Archive for June, 2010

What is this music?

June 26, 2010

I caught up with a friend the other night at Negracha. We both started dancing tango three years ago and met in classes at OKTango. I’ve jumped to various schools across London while she’s remained loyal to her original school. Its been a while since we’ve seen each other in a Milonga although we keep each other updated via Facebook.

We were both at Negracha and she’d just been dancing downstairs where they play nuevo, pop and stuff I can’t quite tell what it is. In the past Negracha hasn’t been known for great music (or floorcraft or dancing), however, I think you can get lucky and on some nights, there are decent DJs.

My friend had come up during the last song of the tanda and a cortina came on. “How do you dance to this? Its strange music” she asks. “Well, this is a cortina, you don’t dance to this” I replied as people started clearing the floor. She had admitted that she didn’t know what a cortina is. They just don’t play them at her regular milonga.

I can’t believe someone can be dancing in a Tango scene for three years and not quite know what a cortina is. I must admit, sometimes I get confused when the salsa or nuevo tanda comes on but it never surprises me. Some DJs only play cortinas when there a change from Tango to Vals/Milonga and vice versa. Not ideal but better than those that just random mash songs together.

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How many women have you danced with?

June 8, 2010

A little while ago I was chatting to a tangeuro at Carablanca. It was a bit of a quiet night.

“I can’t believe this, I’ve only danced with four or five women tonight. I come here to dance. I’m going to Negracha.”

(Yes, please do – floorcraft would improve if you did)

I don’t know how to respond. I’m certain any honest response would’ve fallen on death ears. I think I had only danced with two women at the time I spoke to him. But at least they were good dances.

If I can get one good tanda then I think I’ve had a good night. I find that getting a really good dance in London is quite difficult. There are plenty of women who are brilliant dancers that I enjoy dancing with (and are willing to dance with me). But trying to get them to the right orchestra is always a challenge. Whats even harder is gettingĀ a dance when the floorcraft isn’t so bad. Its that combination of partner, music and floorcraft that makes the or breaks the night for me.

If I can get one really good dance where everything falls in place, then I’ve had a good evening, anything else is a bonus. I’m not sure how some people can use the number of people they’ve danced with to gauge how good a night they’ve had.

I later found out from that Tanguero’s Facebook that Negracha was just as quiet that night – what a pity …

Who needs lights?

June 6, 2010

You need decent lighting to be able to cabeceo someone.

Why do you want to cabeceo someone? Well, its the traditional way of inviting someone to dance in Argentine Tango.

Its useful for the man because he can get rejected without everyone else in the room noticing. Men will always be men. We hate being rejected and we certainly don’t want the world to know about it! So I use the cabeceo where and when I can.

However, if you’re at a milonga where its so dark that you can only see half the width of the dance floor, eye contact is very difficult. Not to mention that half the ladies aren’t even looking out for the cabeceo because there are so many men that don’t use it. Those men are happy for the whole dancefloor to see that they got rejected.

I was at The Light’s Saturday night opening. It was a nice venue but the lights weren’t very powerful and it was a blue-ish tint which makes it even darker. It was quite difficult to see very far in terms of trying to cabeceo someone. BUT – what I noticed was that I could barely make out who was who anyway. Except towards the end when most people had left and you could guess who was who, but earlier in the evening, even if you got rejected, people across the room certainly wouldn’t have known who you were.

So who needs lights and cabeceo when milonga organisers can just off the lights and make it as dim as possible so you can’t see people being rejected?