Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Fond Farewell

This won't come as a surprise to the lonely few that read my blog, but I've decided not to post here any more. I have another blog for writing (which I won't post a link to for various personal reasons) where I update regularly. It has been interesting, and quite fun sharing my tango adventures with people.

Besos y abrazos.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Humiliation

Yep, other people get danced with on their birthday. I get shunned. God, you'd think I'd be used to it by now. Instead I sit here in tears. Remind me never to do that again. No wonder I usually stay home and write or read or whatever.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thoughts on Music

I've listened to what we in the tango community term nuevo music long before I started dancing tango, in fact I started listening to dance music back when disco was all the rage.

Back in the early 90's, disco re-invented itself by calling itself techo. When I moved here in 1999, I used to scrounge the electronic/techno section at HMV looking for great techno music. Like tango music, not all of it sounds great.

In the '90's, Stephan Pompougnac released his first Hôtel Costes compilation. His third cd included the song "Last Tango in Paris" by the Gotan Project. When I started dancing tango, that connection was enough to push me in two ways. I purchased Gotan Project cds, but also purchased Stephan Pompougnac's compilations and individual cds as well.

That gave me a broad base to choose from when I started to create a playlist. But I discovered music for enjoyment doesn't always translate well to music for danceability. Techno music breaks into two categories: songs with a very regular beat, or songs with a very jazz inspired sound.

In my opinion, the jazz inspired nuevo music doesn't work for dancing tango. No beat or rhythm exists to latch on to. And the other, regular beat should never be confused with tango with its long sweeps and dramatic pauses. But they are perfect for the regularity of the milonga rhythms.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm On

Tonight I dj for the first time. I have my playlist locked and loaded and my iPod (two actually, just in case) charged and ready to go. Right now, I'm listening again, just to make sure that my music choices will create that amazing tango connection we all know when we experience it. And to make sure the cortina only plays 30ish seconds of the song like it is supposed to.

Not only could I create the foundation for an amazing evening, I've also got the potential to wreck an evening for an entire group. And a group with visitors. Okay, breathing now. Reminding myself I can do this. Wow, the pressure.

But hey, if nothing else, I'd dance to this.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Dj-ing

Looks like I'm going to take a small step sideways from the dance floor to the dj booth. Well, that might be a huge step. It won't be regular, only the occasional Sunday night for the practica. I have one night worth of music set up. This could be exciting. Or a bit like jumping into the deep end of a swimming pool when you don't know how to swim. My first night will either be October 18th (depending on whether the guest teacher also wants to dj) or October 25th. Cross your fingers and wish me luck.

Or come out and laugh--your choice.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Art (or Creativity) and Ego

Last night watching So You Think You Can Dance (Canada), a fellow got eliminated in a fit of ego (mostly his). He also tried out last year, and wound up disqualified at the same point--ballroom. The judges pointed out that last year he also had trouble with this form of dance and that he should have expected it to come up again this year and prepare himself by taking a few classes.

He rolled his eyes. Yes, rolled his eyes. So they tried to instruct him, give him pointers on how to improve. Not a bad concept, after all the judges are all professionals and teaching is part of what professionals do.

He rolled his eyes. Yep, again. After much chest thumping swagger and eye rolling on his part, he stormed off the stage, dragging his enormous ego behind him. He yelled at everyone from the judges to the camera man (who lapped up the drama and followed him for several minutes of amazing, over-the-top ranting).

Wow, I did mention the guy had a big ego, right?

Which brings me to the point of this post.

In the arts of any form, park your ego at the door. Take classes, watch YouTube, ask questions. Give yourselve a large dose of humility and learn from those that are better than you are.

And never, ever assume you've arrived and are the best.

Because you might just find out you are wrong.

Monday, August 10, 2009

On Following

Last night at tango, I watched someone I'd consider a top follow dance with a fellow from Argentina. What I saw made me question my own dancing (as it so often does). If this person lacked extension, didn't have any dis-association and bad posture, how do I look when I dance? I've often wondered that.

Anyone want to volunteer to take a video?