Wednesday, 28 August 2013

'The last milonguero from Urquiza'

It's how 'El Chino Perico' Ricardo Ponce gets described, but in a wonderful Practimilongueros interview with Monica Paz he says he doesn't like being included with the wonderful dancers he's seen in his life.

I especially love his story of how when he was young his mates thought his posture wasn't that good; they tied a board to his back by ropes at the waist and neck, so every time his head flopped forward he nearly strangled himself. (Could use some of those at London practicas: in my mind's eye I saw a row of boards with ropes waiting at the entrance...) Standing straight and walking well are prerequisites, they need attention: all very well to stare at your partner's feet and twist her around so her legs fly up, like those cloth dolls they dance joke tangos with in the Buenos Aires streets. Dancing with good posture and feeling is something else altogether.

There's deep passion when he talks about tango: 'You're dancing tango and you know that you should be dancing your music with your heart... Tango is a piece of life that you can dance.' & his sense of tango as family is familiar if you go repeatedly to milongas.

I watch El Perico Chino dance and see an extraordinary attention and courtesy to his partner. This level of attention and respect as well as a total sense of the music make this a dance that seems incredibly personal, the momentary awareness of two people for each other and the music. Tango from the heart of Villa Urquiza.

1 comment:

Janis said...

I'm surprised you didn't take note of the fact that El Chino dances to his own beat and not that of the music. That seems to be the case with most Villa Urquiza style dancers.