Friday, 10 January 2014

By Invitation Only - Redux

It's taken me months to realise that the title is open to misinterpretation, which perhaps is why some people objected. It might suggest that the organisers pick the guests they want at their milonga – which would be gross. 'Him, oh yes, he can come. But not that friend of his, no way. & she's all right, but isn't there anyone better?' I hope my description of the milonga left it clear that invitation is by personal recommendation: people recommend friends, and the organisers invite everyone recommended. My title might have given the wrong first impression.

Once again, I think it's a pity it's necessary to resort to this so we can enjoy a good afternoon of dance. But organisers here don't have the kind of authority some of them have in Buenos Aires, and the dance isn't generally understood or respected here in the way it is there. There are people here who've watched a few TV dance programmes, taken a few tango classes and go out and don't even notice how much disturbance they are causing. They probably think they are bringing a bit of life into a boring evening. All these couples making their way slowly round the room; let's barge into them, wake them up a bit!

There's also another slightly different system here: there are a few milongas that are open to all, but aren't advertised. You hear about them by being on a mailing list. This has a similar effect. There's a bit of a 'tango underground', but I can't see anything wrong with that, except that it's much harder for the organisers to make ends meet without open access and advertising. They do it because they enjoy a certain kind of milonga: in the circumstances the guest list is the only way to make it happen.


scw said...

Dear TC, I believe that it is the only way to ''clean up'' the dance. It only takes one or two couples dancing badly to ruin a milonga (do we have a milonga in the UK?). We do seem to play at 'tango' here, whereas some areas of Europe actually do it, real milongas with respect on the dance floor between each couple.
Which brings me to the question, as I hardly dance in the UK because of the above, how would I get invited here?

Tangocommuter said...

Many thanks, scw. Your comment, "We seem to play at 'tango' here" really nails it! But it's great to note how much UK tango has improved. Hopefully in a few years you won't find it necessary to leave the UK in order to enjoy a good milonga. I've watched YouTube clips of Milonga Porteña (RovigoTango) very enviously, and I know there are others in Europe.

As to getting invited... well, I can only suggest that whenever (if ever) you dance with someone from London you ask them about it. It would be great if we had more 'dance clubs' like it, but the economics are difficult.