Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Tango stories 3

I recently watched Ricardo Suarez dance milonga with Enriqueta Kleinman. I've watched him before, but now I'm mesmerised by how precisely he steps to the beat. I follow his feet; his steps are small and unostentatious, but effortless and absolutely precise. When my eyes follow other dancers I get the impression that none of them is quite so continuously exact, and some of the most experienced dancers in Buenos Aires are on the floor. Later I mention this to Enriqueta, and she laughs out loud.

'Ricardo! He's so amazing. He's incredibly precise, isn't he? & you know how old he is? 87! & he still works: he has a little store somewhere. He goes out dancing almost every night, and he's so popular he dances with all the best tangueras. & he doesn't even need glasses for the cabeceo! We women go for the older guys! The older the better!' & she laughs uproariously.

Momentarily I wonder if Tangocommuter can look forward to dancing with all the best tangueras in 30 or 40 years... but the wish dissolves pretty fast. She's not talking simply about older guys: she's talking about guys who for the most part grew up in families where everyone danced, and where tango meant so much that the kids would be outside practising, long ago. Sadly, not my background.

'The two things women appreciate above all else in a leader' continues Enriqueta, 'are the clarity of the 'marca' (lead), and a 'marca' that seems to be a part of the music.'

PS: Here's Ricardo dancing Tango Negro in Cachirulo earlier this year (sadly with wrong aspect ratio: he's thin but not that thin!). & Irene and Man Yung posted recently about Ricardo, with a video.

PPS: Here's the Practimilonguero video of Ricardo Suárez, interviewed by and dancing milonga with Mónica Paz.


Anonymous said...

Ricardo lives and works in a tiny electrical repair shop on Estados Unidos 654 in San Telmo. He has to work and dances only a few times each week where he is invited without charge.

He's another instrument of the orchestra and doesn't pay attention to stepping on the beat -- his heart beats 2/4 time.

Cinderella said...

'We women go for the older guys! The older the better!'
I think there'a a lot of truth in that. And I wonder if it's not only true for the BsAs milongueros who grew up with dancing, but with many older leaders all over the world who are somehow more connected with the ground, sometimes even though they haven't danced for a very long time. Perhaps because they have wandered this earth for a longer time than younger guys... They are in a way more deeply rooted, which can turn dancing with them into a completely different experience. Especially when it comes to dancing milonga I much prefer them as partners.
That's nothing to be sad about, TC. On the contrary, you guys can look forward to many years, decades even, of becoming more and more attractive as partners for women of all ages. For us women, on the other, when getting older, staying attractive gets more and more difficult...

Tangocommuter said...

Many thanks for the insight and thoughts in your comment, Cinderella, especially the thought that older dancers have walked the earth for longer. But the same is surely true of ladies, and I know I always look forwards most to dancing with 'old' friends who might not yet be that old but are certainly ageing with me! I can understand the concern about visual attractiveness, but it isn't everything: friendship and good dancing really matter.

& I'm resigned to getting older: I was sad that I hadn't discovered tango a lot earlier!