Sunday, July 29, 2007

Deprivation

For the past week or so I have been deprived, of tango and of modern technology. I am working out in the middle of nowhere, which is lovely in one sense, but torturous in others.
I feel disconnected, separated, and a little uneasy at this. However I am also having a wonderful time. Go figure....

I have found out that there is a local tango practica on Tuesdays, so I am going to check it out, but I have no idea what I am going to find, I’ll make sure to report back after Tuesday, but here I sit today, one week without tango and I fear atrophy.

On the other hand, I am working long hours, and really don’t seem to have any time to really do much else. Which is good, as where I am staying has no TV and no internet of any sort. I am going to upload this tomorrow (Sunday – my only day off) at the café in town which has free wifi.

But here I sit tonight, Saturday night, after working a long day, and missing out on the once a month all night milonga in Providence. Sorin is there. And I am imagining a room full of happy tango people, and I am not there. Somehow, that is not right. And somehow, I am disturbed that I am now eyeing projects and work with the added dilemna of “Is there tango?”
Someone bring me some tango please. My shoes are starting to gather dust, and my legs are restless…. And I fear the return of the blah-leo if I don’t get a dance soon!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Shoe Bags!

Here are some of the shoe bags I have available for purchase. These are all limited editions, as there is a limit on how much fabric I could obtain. I am very picky about fabrics, and would rather buy a limited supply of something fabulous than a whole bolt of nothing special.
(And I hope it goes without saying that the shoes pictured do not come with the bags...... ;-} )

All photography was taken by Sorin

Below is a picture which shows what I mean by single pouch with divider, I've received some e-mails asking what that looks like, so here it is. I am working on photos of the two pouch bags and will update this posting with those as soon as I can. Thanks!








(Happy little toes peeking out of their pretty home!)








Pink Bailarín - single pouch with divider, duppioni silk, cream satin drawstring. $15.00 plus shipping and handling. 2 available.



Leopard Bailarín - single pouch with no divider (fabric is too soft for a good divider, I am looking for a complimentary fabric to use as the internal divider. Once I find one, I will post updated photos), linen, black drawstring. $15.00 plus shipping and handling. 4 available.



Crocodile Bailarín - single pouch with divider, satin, black drawstring. $15.00 plus shipping and handling. 3 available.





Mediterranean Bailarín - single pouch with divider, duppioni silk, black drawstring. $15.00 plus shipping and handling. 6 available.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Tango Shoe Bags

Well, it has finally happened. Tango has crossed the line into my professional world. I am now a tango vendor. I will be a vendor at Tango de los Muertos with my shoe bags and light weight knit wrap tops for women.

I started making shoe bags because I absolutely HATED the cheap, fiber bags that you got for free with your tango shoes. They fell apart too easily and were ugly. The bags that come with your Comme il Faut shoes are better, but the satin is cheap and the colors are a little muddy. I have made a shoe bag to match each shoe I own, and I store my shoes in the bags. So I just grab the green satin Oriental print bag if I want my green shoes, or the Red Satin bag if I want my Comme il Faut red suede shoes. I don't worry about the shoes getting dusty as they are safe in the bag, and I keep the shoes separated, so they don't bang against each other. Since I have a thing for suede shoes, and suede is very susceptible to nicks and bumps, this has been a great way to keep them as pristine as possible.

And I am going to start offering my shoe bags through my blog to my readers who are interested. I will post pictures soon, have to borrow Sorin's camera to take some good pictures of what I have already made. But if you are interested in purchasing a shoe bag or two, drop me a line and let me know. I have many fabrications available, from silk to satin to wool to linen. And every color in the rainbow. There are two styles for women, a single pouch bag with a divider, and a double pouch bag similar to the Comme il Faut bags but slightly better in construction. I also make bags for men that are dark wool or linen and are larger than the women's bags in both styles. The price is going to be $15.00US per bag, shipping cost will be additional, depending on what type of shipment you prefer. (I will ship internationally, let me know where you are and I'll let you know the price options for shipment). I will also be making more ornamental bags with embroidery and/or appliques, they will be $20-$25US depending on the design.

My e-mail for this venture is Debbi.Does.Design@gmail.com.

tango, camping and bug bites

Well, we just got back from the Yale Tango Camping Weekend and had a good time there. Camping and tango? Yes, who knew, these two go together? Apparently they do. The camp site was a really lovely area owned and operated by Yale. The dining hall overlooked the lake and the view was gorgeous. THe dining hall itself is where the classes and dancing happened. There was a deck outside the hall, but the wood was too grippy and splintery to really dance on well. On the flip side, the hall floor was a skating rink it seemed. Feet slipping everywhere, even in dance sneakers! But we gave it a good cleaning and mopping which seemed to help and then throughout the dancing someone would sporadically spritz the floor (using water guns! hee hee) which would help too.

