Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Sunday Lujos

After Maipu 444 closed, the Sunday night Lujos relocated to Alsina 2540, which is bigger than Maipu, with a square floor of quite sticky tiles in a rather featureless hall. Talc provided. Not a lot of people there, but after evenings at El Beso it's good to see a floor with open space. It feels a bit empty, but it's unpretentious and extremely friendly: I'm welcomed as if I was an old friend by Lucia and Oscar who run it, and greeted by Alberto and Paulina, who are regulars at the Lujos milongas, by Ana Maria Schapira, even by Oscar Casas whose classes I took nearly three years ago when I first came here. & getting dances is straightforward.

Ricardo Suarez is there: kind of a legend. I believe he's well into his 80s, but I've seen him dance nearly every tanda at every milonga I've been to so far. His tango just could not be more economical, as pared down as only a great many years of practice can make it. I especially enjoy watching his milonga: he doesn't seem to do a lot, but his partners (no shortage of them) look effortlessly elegant.

I miss Maipu 444. Dancing on a very crowded floor there seemed a lot less of a challenge than I expected, and I think the clear, even lighting helped. Even the music seemed clearer there. El Beso is similarly crowded but the lighting isn't good, and it's murky at floor level, which makes it harder to stay aware of the space around. Doesn't bother the locals, I guess, or they'd do something about it.

I'm used to watching Ricardo dancing unperturbed in the middle of a crowd, so when I watch this it feels as if the crowd is there, but has been airbrushed out.

Video from Abretango, or lacuevatango. Five clips of a Transnochando milonga dating from September 2002 were uploaded very recently: a quick glimpse revealed some familiar faces...

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