Sunday, 12 January 2014

Enriqueta Kleinman 1953 - 2014

Very saddened to open my laptop this morning and find the following brief email from Jantango

Enriqueta died January 9, 2014, in her home in Buenos Aires. 

(It was sent as a comment to my post on Enriqueta Kleinman and Osvaldo Nattucci.)

I can't write much about her as I didn't know her at all well. But I remember 'classes' with her, December two years ago; it was hot and attendance was dropping off pre-Christmas. In fact, at the last class I was the only 'student', so it became another private class.

I have to use inverted commas because it was never as if she was The Teacher: people who came to her classes were there to dance, and she'd do what she could to help them enjoy it. With me, we just danced a lot, and I also enjoyed sitting and chatting to her, as we had common interests outside tango. She was a painter and a printmaker, too, and she'd begun working with glass: as she said, it's a nightmare to carry work around with you! She was cheerful and friendly, and I remember her as a tango friend as much as a teacher. I got a lot of confidence from the time I spent with her, and a better feel for dancing with different kinds of music. Sometimes you learn just by absorbing, and it helped that she was completely confident in expressing herself in English, as she'd lived and studied in New York and was truly bilingual. I used to see her two or three nights a week in the milongas. She seemed tireless on her feet, dancing mainly with the older guys.

Other than that, I know that she grew up with classical music, became an artist, and was absorbed into the tango world of Buenos Aires about 20 years ago. She'll also be missed throughout the States, which she visited regularly, as well as in Europe and the UK, although she wasn't here much. It's hard to believe I can't go back to another beautiful Buenos Aires summer like that, hot afternoons, courtyards cool with flowering plants, and an hour or two of dance ahead.

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