Monday, March 26, 2007

Potpourri of tango

It was a full tango weekend. Well, maybe not completely full, we sat home on Friday, but Saturday and Sunday was full to the gill (or full to the stiletto??) of tango. This weekend was the Boston Potpourri festival, and it was quite a bit of fun. There were some really great instructors brought in, and watching them perform Saturday evening at the milonga was a real treat. Murat and Michelle were there, and they are fast becoming one of my favorite couples to watch and take class with. Another performing couple were Marika and Bulent from Montreal, who are always lovely to watch and really a pleasure to talk with. The milonga Saturday night was pretty good. It was very well attended, so much that at the height of the milonga it was very packed and navigation was quite the challenge. The one thing that seemed to aggravate the leaders I danced with was the general lack of adherence to the line of dance. People were going where ever they seemed to want to, or wherever they thought that they possibly saw a little space, and it got a little like bumper cars at the amusement park. Although I always completely appreciate feeling the protective leader bubble that envelops me when we are dancing (I dance with my eyes closed still) as it makes me aware that someone near us is either not paying attention or is misbehaving (back boleos on a crowded floor?!?!? For shame!). I collected a few new bruises, but nothing bad. The only other mar was that sometime after midnight the music took a drastic change to alternative music. Now alternative music can be fun, and it certainly has its place, but unfortunately the music was all the same sort of slow, plodding pop music that makes nice background music while you are driving, but drove some of us bananas in dancing. One of my favorite leaders I was not able to nab until after midnight, and we worked through three tandas of this slow, uninspiring alternative music. Now I absolutely adore dancing with him and he is able to make bad music fun, but he also makes good music amazing, so I would certainly have preferred good music. But, we made the best of it, and I think I will make mention of this to either the organizers or the DJ and the abrupt transition after the instructor performances was jarring and rather disappointing. I know not everyone will be happy all the time, but it seems many people were unhappy with the late night music.

Then Sunday morning class with Murat and Michelle, which I was very excited for. They were going to teach this signature style that the dance, side by side, which you can see in the link I attached above to their names. I love it. I think it looks fantastic and allows all sorts of playful qualities to come through. Plus it is a little different, and different can be good. And can I mention that they were fantastic teachers. They did not teach patterns or series of steps. They taught movements, motion, and feeling. And then we blended it all together and saw what came out. Brilliant! S took the class with me and we stuck together as partners which was great for two reasons, one is we know how the other moves, and when I get frustrated at trying to learn something new, he can diffuse my frustration very easily. The second reason is that the level of dancers in the class was far from consistent, I know two followers who were in that class who most likely should not have been. But, then again, if you look at the length of time I have been dancing, someone might say I should not either.

On that note, I have to make a comment on one follower I saw there. She was wearing SLIPPERS!!!! And I don't mean ballet slippers, or even ballet like bedroom slippers, I mean HUGE-ASS fuzzy slippers that are as wide as her foot was long!! I have no idea why she was not asked to leave and come back with appropriate footwear, you don't have to wear 4" stilettos, but for the love of all things good and pure, you have to wear SHOES! She could have hurt herself or her partner. I have no doubt that if I was a leader I most likely would have refused to partner her.

Ok, rant over.

The lesson was fantastic, and I hope to practice the moves more with S so that we can dance with this in our vocabulary.
After the lesson, we grabbed some food, chatted with Murat and Michelle a little, then went over to practica, where we worked on what we just learned for an hour or so, all the time S had to diffuse my frustration. I think I am having growing pains as suddenly I have to work really hard to learn subtleties that I glossed over before. I hope these pains end soon. Then the last half hour I practiced with O and B, who (as always) were not only fun but helpful.

But why stop then? The day was not over! J invited us over to make some dinner at his place and dance. Marika and Bulent were his guests and they were heading back to Montreal that night, so off we went to J's. Considering that Marika is S's tango crush, I knew that we would have no choice but to go ;-). It was a lovely time chatting and eating, Marika and Bulent are lovely people and I hope to see them when we go up to Montreal. J invited his friend A over and after Marika and Bulent left, we went into J's empty living room and danced. Finally we called it a night a little past midnight, I turned into a pumpkin and home we went.

This morning my feet are rather sore and I have new callouses forming, which means I certainly worked myself in a good way.

Next weekend, Performance and milonga Friday, All night festival Saturday, brunch tango Sunday morning, and practica Sunday afternoon. I better start storing sleep now! I'm going to need all the energy I can get!


Caroline said...

Wow! What stamina you have. Yep, yep, callouses, a sure sign of a devoted dancer. It was only this year that I've finally started using lotion on my feet. Never needed to before.

Debbi said...

Stamina... maybe. But when I crash I crash hard. Monday morning was really difficult to crawl out of bed, and my feet were less than happy with me. In fact, I am pretty sure that they were give me the finger (the toe maybe??). But it is worth it!

La Tanguera said...

It sounds like so much fun! I'm sorry I couldn't travel to Boston for this!!!!! (and is there a better pain that that in the feet after a good night of dance???)

On the video link... Murat and Michelle have always been truly great dancers, but they are really growing together and becoming absolutely superb, in my humble view...