings IMO cause more damange to tango than any one video can. It's not that you say the wrong things, but you almost always say them the wrong way.

If you want to be a statesman, you have to start working on your diplomacy skills.

Janis said...

Cachirulo opened in October 2003 in Lo de Celia, then moved to Centro Region Leonesa before moving to Plaza Bohemia, later opening the Tuesday night in El Beso, and recently the Saturday in Villa Malcolm.

Cachirulo is considered a "traditional" milonga by many, but the video discussed doesn't fit that category.

Tina Ferrari said...

No, it doesn't fit the "traditional" category at all, I think we can agree there. But I ask this question of Janis: Who cares? What effect does it have on your life personally? Is it going to make the sky fall? Is it so important that you must use so much energy to make my friend Allison feel bad? Maybe you need to look inside yourself and take care of your own sadness that you seem to enjoy projecting on others.

ronaldo said...

Jan, I think you should read Tina's last comment very seem to be unconscious to some dark personal judgment against you for it...just that when you allow your personal 'stuff' to contaminate your relationships with the world, this is where you will be forced to confront your own emotionally abusive behavior towards those who are much younger & more vulnerable to your your toxic use your experience with 'Tango' as a cover for your need to hurt people.

Please , grow up a little & learn to separate your 'baggage' from this activity called Tango.

NYC Tango Pilgrim said...

I am dying to see any of you, who put so much energy criticizing others (professional or social dancers alike), put a video or two of yourself dancing. Let the world see how you stand behind your words. How you dance "traditional" or "social" tango!

Come on! You have shouted long enough, like a tango lunatic, all over tango blogsphere. But words are empty without actions. Show us what you got! Even a still photo of you actually standing and embracing. I dare you!

Janis said...

Who cares? I care very much about how tango in the milongas of BsAs is presented to the world. It bothers me that tango is being shown as something else by those who purport to promote and support it as a social dance.

My comments are not intended as a personal attack on Allison. I would have made the same comments no matter who partnered Pancho in that way. The latest video from Cachirulo is normal dancing.

@NYC Tango Pilgrim
If you want to see my dancing, you need look no further than my youtube channel.

NYC Tango Pilgrim said...

I don't want to see you dancing. How well can you dance? I want to see you have the courage to post a clip or two of you dancing on the web!

NYC Tango Pilgrim said...

Because I want to give you some pointers how to dance social/traditional tango!

Chris, UK said...

"Is it so important that you must use so much energy to make my friend Allison feel bad?
I see no evidence that making your friend feel bad was either the intent or the effect. The intent and effect I see is simply to highlight the fact that some truly gross dancing is being used to promote one particular milonga. I wonder why it so important to you Tina to use so much energy to divert people from this fact.

Tina Ferrari said...

Chris, you don't really know me or about my (or other people's) personal experiences with Janis and you don't even get my point so I really shouldn't bother.
Allison is someone important to me who I have known personally for a few years. Recently I've had a chance to become very, very close to her and she has proven to be such a wonderful, loyal, feeling friend. Even though that particular performance isn't my personal style, I like knowing that my friend was happily on cloud 9 that day, and if anyone wants to take that away from her they'll have to deal with her friends first. That includes putting her down with such remarks as "orgasm face" etc. That's all.

Tina Ferrari said...

Anyway. Enough about all that. Let's put some buena onda back on this blog. :-)