Robin Thomas and his teaching partner Kayla, from Nevada, came to give classes and guided practicas, and it was worth it simply to go and take his classes. I really like his teaching style and blunt approach. I learned quite a bit in the three days he taught. And was even lucky enough to dance with him for a tanda. I had to laugh, the first two tangos of the tanda were lovely and fun, and then for the third, he stepped up the level about a hundred notches and I did my best to follow him. Which I was able to most of the time, although I can not say I did so well or particularly gracefully. But it was fun nonetheless and a great workout in listening!

The atmosphere was fairly relaxed and casual. Sorin and I were expecting dancing all the time with breaks for camp stuff and lake stuff. But it was more camp and lake activities with breaks for dancing. There were even some people who came to camp who never came to any classes or practi-longas. Which puzzled me, but hey, to each their own. I did get to dance throughout the weekend with some of my favorite NYC leaders who came down, which was lovely.

Unfortunately Saturday night's milonga I missed out on. We had decided to join in the lake activities that afternoon and went swimming for a little while. But that was enough sun to affect me apparently. Because by the time Robin's class ended and the milonga began, I was not feeling well. I was shakey and unbalanced. I downed 2 and 1/2 glasses of OJ, thinking I needed some sugar, and that was the wrong thing to do. I immediately felt worse. Sorin danced a tanda with me and my following had gone all to crap and I felt like I was on the verge of tears. Uh-oh, I know this feeling. Sunstroke. I am too susceptible to sunstroke. So Sorin was a dear and took me back to camp, tucked me into the sleeping bag and kissed me goodnight as he headed back for the milonga. The next morning I felt infinitely better. Which was good as I spent pretty much the entore day dancing until we had dinner and had to pack to leave.

All in all it was fun, and I do enjoy camping. I always seem to sleep really well in a tent in the great outdoors. And Sunday morning we woke up to the gentle sound of light rain on the tarp above the tent, which is one of my favorite sounds. I find it very soothing. Oh, and yes, I am covered in bug bites. The bugs there were particularly tenacious and seemed to view bug repellent as a tasty sort of marinade....

Friday, July 13, 2007

Sorin and I dancing in Montreal



Here is the video of Sorin and I dancing at L'Academie, which Caroline was so kind as to tape for us. It is a whole tanda, so be warned it is not a short clip. Excpet for one bobble in the middle of the second tango, I am rather pleased with how it looks. Not bad for a follower who has been dancing less than 7 months! Obviously there are things that need work, I have resigned myself to the fact that there always will be, but on the whole, this tape made me happy.
:-)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Leaving so Soon?!?

Yes, we are. It feels as though we just got here, and now we are packing up and heading south again. It was a trip filled with both good and disappointing times. But the good outweigh everything else. I'll post more later, once I've had some real sleep, but the International Festival was a disappointment. The milognas were expensive, which we knew going in, but there was no bang for your buck so to speak. Most nights the DJ was pretty awful. He played music that was obscure, unknown, and often undanceable. He liked it. No one else really did. The one thing I did appreciate though, was that when he played music that people did not like, they did not dance. And usually the better dancers were the ones sitting out the awful tandas. Not that the DJ seemed to mind that of a room of 200 people or so, there were maybe 20 - 30 on the dance floor. But I think that showing your dissatisfaction with the music by not dancing is the proper response. Even if the DJ does not pick up on it.

However, there was one exception, Tuesday, Michel was the DJ (he is the regular DJ at L'Academie on Sundays, which is possibly the best milonga I have been to. Period.)And his music was fantastic.

Our last night there, Wednesday, we went to Studio Tango and met up with our friend Caroline one last time. This was the highlight of the trip and I am so glad that we left on a high. I danced all night, and without one bad tanda. In fact the best dance of the night was with a lovely new friend we made while up there, and I think the only "figures" he did was an orcho cortada or two and molinettes. That's it. The rest was dynamic changes and musicality within the salida. It was beyond lovely and one of the dances that really stands out to me. Caroline also danced with him, and the both of us just glowed afterwards. It was one of those types of leaders.

Caroline was kind enough to tape Sorin and I one night at L'Academie, and I'll post that soon.

