Saturday, 21 March 2015

Milonga para los niños - gifts that keep giving!

Ever heard of the gift that keeps giving? Well, the Milonga para los niños fund-raiser last Sunday was a great example.

It was a cracker of a milonga, to quote one of the participants, with the positive energy in the salon lasting right through to La Cumparsita.

Winners of the raffle will be enjoying their generously donated prizes (shopping voucher, wine, CDs, perfume and books) for time to come.

Cash donations from various individuals and Adelaide tango organisations were gratefully received.

Successful bidders for the silent auction will be looking forward to a diverse range of donated activities in the near future: massage, catered long lunch, Japanese calligraphy workshop, sailing, year-long milonga & practica ticket, 2 rounds of golf, private tango lesson, Porsche tour & champagne breakfast, yoga & relaxation session, gnocchi making workshop, French lesson & breakfast, astrological consultation and the making of a dress for tango. Sharing these with others will simply add to the fun.

Then there are those who successfully snaffled and are already enjoying the exquisite Igora stole, tango shoes, Leopard  necklace & earrings, Chinese tea & fan, Moroccan tea lights and wine packs.

Most important of all, the final amount raised in just one afternoon - $3,800 - will shortly be put to good use in some very needy Buenos Aires foster homes, making an ongoing positive impact on the health, education and welfare of those children.

Adelaide may have a relatively small tango community, but it has truly punched above its weight!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Can you feel it?

While driving the other day, I put on some dance classics of Pedro Laurenz. As I was listening and enjoying the music (Recién, Como dos extraños, etc.), I turned up the volume a little.

Suddenly the music’s impact on me changed completely. No longer was I merely listening, I was feeling. The volume had not been increased excessively, but the effect was remarkable. Previously, I had been able to hear and appreciate the instruments and singer quite clearly, but with a small turn of the dial, the emotion of the music took over. My response to the music was no longer cerebral, it had become visceral.

No wonder I don’t feel inspired to dance even my favourite tangos at a milonga, if the volume is too low. Perhaps this statement doesn’t apply to everyone, but I believe that the desire to dance is primarily physical and emotional, rather than a cerebral response. The music should invade your body, pick you up and carry you away.

Some folk, it seems, will dance to any music. They’re up on the floor, in the embrace, ready to dance, before the tanda even starts. Internally, I shake my head, puzzled about what they might be feeling. If they are feeling! Perhaps tango for them is more akin to physical exercise. To each his own, I suppose….

Then you have the analytical approach. This dancer tries to extract and express every musical nuance in a tango. This dancer has a bad case of Too much musicality.  Is anything gained by intellectualising the dance like this? What is the point of trying to score as many musical points as possible in one tango? Does this approach contribute to social tango?

Dancing tango is simple – simply dance the feeling.


Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Milonga para los niños

Join us at the gorgeous Mt Osmond Golf Club

Sublime Golden Age music, a selection of temptations for the silent auction and of course, great dancing.

Sunday 15 March, 4 - 8pm

Entry: $10

All proceeds to the Sociedad Para Los Niños

Let's see if Adelaide can come close to our fantastic achievements in 2013

PS.  Let us know if you would like to contribute goods or services for the silent auction or raffle.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Happy Birthday, Ricardo Tanturi!

El caballero del tango was born 27 January 1905, and was in his prime as a pianist, composer and most prominently as a band leader during the Golden Age of Tango. Collaborating with the popular singer Alberto Castillo, and then the more romantic voice of Enrique Campos, his orquesta produced numerous classics which I find simply irresistible. No traditional milonga is complete without Tanturi!

Perhaps the best known of these classics outside Argentina is Una emoción which featured in the credits of the film Assassination tango.

Listen to DDP's Favourite Tanturi Tandas which feature links to DDP's lovingly crafted translations of the lyrics. Tanda of the Week also treats us to a number of Tanturi treasures.

And for the more visually-oriented, take a look at milonguero Rubén Harymbat & Enriqueta Kleinman dancing to Recuerdo malevo (Tanturi/Castillo), and Carlitos Espinoza & Noelia Hurtado performing to Calla bandoneón (Tanturi/Campos).

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Getting the music #2

One good way of improving your tango is to listen to Golden Age dance music - a lot!

You start hearing, feeling and responding to more and more elements of this rich, multi-layered music. Ah, what a delicious pleasure it is to dance with someone who really gets the music.

But what about all those fabulous, danceable tangazos which are sung? What might you be missing if you don't understand Spanish, or in many cases Lunfardo? Some people dismiss the lyrics as unimportant. I've even heard tango lyrics derided as merely variations on the "She done him wrong" theme. But there's so much more to these stories of the barrio. I've found that having even a small inkling of the story to which I'm dancing totally enriches my tango experience.

Fortunately, a number of dedicated and talented souls are opening these doors to non-Spanish speaking tango enthusiasts. Take a look and get lost on the blogs of Poesía de Gotán, Tango Decoder and Embrujamiento.

Look up some of your favourite tangos, and then see if things change for you next time you dance.

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