Sunday, 21 December 2008

Tete and Silvia at La Calesita

Out to Nunez again for La Calesita, an outdoor milonga. 'Nunez again' because La Calesita is held in a municipal park right next door to the notorious ESMA. Tete and Silvia teach beforehand, and seem to organise the evening: he gives a speech to welcome everyone, as it's the first Saturday evening of the milonga this summer. It's a magic venue and attracts good dancers, as it's a great evening out, with food and drink, and space to dance, but a bit of a shock to be dancing on stone slabs, which takes a bit of getting used to after the polished hardwood floors in town. I meet a woman from London whose new tango shoes need repair after just two weeks of Buenos Aires, and the floor here doesn't help. She's having problems with the turn, so Tete simply holds her and dances it, and she follows perfectly. "You didn't have much option there, did you!" I comment. She agrees. "& I've never been led by the stomach before." Which is probably a good place to lead/be led by, as it's a much lower centre of gravity than the shoulders.

The class adds a 'bounce' movement to the turn I've already learned with them, and Tete confuses me by calling out instructions, as he hears the music: 'Pausa!', then 'Tata TA' when he hears a double time. It's warm and humid, and a few dances leave you sweating, although it cools down later. I leave around 1.30 and get a taxi back into town. I've not taken a lot of taxis here but I'm impressed how unfailingly courteous and straightforward the drivers have been. It's trip half-way across town and the driver rounds down the cost from A$25.75 to A$25, which is about £5. The streets in town are still busy, alive with late diners sitting outside, parties of kids simply hanging out or going to clubs. It's a relaxed, happy way of life that seems very natural. Nobody seems drunk in public: Saturday nights in London are never this relaxed.

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