I am so sad to be leaving Montreal. This city is fast feeling like home to me. I love the tango scene, yes, but the people are lovely. I can't count how many times Sorin and I were on the motorcycle, looking at a map, and people would stop and ask us if we needed directions. That does not happen in Boston. And the city is so lively, so interesting. Sigh.... I've fallen in love with that city.... ;-)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Heading to Montreal

Off again soon to the great tango north. Montreal. Sorin and I are heading to the Montreal International Tango Festival Saturday. I am really looking forward to going back to the city that I love. The last time we went I had the most lovely time and met some wonderful people. This time we are being hosted by someone that we met on our last visit. He is Romanian, as is Sorin, and he very generously offered to host us for the festival. Which was a relief for us as tango has been taking large bites out of both of our bank accounts this summer. But that does not stop us! :-) Then after the festival we are going to the Yale Summer Tango Camp. Tango 24 hours a day and camping! What could be better! Add Robin Thomas! Yup, Robin will be there teaching and I am really looking forward to taking classes with him. The classes I took with him at the Yale Festival this past spring were great and I really appreciate his teaching style.

So it is going to be a week full of tango and travel.... I could really get used to this.... ;-P

Monday, July 02, 2007

LongaMilonga

This weekend was the LongaMilonga at Providence. I always look forward to this event as it usually draws the best of the best, is a fantastic space and the DJs are always great. This month Adam Hoopengardner was the DJ and he taught a milonga class before the milonga. I fully expected the class to be well attended as milonga is a weak spot in the Boston scene, many could due with a good solid basics class in milonga, myself very much included. To my surprise, the class was a total of 7 people. 7. That was so disappointing. Adam is a wonderful milonga dancer and his teaching technique is very good, so I thought it would be more of a draw. But then the milonga started and the attendance was the weakest I have ever seen. This weekend there was an all night milonga in NYC and two milongas in Boston, so the attendance in Providence was rather low. So I better understood why the class was so poorly attended. It is sad when the Providence events are not strongly attended. Ellen does such an amazing job with this place, and I just love the events there. People really should take the effort to drive there as it is so worth it.

At the LongaMilonga, I had an opportunity to dance with Adam, and it was just so lovely. I was almost denied the dance though. I had just danced for 5 tandas straight with two different leaders and had just poured myself some water when a beginner approached and asked for a dance. I said I needed one song to rest and have some water. So he agreed to wait and went a few tables away to sit. Then Adam approached and asked for a dance. I was like a deer in headlights. I so-o-o-o wanted to say yes, but I did not want to be rude to the beginner, so I explained to Adam that I had just accepted a tanda but I REALLY wanted to dance with him. Adam was very lovely and promised that we would dace later. Which relieved my mind as Adam certainly is a lead I do not want to turn down ever. He asked me soon after my dance with the beginner, and I happily accepted. I danced better than I did the last time I danced with him, which was a month ago or so. I was so nervous the last time, I have no idea what I did. But this time I was able to relax and enjoy his lead, which is so crystal clear and gentle it is a pleasure to dance with him. I had a good night of dancing, even though the milonga was lightly attended, a lot of my favorite local leads were there, and Adam's music was really good, as always.
HERE is a link to a picture of me with one of my favorite leaders and friends, pretty good! I wish I could say that I was wearing white stockings, but that is my fair Irish complexion....

There is another lead who has moved back to the area whom i would love to dance with. He looks like silk when he dances, and all of his followers have that soft bliss face when they dance with him. I have tried to cabaceo him at the last two events that he was at, but to no avail. I still have such a hang-up about approaching a leader to dance that I do know, never mind one that I don't know! But Sorin gave me a good piece of advice on how to approach a leader you don't know, and I think the next time I see this lead (another S! Ha! Deb's tango dance is brought to you by the letter S....) I will take his advice and approach him. We'll see..... I wonder if I will ever become comfortable asking for a dance. There are a few leaders that I can easily ask for a dance, but these are friends. Funny though, I am completely at ease with the cabaceo. I have used that multiple times, I even used it in NYC to invite leaders I did not really know to dance, and that was fine. It is the whole approaching thing that I have a hard time with. I think I look at it as if they wanted to dance with me, they would approach me. If they don't approach, then they must not want to dance with me.

Ack. Maybe I need to get over myself.


In another world related to tango, I think I did something to my feet from dancing. To my toes actually. I mentioned a few months ago that I had pain in my toes from dancing, I started using pads for the balls of my feet and that helped for awhile, but this past weekend the pain came back, and to an extent that I had to lay down for awhile while sharp pains pulsed through my ankles down to my toes. And for the last two days I have had residual pain in my toes. I thought at first it was my ankle, but it is my toes. Made an appointment with my doctor for this week before Sorin and I leave for Montreal and we'll see what he says. Of course, what he is going to say is to stop dancing 5 days a week in 4" heels, but that is not giong to happen, so we'll see what his plan B is.