Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Providence Alternative Festival
Well, it was a great festival I have to say. Although I did not attend any classes, I did attend the milongas and guided practicas and I had a great time. Friday, as I stated before, I was a little grumbly from allergies, but Saturday through Monday I had great dances, talked with some great people, made new friends, and thoroughly exhausted and enjoyed myself.
Before the milongas on Saturday and Sunday, Tova and Carlos Moreno lead guided practicas that, although thinly attended (most likely as people were in classes or getting food), were very helpful. S and I worked on different things, and there were several times where we would throw up the white flag to have Carlos come over and help us with what one or both of us were missing. I adore Carlos and Tova as they seem to be able to diagnose issues and offer recommendations for fixing or adjusting that are insightful. Plus they are too much fun!
Friday night Adam Hoopengardner was the DJ and as always, his music was well thought out and vibed with the energy of the dancers. Saturday was Yulia Kriskovets, who played a good amount of alternative music, some of which I actually liked. Which was surprising to me, considering I am not a huge fan of alternative tango music. Although with the right partner, it can be a hell of a lot of fun. Sunday milonga was Shorey Meyers, and I am fast becoming a huge fan not only of her dancing and teaching, but of her DJ abilities. There was a point when S mentioned that she was always setting up the tanda that was 2 tandas away, which, although keeps her busy and off the dance floor, it also means she is very connected to the dancers under her umbrella of music and mood and she takes care of them. I loved every minute of that Sunday milonga. Monday was quiet, as most people had left, but those who were there were treated to Evan Griffiths DJ-ing. And as usual, he did a fantastic job.
So, those were our maestros for the evenings.
Now on the the dancers and the vibes of the night. ;-)
Saturday was the Longa Milonga, so it started at 9 and went until 6am. We grabbed a bite to eat with a group of people in between the practica and milonga (indian food, YUM!), and when we got back and changed into fresh clothes, you could feel the energy in the air rising. S and I danced a tanda or two and I felt really good. I felt like I was moving well, and giving feedback, and dancing. S also mentioned that I was doing well, which made me feel great (as you know, his compliments are few and far between, and when given they are really uplifting). I can't even begin to recount the dances I had, there were too many, we danced for over 7 hours. I had some amazing tandas with several leaders, both local favorites and leaders from NJ, NY, NH, DC, and Canada. I had a wonderful connection with a gentleman from NY whom I had seen dancing at Chelsea Market before, L, and dancing with him was just divine. He had the firm yet gentle lead, and his musicality was delightful. I felt the phrases of the music when we danced, I could contribute, and it was truly a tango moment with him. I am guessing that he enjoyed it as well as he asked me for dances later in the night and through the next day. It is truly wonderful to find someone that you connect so clearly with.
This is also the night I was lucky enough to dance with Murat. And I know that the next time I am lucky enough to dance with him I will have improved in both my embrace, musicality, and contribution to the dance.
The instructors performed somewhere after midnight. Carlos sang (I believe) Mi Corazon (someone correct me if I am wrong) with piano and electric violin accompaniment, and he was great. What a powerful voice he is developing! We chatted later in the evening and he told me the story behind the song, that it was all about this beautiful woman whom ever man wanted, but she was joining a nunnery, and every man wanted to deflower the flower of the barrio. I love how the words sound so romantic and then you hear the translation.... ;-)
Then the instructors performed, and it was lovely to see. S took video of the performances, and it will be posted to the providence tango website soon. Take a peek at Carlos and Tova's very flirty, very funny tango when it is posted.
We lasted until around 4:30 when S and I realized that we needed to stay awake to get back home. So by 6am we were just falling asleep. :-) so cool....
Sunday's milonga was also fantastic, lots of good dances, lots of good conversation and all around a great time. I won't go into all the dances, but it was more of the same and I had a great night dancing until 3am or so.
Monday's milonga was very quiet, most people had left by then, but those that stayed were still going strong, albeit a little more mellow. S and I had our private with Murat and Michelle right before the milonga, as I wrote before, and so we were already warmed up when we walked over from the small studio to the large studio. It was definitely a more mellow crowd, and I can't remember how long we lasted, but by the time we got home we were both zonked.
But I am very happy to report that although my feet were tired by the end, they were not in pain and there was no cramping, so now I understand the almost rabid following for Comme il Faut shoes! And I am joining the ranks of the converts!