Saturday, 9 January 2010

Alberto Dassieu

It's been difficult: I contacted both Alberto and Pedro Sanchez before I arrived in the city of hot winds. Pedro invited me to meet him at Maipu 444 on my first Saturday there, and Alberto the following evening at the same place, and after that they continued to run in tandem. I took classes with both of them, as neither teach group classes any more, and I had a very affectionate friendship with both, and both were very kind and helped me a great deal. But I can't write about two giants at the same time, and it distresses me that putting one second seems to imply less importance, which simply isn't the case. I put Pedro first because I had all that video I wanted to share on the web. He's less well known, so it seemed important.

Alberto is much more widely known. Most years he's visited Switzerland, where he's invited by friends to teach, and he's taught on several tours of the US. There are also a number of videos of him, including the vals with Elba Biscay, but I've come to prefer the quieter dances with his wife, Paulina, as they seem more intimate. I can see in them the material he taught me: I couldn't follow all of it properly in his classes, but I was grateful that he went through it with me. He has a website, which sadly is at present only in Spanish (a pity because there are several substantial pieces of writing by him there).

I found him warm, generous and friendly - but I can say that of most of the people I met. His little living room on the fifth floor, with a balcony that has been turned into a miniature garden, where birds would fly in and the breeze brought relief from the summer heat, was always a delightful place to be invited into. Alberto and Paulina, many thanks for your kindness and friendship.

He'll be in San Fransisco and Chicago to teach this spring, and teaching in Switzerland this coming July, I believe.

Irene and Man Yung spent some time with him, and these are their posts about him.

& this is the vals he features on his own website:

Video thanks to Yesimlaturca.

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