Tango Tour-Buenos Aires

“Mente Corazon y Pierna”

Raining inside Club AtlantaThe Head, Heart and Legs, you have to feel the dance in these 3 places according to Eduardo Pareja (Parejita). You dance what you can and what you feel.

As I said in the last blog, I was so moved by all the fantastic information and stories that these Maestros recounted, that I wanted to continue to share some highlights here.

Out of the 8 planned classes only 6 actually happened due to the maestros cancellation or sickness. We took a cab during rush hour to arrive timely for these 2 hour classes. When it rained the space became flooded and the organizers would be found mopping. Mariella and Rolo were wonderful organizers of the event: young, enthusiastic, passionate, fun dancers, inquisitive and just lovely to be around!

All of the teachers spoke about their learning to dance and yes, they learned men with men. For example, El Toto Faraldo told us that he had an older brother who would come to the house with his friends and they would practice moves from the milongas at the house. Toto had a keen eye and would end up correcting the guys if they were doing the steps incorrectly.

Clase con Los AgudioElvira Agudio said that she learned to dance with her girlfriends at home. Her husband, Osvaldo, recounted that he grew up just a few streets behind the Club Atlanta and the guys would be practicing out on the streets. He was young then. He would go to them and ask them to show him a figure and they would tell him to go watch in a milonga and bring steps back to practice.

The idea was not to copy steps but to be inventive and creative. One milonguero would do his steps quickly in hopes that no one would see his moves and be able to copy them! This idea of creativity and uniqueness is something that Osvaldo Agudio expounded upon. He said what frustrates him is to see a teacher show a paso (step), then ask the class to imitate it, and then the teacher will ask the students to dance and they are all doing the same step, it looks like a choreography, like a ballet. The minute the woman moves herself it is no longer tango. Osvaldo Agudio was asking us about some moves and asking if they were really led. He didn’t seem convinced!

Clase con ParejitaBaila con amor, sin egoismo y con risa  Parejita

Translates as: Dance with love, without being selfish, and with laughter. Just another beautiful quote from Eduardo Parejita. He came to class with his wife who sat on the sidelines watching and his dance partner, Laura Grandi. He is 82 years old, so sweet and generous. Laura is 30 and she has been dancing with him for 15 of them. He spoke so naturally that you could feel his passion for tango and for his family. (He is a proud grandfather to a current famous soccer player.)

Another thing he said that completely stands out is never speak badly about a colleague, just do your dance. It’s hard sometimes for me not to be passionate and opinionated about what I do and I have never been one to keep my mouth shut. I will continue to strive to do so hearing these words repeated in my head!

Clase con TotoI dance what I feel and if I don’t like the music, I don’t dance. Osvaldo Agudio

We do that which corresponds with age, the youth bring the dance into the future otherwise the dance stays closed or boxed in with older people. Osvaldo Agudio

Disfrutar Disfrutar Disfrutar – Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy

El Toto told us that the ratio of men to women was 20:1. The woman would check out the men from head to toe and if anything was out of place she could refuse him. People were conscientious about their appearance. Everything and everyone were very humble in those days.

There were several other comments about the Championship and stories about milongas and orchestras, personal hobbies and ideologies, which I hope to be able to incorporate into future blogs.

Clase con Jorge RodriguezRommel was very interested in hearing their opinions about the Championship. I think for the most part there were very degrees of enthusiasm. With comments ranging from Great idea – muy bien to I was juror once and won’t do it again!

There was some discussion about labels and one of the maestros said, the labels are money. Easy for them to say living here where most strive to express the same thing in a dance called Argentine Tango to the music of the same name. It is very clear for them and they know amongst themselves who was where, in what neighborhood, when, and why moves were danced the way they were danced!

Such a wonderful opportunity to be with these milongueros. Thank you Maestros!

(translation is mine with some help from Rommel)

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“It’s an Art, not Gymnastics”

Club AtlantaMAESTROS de MAESTROS – The Teachers of Teachers, a workshop with those milongueros, who can speak about dancing in their early days with tango in Buenos Aires, and it, the workshops, started out, well, slowly! 4 days, 2 classes per day.

Rommel and I and Tyler show up to this famous historic stadium, Atlanta (which is right down the street from Tyler’s place). The previous night’s torrential rains caused a bit of havoc on the space. We arrived 20 minutes early to find the space being mopped. Not the whole space but a few very large places on the floor were covered in water. After 1 hour of waiting, the first teacher never arrived. The next teacher and his wife show up a little early so the young organizers arrange for those of us who were still there to ask questions and for this couple to tell us a bit about the building, Atlanta, and tango in the early days.

The neighborhood and the space is historic. It was the biggest dance club during its heyday. The actual place opened in 1904 as a soccer club. But it was and is an athletic club and had 1 of the largest dance floors in the 40’s. Many great orchestras came through here and it was known fClub Atletico Atlanta insideor its “Carnevales” – big parties during carnival time (before Easter).

http://www.atlantapasion.com.ar/historia.php

The first class was not really a typical class – it really felt more like a practica. The maestro would show a step, we would dance and dance and dance and he would walk around and check us all out!

As the week has worn on and we have gone diligently to these classes, I am fascinated, inspired, and touched by all of the teachers. They came and opened their hearts, shared stories, some personal, some silly, but all with a very real feeling of sharing. Some of them showed us steps and we worked on them over and over again. Some watched us dance and gave advice on our embrace or our walking. And some even talked about the Championship and their opinion of it.

We heard over and over again about how dancers need to slow down. We are not running, there is no race, the dance has lasted and has many more years to go! This was said by Jorge Rodriguez.

Most of the teachers commented on the “chaos” at the milongas that they see now, that it’s basically dangerous dancing at milongas with high kicks and tables being knocked about. Rodriguez said that the dance, “necesitamos apoyar a nosotros”, meaning that the dance needs the dancers’ support, the communal tango support on the milonga dance floor. The feeling that I got from his explanation is that all of us on the social dance floor are responsible for tango – for where it goes and how it grows.

Internet was down today and I tried desperately to post this sooner. More Maestros to be continued….

 

 

 

 

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TANGO TOURS ANNOUNCED

Happy New Year!

I am happy to announce my Tango Tours for 2011 and also happy to have Rommel Oramas join me once again; his assistance is invaluable in these tours.

We have 3 choices of tours this year: Mendoza – Vino y Tango, Buenos Aires 10 day Cultural Immersion; and NEW this year, Buenos Aires 8 day Tour de Lujo.

In chronological order:

MENDOZA – Vino y Tango  May 19 – May 24, 2011 $900

Buenos Aires 10-day Cultural Immersion Tango Tour May 25 – June 4, 2011 $1700

Buenos Aires 8 day Tour de Lujo June 6 – 14, 2011 $2350

Non-refundable deposit of $500 due March 15th to hold your place.  First come first serve. 
Tours do not include airfare, tips, and Reciprocity Tax to enter Argentina of $131 (paid at EZE airport)

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Happy New Year!

I can’t believe 2010 is just about over.  It has been a fantastic year for me. I’ve met some fantastic people and have taught some amazing people tango this year.  My students give me a tremendous amount of joy  – thank you!

I look forward to 2011 in so many ways and so should you!

1) 3 TANGO TOURS TO CHOOSE FROM!
We will be offering 3 tours this coming year for tango lovers.  The Mendoza – Vino y Tango tour: 5 days in Mendoza Argentina exploring wine country.  The 10-day Cultural Immersion Tour – 10 days in Buenos Aires and the 8-day Tango Tour de Lujo. Each with a different pocketbook and objective in mind.

2) BORGIALLI TANGO SHOES ON THE ROAD!
Rommel Oramas and I will be taking the Soy Porteno practice sneakers on the road this year.  We will be visiting several festivals across the country and we are looking forward to bringing some comfort to your feet!  We will also be unveiling the Borgialli Tango Shoe website with shopping and logo.  VERY EXCITING!

3) MORE CLASSES!
Besides my classes at Scottsdale Community College and ASU this semester, I will be teaching my FUNDAMENTALS CLASSES in January.  ALSO, Fridays January 21, 28 and February 4th Rommel Oramas and I will be teaching ADVANCED CONNECTIONS WORKSHOPS at the Art of Dance in Scottsdale.
I will also be teaching in Jerome, Arizona in February!

4) ASU TANGO FESTIVAL APRIL 1, 2, 3
I am really excited for this festival. Not just because it is on my home turf! or is being hosted by my students or because I will be teaching at it! but MOST IMPORTANTLY the selection of teachers are some of the best teachers in the US (Canada)!  This will truly be a learning and sharing weekend.  Please join us…  Housing hosts and group rates available. 

Happy NEW YEAR!  May all you wish be fulfilled!

 

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Eat, Drink some more and more….

Here is the link to more of Delisa’s fantastic pictures….

www.facebook.com/album.php

Here is the link to more of my pictures: www.facebook.com/album.php   and more:

www.facebook.com/album.php

Wednesday night we went to a little local milonga hosted by Jose y Ana. It was great to see everyone using their new found tango confidence to dance with some locals as opposed to shying away from the idea…

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On Thursday we woke up relatively early – it was still dark out at 8am!  And we had a long drive ahead of us. We were headed to Uco Valley – Valle de Uco.  This is much higher, chillier.  It took us about an hour and 15 minutes to get there.  We were supposed to go to Andeluna and they couldn’t confirm our reservation so we got a last minute visit with La Azul.  A really small bodega.  We had a lovely tour and fabulous explanation of their wine-making process.  Each tasting is individual – and also corresponds to each persons habits.  For example, a person who drinks orange juice will experience the wine very differently than someone who maybe drinks coffee in the morning.  The distinguishing of the acidity will be different for these 2 people.  Luis, our tour”guide” told us that he loves Fernet (this bitter liquor that you add to Coke).  He had to give up Fernet when he became involved in this business – his palate had become used to the bitterness of the Fernet and therefore could not distinguish “bitter” taste in wines. 

We then went off to Jean Bousquet.  This bodega is like a machine – it has lots of machines too!!!  They do not sell their wines in Argentina – they do all their business for export.  We became thoroughly entertained with Bousquet’s German Shepherd pup who just wanted to play.  His name is Buster and whoever would pick up a rock or a piece of wood or whatever and throw it – he would fetch it back.  There were plenty of us in the group who happily obliged him! TOO CUTE!

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Bousquet was interesting to see how as it seemed very hands off in terms of “quality control”.  He advertises that he uses organic grapes in his winemaking. The grapes are planted in soil that contains re-constituted flowers and does not contain pesticides. There are roses planted at the end of every row of grapes. The roses help in discouraging bugs and they use sulfur and copper to ward off any other critters (like wolves, etc) who do not like the smell.  Very interesting. Also their reserve malbec was only $25 – right? 25 pesos….

We then went to Salentien – a very big fancy winery to have lunch and tour.  Well – we had lunch and well, missed our tour!!!!  This winery might be interesting to visit again next year.  They have a museum, a chapel and the restaurant.  The building is built like a cross.  Lunch was ok….. 

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Here’s the gang with a complimentary glass of champagne.  This is our last outing together for this year.  We head back to Buenos Aires later today.  And after that everyone starts their journey back to Arizona.  

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