Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Where to begin???

Tango de los Muertos is over. And it was a great festival. Tova and Carlos put together such a wonderful 4 days of dancing, fun and more dancing..... it was the best.
So where to begin?
I have no idea.
I don't want to write a novel, there are some who do that and it irritates me to no end, but so much was packed into the 4 days, I could not possibly cover everything. So instead I will cover some highlights.

- Hosting Felipe and Rosa - just lovely people. They had the run of the apartment and privacy as I stayed with Sorin. And despite some horrible luck with driving (Big Dig detours, ugh...), I think that they enjoyed their time here. Rosa spent time with Sorin and me in the practica Friday working on embrace and posture, and her help was greatly appreciated. I felt more when she adjusted my posture and made me think differently about how to open up and maintain connection in the chest through posture and head position. Eye opening stuff.

- Hosting friends at Sorin's - we had a houseful, 4 guests and the two of us. But breakfasts were the best. We had pancakes and eggs and coffee and toast and conversation. I loved having all of us sitting around the table talking after dancing all night, munching on snacks before stumbling off to bed and sleeping until noon. Just the best. And falling asleep exhausted in the arms of the man I adore. Even better.

Dancing - I could so get used to dancing from 10pm to 5 am and then sleeping until noon. The all night milongas were great, and the Friday night milonga went until 3am, so that was no slouch of a time either. I learned to sit out the crazy hours of 11pm to 1am, and half of that time was performances anyway, and thus I could dance without foot pain until the sun came up. I had some great dances with new partners, some fantastic dances with friends from all over, and some wonderful dances with local favorites. Sunday night, I was rather on edge from the stress of hosting the milonga, and that seemed to help me in my dance, as I was so grateful to focus on something else, that I was moving really well. Even Sorin said that I was, and for him to compliment me, I know I was moving well. I just felt good throughout the festival, and I believe that translated into my dance. I just enjoyed myself, my partner and the music. And I was happy with that. :-)

Private lesson with Tomas Howlin - What can I say, it was beyond worth the money we paid. I had been trying to book a private with Tomas after a friend's recommendation for awhile now, but things kept getting in the way. Well, he e-mailed me and said he would be in town for the festival and did I want to schedule that private. Yes! I did! Sorin went with me and I asked for help with musicality and being a more active, involved follower without back-leading. Sorin wanted his musicality analyzed. And so we danced half a song and Tomas immediately saw that I was not connecting fully with my leader, that I needed to be more responsive with my torso, and I needed to make musicality a punctuation to my dance, not dance in one vocabulary which then becomes how I move as opposed to musical expression. Wow. Um. Loads to work on!
And of course, he also immediately took Sorin apart too, he told Sorin that he was too greedy. His exact words. He told Sorin that he was dancing every nuance he heard and not allowing there to be any pause and respite in between the phrases, that even his pauses were punctuated, and that he was moving only in one vocabulary, he needed to mix it up and find different ways to move and to allow the melody every once in awhile be the dance. I think you could have knocked Sorin over with a feather. He was not expecting that, and I rather laughed that I was not the only one picked apart in a matter of seconds. It was a great lesson that went by too quickly and was worth every penny.

-Enjoying the moment. Possibly the best lesson I had here. Enjoy myself, enjoy the dance, enjoy my partner. And if I am not, then be gracious in ending it.

So those are the highlights. There was more, much more. Some good, some not so good, and some stressful, but all in all - a great time was had by all.


caroline said...

Heard from some people here that you did a great job hosting your milonga and that everyone had a great time.

Tomas is a fantastic teacher. He really helped me last spring in such a way that it changed me utterly for the better.

Tina said...

Thanks for the description of your time spent with Tomas. I'm going to have to remember that, he seems like a great teacher.
Wish I could have gone to the festival!

Debbi said...

Thanks Caroline! I am glad to know that the Montreal contingency enjoyed themselves! And I can totally see how Tomas would change one's dance for the better. If you ever get the opportunity Tina to take a Private Lesson with him, you should! And you should also mark your calendar for next year's TdlM! You'd be welcome to stay with me and we could have such fun chatting about this that and the other at the milongas (and afterwards!) ;-) And if Caroline came too, we would have too much fun! ;-)