Journal 19 - January 18

buenos aires journalJanuary 12, I went to Esquina Carlos Gardel in the daytime to watch Fabian and his partner rehearse. It was a hot sunny day. I opened the door to the restaurant, where last night there were greeters standing at the entrance. The restaurant had a different atmosphere in the daytime, the employees were setting up the tables and cleaning up to get ready for the night. Light poured in through the windows and Fabian & Mayra were sitting on the edge of the stage sipping some coffee. They had been rehearsing some hours. I set my stuff down on the stairs up to the stage and joined them on the stage. Fabian got a coffee for me, and it helped me wake up. We chatted for awhile, and then they restarted their rehearsal, so I got down to a seat at the tables below. They were practicing the number they had performed the night before. It was a quick tango with a lot of quick footwork that required technique and correct positioning. They ran over some of the parts trying to perfect it. Everything in tango is so slight, but it makes a difference. They also ran another number which they were planning to perform in the show when they get it done. I found out later on, when I was talking with Mayra, that they are new partners since a month ago, and they had just started to perform together that week. They had different partners in the group, but Maryra's partner was going on tour, so the artistic director of the show had changed the couples around. It takes some time for partners to get used to dancing together. It was very interesting to hear the inside story.

For the night, I went to Jorge's class at Dandi and met up with Gabriel. My body had seemed to recover from the night before, and I felt better dancing. I also felt that I was able to add adornos (ornaments) to each move. It would be the last class we would take together from Jorge. We said goodbye to everyone, and took some pictures. We left with Jorge and La Turca for dinner. We went to a restaurant and sat talking for a couple of hours. They told us how happy they were to have had us as students, because we loved the tango as much as they did, and we worked hard. It was disappointing that I couldn't speak to them directly, but they were talking about many things. They are definitely great maestros, teachers of teachers. I am always surprised at their insight in things, they see so many things in us as individuals, they know exactly what kind of advise to give us, and to encourage us. They told us many stories, and told us what they think. The next trip, I will need to be speaking some more Spanish. I was happy that they were my teacher, and happy to have met people with the same concepts and love for tango. I look forward to the next visit and taking their classes again.

buenos aires journalThey dropped me off at Canning, Gabriel was going home. When I walked in, a kids group was performing to new tango. They were young but professional. I stood watching the show, and then found a seat and sat down. The crowd had started to thin down. The floor also opened up more, just perfect for dancing. I like Canning on Mondays after the people start leaving. The good dancers are still there, and there's a lot of space to dance. I danced with some people that I had never danced with, like El Pajaro who performed at El Beso the night before. He lead with musical steps, and moves that were quite different from other people, I enjoyed the dance. Then one of the famous old milongueros that sing while we dance. Fernando who also performed at Carlos Gardel, he led with long steps and sharp turns, I found out he was only 24! I danced with Gabriel Bortnik and Gabriel (the accountant), with Damian, and with Fabian finished off the night. I had another great night of dancing!! I loved it!!

January 13, I took it easy in the daytime, and went to Cabildo to get the pants that I've been wanting. It was something perfect for a dressy evening, or for dancing tango. We were going to go to Piazzola Tango to see the show with Ezequiel Farfaro. He had given us a call the previous day, and invited us to go see the show together. He was a dancer in the show, but now he and his partner Milena Plebs have decided to only choreograph for the show. He said it was his first time since he came back from Amsterdam to see everybody. We met him on Florida Street where it was located. We entered the building, and it was very very beautifully decorated. The interior was all imported from France. Golden frindges decorated the white columns and ceilings, a bordeaux colored carpet, a luxurious atmosphere. We sat at a table and had wine and some hors d' oeuvres. The place had a cozy feel, with all the carpet covering the floor, and velvety furniture and walls. While we waited for the show to start, Gustavo Rosas and his partner Paula Rubin came up to say hi to Ezequiel. They were going to be a new couple to replace in February. So many dancers! The show started. It was again very different from Senor Tango or Esquina Carlos Gardel. The dancers were very good, one of the girls was someone that I had noticed at the milongas, she had a style and way of dancing that stood out. She was one of the main dancers. The other dancers did not have a look of a dancer when you saw them in person, but when they danced they changed. They had a lot of technique and they used their strong dancing background to do many high leveled moves. The pianist in the orchestra played jazzy, and lead the music. I enjoyed the show.

Afterwards, Ezequiel headed home, we stopped by a restaurant and had some vegetable lasagna and went to Porteno Bailarin. When we got there we saw Ernesto and Stella, Jorge and La Turca, and others. We sat with Ernesto and Stella. They presented Gabriel a photograph of them with their signature and message for him. That was very nice. I saw Pajaro there, and we danced a fun tanda of tango again. He leads many different variations and it was very enjoyable. Geraldine & Javier were performing again that night. They danced improvising again, and it was beautiful as always. Since the floor was smaller, it was more personal than when they performed at Sunderland. It was more closer moves than flashier moves. I think we are very fortunate to be able to see them dance this close!! Then after the show, throughout the whole night, I got so many bad dances! I hate to say this, but it was very very very very very bad! I didn't want to deny any offers to dance, so I let myself dance with everybody who came up to ask for a dance. I guess it was a mistake. Since tango is such an intimate dance where we share our axis in dancing, when a man can not lead, and to the music, it messes the girl up! I found myself rejecting some of the lead, and my body trying to dance to the music, and feeling myself getting knocked off my axis, I wanted to stop during some of the dances. But there were no dancers there that night! Even Stella had been complaining about that. So, by the end of the night, I was feeling tense and tired. I finally saw Damian, a familiar face, and we greeted each other. I think he saw that there was something wrong and asked me a couple of times if I was okay. We started dancing and finished the first song, and he looked into my face, and asked me if everything was really okay! Okay, I guess it was not, so I had to admit it. I explained what was going on, and he understood right away. He said that a girl should try not to ever dance with so many bad dancers and now to relax and enjoy. So, I breathed in and exhaled and danced the rest of the tandas. I felt so much better in the end. Damian remarked that I hear the music so much better since the first time we danced. I thanked him for the dance and told him that he had saved my night. It was Gabriel's last night. We had won a bottle of champagne with the raffle. So we drank up what was left and went home feeling pretty good! We got some sweets for me at the gasoline station nearby, and I fell right asleep after we got home. Another long day!