Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Un montón de milongas

I was just about to post this when I noticed Elizabeth's posting.

There's a huge cache of clips, about an hour of film, of BsAs milongas on Muller Patricia's YouTube channel, posted five months ago and labelled as 'Viejos Milongueros'. Apparently they date back to the 90s. I dashed in, hoping to find Ricardo Vidort, Muma, Portalea, Gavito, Tete, Elba Biscay... and was sadly disappointed. They show BsAs milongas all right, but the dance is the dance of people who enjoy social tango, although from what little I've seen perhaps it's not the tango of Lo de Celia or El Beso, or of what I think of as the 'old milongueros'. However, every now and again a couple slips past the camera with such easy grace that you think, 'Who was that?' Lively, good-natured social milongas – and good lighting too!

If anyone watches Osvaldo Natucci on Practimilongueros, be warned: there's a slight mistranslation. He divides dancers into artisans and aficionados, but the subtitles translate 'aficionados' as 'amateurs', which is misleading as it can suggest people who aren't very good at something. I think he'd call dancers like the social dancers in Muller Patricia's clips 'aficionados', rather than artisans, who are a bit more obsessive about their dance.

If anyone watches through all that film and comes across any of the 'greats', do let me know. I recognise one venue, La Ideal, and possibly one or two others, but I think there's film from several more. Patricia asks for any information anyone might have about the milongas and the people.


Chris said...

I've seen quite a few false subtitlings in the Practimilonguero interviews E.g. Osvaldo and Coco would surely be baffled to see their word "vals" written as "tango vals".

Elizabeth Brinton said...

I have to admit that I am mesmerized by these videos. There is a quality control for the event, the space of the dance, which, in my tango life, is essential for good tango, for that transformative healing mode which one can take home. Where will we go when it is gone for good?
P.S: who cares what their names are? The best milongueros are not famous.

Tangocommuter said...

Thanks for the comment, Elizabeth. Now I have a bit more time I must watch more of those videos. 'That transformative healing mode' is neat: the Argentines have invented something that is valuable to us all: a social dance in close physical contact with great music, in which the dancers are protected by a more or less rigid social structure, and it leaves us all feeling very much happier. But why say 'When it is gone'? Ah well, yes, like the minuet and the polka. But I think it'll only finally disappear if something is devised that works better for the people of the time... which I hope won't happen for quite a while yet.