Journal 12 - January 3

buenos aires journalIt's already the 3rd day in the new year... time seems to fly.

Dinner at Gabriel's mother's house on New Year's day was very nice. She cooked us a vegetable pancake and a casserole of fish and vegetables. It was homemade and very delicious. Her friend Bendita was there, who must be over 80years old, but very very very energetic and charming. She was telling us stories animatedly in Spanish, which I really wished I could understand. But watching her vital expressions was special enough. She also read a poem for us that she had taken out of a book for us. It was called "Elegia al Tango" by Fernan Valdez. I can't fully understand it, but the parts that I understand are really really beautiful. Maybe after I get it translated, I will be able to recite some of the nice phrases... It was a very enjoyable dinner.

Afterwards, I met up to go to salsa dancing!! I was so ready to dance salsa. We stopped by to have a coffee and when it was about time we headed to the place... But! For some reason, the place was closed, and the other place called La Salsera was also closed... It was a big disappointment... my first salsa of the year didn't happen. We decided to go to tango at Canning.

The place was packed!! Usually the people would go to Nino Bien on Thursday, but since it was closed, it seemed like everybody was here! I was dressed for salsa, so I didn't feel really comfortable with my clothing, but I had a couple of nice dances. Geraldine & Javier had a performance there. I just love watching them, they are just truly, purely, the best tango dancers. They live in it now. They danced 3 songs, which was probably all improvisation, and so alive in it. They did some really really high techinque moves, but all just playing with the music. Synchronized and together. It was just beautiful! Tango is physical but also mental, and they have both. Geraldine is very young, but I see her as the godess of tango!

buenos aires journalYesterday, we went to Jorge's class, and had a private class with him before. It was to try to listen & feel the music. In tango, we dance to what we feel, either melody or rhythm. It's not like salsa which is more rhythm based. We can stand in an embrace for the whole song, and it can be tango, which of course is an extreme example. This may be the most difficult part in tango, but the essence. First we really need to be sensitive to each of the instruments that make the beautiful tango song, and start to feel it. Neither one dancing should feel the music just on their own, they have to understand also the music that each other feels... and then dance to it. In Buenos Aires, I find alot of people who feel the music, even if they don't have as much technique. But this is what matters, to dance to it... In the group class, we had a sequence, but I was more concerned about our embrace and frame. The embrace in tango is also something very special. It is just like an embrace in life, it has to be natural and with an affection, otherwise it will not live. The man must hold the woman securely but with freedom to move, and lead, not force. The woman must relax in the embrace and feel each intension of the man's lead, but know her own axis. It must always be a two way thing. It is different with each person, and they have their own way, it has to be your way of embrace, as long as it works for the communication and dancing. Frame is a different word, (the hold and form of the arms), but in tango, the embrace is stronger and deeper than the frame... For some reason, the embrace has not been working for us lately whether it's physical or mental, something seems to have changed. It's very hard to figure out. From the embrace, the tango is born. As much as this is the core of tango, how the embrace is, can bring many different consequences to the dancing. Especially if you are partners. We discussed this later at night, I have no idea where this goes... We did not end up going to the milonga.

This morning, I went to Jorge's class from 3-8. Some brazilian couples were there. There are always students from other countries, always always! It seems like, even at the milongas, a quarter of the people are from other places... it's very interesting! Jorge did a sequence which was unique to one of the areas (I forgot the name! Saaveda or something??), the man uses their heels while they lead the woman to do an ocho. Quite charming! And we did some milonga. I danced with different people, from a first time beginner, the brazilians, to an old old milonguero called Ernesto. The old milonguero did not have quite the techniques from the classes, but you can just feel the music and the joy of his dancing! It took me for a surprise, because the techniques were totally wrong, and it almost looked crazy! My feet were sore, so I danced only 2 songs with him, but I seemed to have enjoyed it very much and it stayed in me. On his way out, he gave me a gift, of a tape cassette recording of some tango songs of famous orchestras, and he thanked me for the dances. I was very touched with that... It made me realize that dancing can be a special gift too... I am very pensive, thoughts about salsa, tango, and all... Why I dance? and where it goes? for what reasons? Many things happen... but I know I still love to dance and I can't live without it, that will never change. There is something called, tango age. You may be a certain age in real life, but in tango, there is a different maturity, that is called tango age. I know I am still green, there is so much to learn, not only techniques, but the mentality. I hope I can grow in that too...

Well, this journal ended up being alot of philosophy of tango... I am just a bit in that kind of mood...but anyways, I will try to go out dancing tonight. Maybe Sunderland & La Viruta. They are supposed to be the really good places...