Who needs lights?

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?

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3 Responses to “Who needs lights?”

  1. jantango Says:

    It may take a long time for organizers to realize that lighting and social dancing go hand in hand. They try to provide what they believe will create a nice ambiance based on their misconceptions about milongas in Buenos Aires.

    I heard recently from a friend in the USA who attended the five-day festival in Miami Beach, Florida. He wrote that the room was pitch black and inviting women with the cabeceo was impossible. He managed to have several pleasant tandas, but that was only after recognizing the hairstyles of his partners.

    It is unfortunate that London organizers work so hard to provide tango dances and yet fail to pay attention to the important details–lighting and good quality music for dancing.

  2. Arlene Says:

    Hi Yabotil,

    I wrote about this in my ‘who turned out the lights’ post! The lighting is generally poor in most of the London milongas, I agree! You should have come to The Crypt on Saturday, the lighting was pretty good for a change! 🙂

    • yabotil Says:

      I think after your post, lighting in some of the London Milongas have improved. And this new venue is called ‘The Light’ — but they’ve got everything there except light! Carablanca has been good the few times I’ve been there this year. I think if enough people ask for change and if enough people write about them, eventually things do change 🙂 For example, I noticed more places playing cortinas between tandas now.

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