Friday, 19 August 2011

Later that evening... Alberto and Paulina

Later that evening, to dinner with Alberto and Paulina. A very relaxed, friendly evening and a great dinner with a couple of friends of theirs from the US. Alberto's been busy in the kitchen: we joke about his 'pollo Ricardo'. 'It must be cooked very slowly' he says.

I get to ask my history-of-tango questions. Did you dance close embrace at home? Yes! When I learned with my mother and my aunts it was always close. & in the barrio milongas? No! The local dance hall was a Spanish association and it had three dance floors, one for paso doble, one for tango and one for the kids. There was this group of guys from Galicia, who used to walk around the tango floor forcing everyone to dance apart in open embrace. But of course the kids could dance how they liked! When did close-embrace tango become popular? It was popular by the late 40s when Alberto began to dance. & who did he dance with? Well, there were a lot of housewives whose husbands were out at work all day, so...

He visited Portugal recently and is very struck by how badly it's doing, how miserable the people have become. All the young people have left, he says, so there are few children around. His trip took in Switzerland too, which he likes because everything works, and there's no problem with money. 'Mind you, we know where the money comes from. If you're an arms dealer, or you deal in drugs, you just take your money to Switzerland and put it in a bank, no questions asked.' & Argentina? Argentina is doing well. They've paid off the IMF and the country is reasonably solvent. (One chart of national debt I've seen shows that Argentina is one of the few large countries with a national debt measured in billions of dollars. Except for Canada, everywhere else the national debt is measured in trillions.)

As he says in the Practimilongueros interview, he won't dance unless the music makes him want to dance. & he finds Pugliese very spiritual. He says that if he's dancing Pugliese with Paulina and someone rushed in to say there's an earthquake or a tsunami, he'd say, go away, can't you see I'm dancing Pugliese...

No comments: