Wayward Travels

Thursday, July 13, 2006

¡El Tango!

What could capture Buenos Aires better than the tango? This evening I saw a wonderful tango show at the magestic and historic Cafe Tortoni. A sultry, sophisticated dance, the tango originated in the brothels, but some came to international class when the dance was brought to Paris. Tango refers to the music, the dance, and even the songs of this art form. Tonight´s show featured two singers who sang some of the true classics of tango, two dancers who absolutely dazzled, and three musicians who brought this music to life. Tango music can be played by a variety of instruments, but tonight´s trio played the classic combination of the piano, upright bass, and bandeón (a sort of accordian). The bandeón player´s fingers somehow navigated a seemingly unintelligible array of buttons and keys, the bassist played with soul, and the pianist´s hands seemed to dance on the entire length of the keyboard. The tango as a dance is a passionate, disciplined one. The dancers´ footwork was a marvel; they stepped so quickly and precisely with kicks and turns and twist and more. If dancing well is like two people moving as one, then success! While most of the footwork and motions were quite rapid, a few slow segments left me feeling positively voyeuristic, as the dancers proved the sultry, sexy heritage to the tango drives the dance at all points. I am excited to see some street performances of tango in San Telmo on Sunday, and who knows--maybe I´ll go to another show or (gasp) even a lesson. Hooray for tango. I loved it!
I sat in the front row of the small venue at a table with three older folks from Florida, who have come to Argentina as part of their tango club in Jacksonville. How fantastic! Two have travelled much of the world, from Europe to Antarctica to Africa. To hear the gentleman talk made me dream of what kind of person I´d like to be when Í´m 65 and what the years between now and then could look like. In addition to the company of these fine folks, I enjoyed a delicious drink whose name I don´t know... it came in two copper vessels, one with steamed milk, one with a rich, dense chocolate. I did one of those "what are those folks at the next table having and can I have one please?" numbers and was truly rewarded. The chocolate was so rich and thick (almost as good as Guatemala) and required a healthy dose of water at the end. Sure, it set me back a few pesos, but wow.
All in all, I am newly invigorated by the tango, and can only recommend that you see a good tango show when you come to Bs. As. So come.


Blogger Jay and Anu Shah said...

Tango, now that is a great way to lose weight. Learning Tango will be now on my list of what to do while being retired!



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