Wednesday 03 December: improbable to write that date, wearing T shirt and shorts with the window open, sunshine and a fresh breeze. More internet problems but why intermittently?
Yesterday, class at El Beso with Oscar's son and daughter, who teach together on Tuesday and Thursday. Brother and sister, they are fun together, and teach a lot too. Very few people turned up so we got a lot of individual attention. Various possibilities with ocho cortado, firstly leading it well, and then three alternative ways to exit: the first is hard to describe, a sort of lift to the front, the second an americano and the third, leading the americano but using the right foot to sacada. & we go down when we step, and lift as we collect.
Bought more CDs again yesterday: a very welcome remastered double CD of Julio de Caro. I've only a few tracks, downloaded from Todotango, 500kb each track, so the quality was poor. The remastered CDs have loads more. Perhaps the sound is slightly 'engineered' but it's a pleasure to listen to, and musically a lot clearer. Including tracks as recent as 1952, which sound much better, and a photo of de Caro with an extraordinary violin with a built-in horn, obviously to enhance the noise before electric pick-ups became available. Likewise a very welcome remastered double CD of Pedro Laurenz. I must be close to wearing out my downloads of him. & Pugliese en el Colon, which I've wanted ever since I first heard about it, the live recording at the 1985 concert in the opera house soon after the end of the terror. £3.50 here: available in the UK as a download from LastFM for about double that I think.
Porteno y Bailarin in the evening. Coming out of the subway into Corrientes, the new moon in a clear sky. A good sign, I hope. Class with the same teacher, Ana Maria Schapira. I like her teaching, interesting, different. She's a good local teacher who doesn't have or seem to want an international reputation. She doesn't like my way of walking and tries to get me to be more grounded, heavier. I try to leap up too much, I don't walk heel first. As she teaches the use of double-time steps this is a serious difficulty as the followers are all relative beginners and don't always reach back well. I know I've always worried about this and led double-time by lifting up, which 'el Pibe' Sarandi objected to in London a few years back. I should push thru' the double time steps. Otherwise it was a very disappointing evening. I was hoping to get to dance with the partners at the class but their post-class interest was a meal and several bottles of wine, and not dancing. Had just one dance with a young American woman I'd met earlier, but she's a beginner and very uncertain. Got home wondering why it had been a flop, and realised I'd had four hours of class that day, but I like the club and will keep at it.
I'd like more classes with Ana Maria. It's disappointing that I don't get to dance more, but I have the feeling that I'm being taken apart, made to question everything, to get rid of a lot of habits, start again. I can only hope I'll be on the floor more later in my stay. There are good and poor evenings everywhere.