Monday, August 25, 2008

open to the possibilities

There is something really great about discovering a connection with someone you dance with for the first time. Sometimes it is also the first time you meet them. Keeping yourself open to possibilities is one of the exciting aspects of tango as far as I am concerned. Yes, there are leaders whom I look forward to dancing with whenever we are at the same milonga, but finding new favorites is just as wonderful. In chatting with someone recently, they mentioned that they only dance with those whom they already know that they will have a good connection with. I found that so limiting and, well, bizarre. Because in order to find out that there was a good connection, there had to be a moment of discovery, so why cut yourself off from that opportunity?

This discovery happened twice to me this last weekend in Providence. I danced with someone I have seen before at different venues and cities, but for whatever reason we never danced before, so I was thrilled when he asked me to dance as I had liked watching him dance with others. And I danced with someone who was visiting from the other side of the country and I had never met before, but again, I had seen him dancing during the night and thought he would be awfully fun to dance with.

Both were great in completely different ways, and I was so happy to find two such wonderful new connections. There is that trill of excitement that runs through you during the first moment of the first dance as you find the connection in the embrace and realize that this was going to be wonderful. Hearing your leader's musicality, hearing what he hears in the music, offering what you hear and feel. And then creating the music together.

It doesn't really get much better than that. :-)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

First real tango trauma

So last night was the second to last LongaMilonga in Providence. An era is coming to an end.

I had a great time there, despite a tango injury. I decided to try giving myself pedicures, because my toe nails had bruises and scrapes on them from floorcraft collisions, and they were just not as pretty as I wanted. So I bit the bullet and bought some really pretty dark blood red nail polish and tried to pretty up my tootsies. Seemed to work. And last night, I was dancing with a particularly athletic leader, and felt a sharp pain in my left big toe from something or other that caused me to scrape my own foot. I thought not much on it and continued dancing. Although at the end of the song, my foot felt odd. I looked down, did not see anything, shrugged, and continued the tanda. Half way through this song however, my foot felt decidedly squishy. Like wet sand squishy. And a little painful too. I made it through the song, looked down again, did not see anything. Bent down this time, and saw that my toes were covered in blood. oops. Guess blood red was not the best choice for nail polish! Excused myself to the bathroom where I discovered that I had removed most of my toenail and it was barely hanging on. (Insert dance of uncomfortable heebie jeebies here. I certainly did, only my left leg was in the sink as I did it.)

Hoo boy. And of course, once I saw I was hurt, I started to feel pain. So I cleaned my foot and my shoe (oh! My shoe! Stained!) as best I could. Debated the brilliance of removing the toenail that was sort of hanging on. Decided I just could not bring myself to do that. Found a large band-aid, some gauze and tape and wrapped that sucker up tight. Hobbled back to the floor to find some sympathy from Sorin, and wondered what to do. I did not want to stop dancing, but wouldn't it be prudent to do so?

Got some Advil, took 4.

Thought some more about stopping.

Found my canvas jazz flats that I brought with me. Brought them over to my seat.
Looked at them.
Thought some more.
Slipped the left one on just to see how it would feel.
Slightly uncomfortable, but tolerable.

Milonga Sentimental by Otros Aires came on. One of my favorites....

Turned to Sorin and asked him to help me see if I could dance with my toe like this. He gave me a look and a laugh and said ok.

Didn't go too bad. Just could not raise on my toes, had to stay flat footed. OK. I could do this. So we danced the next tanda.

yea, could not really do this.

Sat down for awhile, foot propped up to stop the throbbing.

A friend who had just come back from BsAs asked me to dance later. His hip was acting up and he knew I had hurt my toe, so I figured we could still dance. It was fun, we had a good time, and then he very gently sandwiched my left foot and I just about jumped out of my skin.


So the tanda ended, I apologized for my stupid toe and I went to sit down for the rest of the milonga.

I find it amazing that something as small as a toenail can wreck such havoc on one's evening.

And of course, today is the good practica in Cambridge.... maybe if I take 4 Advil now and 4 again before we leave.......

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

5 weeks is a long time to go without tango. A long time. I did not realize just how much I was going to miss it, or how much I needed it. I always looked forward to dancing after a stressful day, as it released all the pent up energy and allowed me to relax. Well, the 5 weeks I was away were very stressful and I had no outlet. So I was amazed that I did not jump out of my own skin when I finally came home and went out to dance.

I thought I would have regressed more than I did. Don't get me wrong, I certainly did have a regression, and I am very aware of the areas that got soft, and it is upsetting. I was just having a break through in responsiveness due to the help of some wonderful leaders, and now my brain knows what we talked about, and my body is saying "whhhaaaat?" But the joy of dancing has been absolutely rediscovered.

I got home Wednesday afternoon and we went dancing that night. Just walking up the stairs, hearing the familiar strains of D'Arienzo float down to greet me, was almost enough. Opening the door to the studio allowed the music to envelop me, my first abrazo back. I felt the excitement of Christmas morning as a 4 year old. Changed shoes, and Sorin and I danced for, I don't know, three or four tandas. It was heaven. I settled into his embrace like I had never left, and off we went. A few missteps here and there, but who cares. We were dancing. The only thing that threw me that night was someone took my glasses by accident, so I had no vision and was fearful of snubbing people because I could not see them. At all. Luckily this is not a cabaceo heavy milonga, so as forms came towards me I could recognize their shapes. I had wonderful dances, and a great time despite the lack of vision. Luckily, I got my glasses back on Saturday night from the woman who took them. She just grabbed them and left, as she is one of the lucky few who does not need glasses to see. If she had put them on, she would have immediately known they were not hers since I am blind and she apparently is not. But it was a couple of worrisome days without them.
But I left floating, which has not happened in awhile. Not because my world was rocked, but because I had danced and danced well despite my hiatus. And it was so lovely to have so many people say "You're back! We missed you!"

Thursday's practica was also good as Sorin and I worked together the whole night. He was called selfish by another leader, but hey! We had not danced with each other in so long, I think we are allowed a night together! And Sunday's practica we worked together for an hour as well, and my stubborn streak resurfaced to butt heads with his stubborn streak. Luckily, we were saved by one of my favorite milongas. I heard it start and I said "This is one of my favorite milongas, could we just dance this one?" We did, it was great fun, and then arguing about colgada leads seemed so silly. I danced the last tanda of the evening with a friend, who asked how long I had been away. Her response was "5 weeks?!?! You poor thing! 5 weeks without tango.... I couldn't do that!"

And now I know, although I could, I don't want to.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


It's a small world, and words travel far....

I am incredibly flattered by this. It made my day!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

40 Days and Nights.....

Today is my fortieth day in the Berkshires. I leave on the 41st. It has rained every day that I have been here. I am ready to be dry again.....
It was a challenging gig. On all counts. And it is over tomorrow.
Thank god.

I am tired, and I want to go home.

I want to sleep in my bed next to my man.
I want a shower that is not the gathering place for the house spiders.
I want to not be aggravated by directors who refuse to understand the difference between conceptual art and practical costumes.
I want to go dancing.

Although, I did get to dance for a fraction at one of the crew parties. If any of you know theatre folk... you know what crew parties can get like.... but there we all were, 12 or so of us, 8or so bottles of wine and a case of the local brew, and someone threw on a CD of swing music. My friend and coworker jumped up, he had a few beers, and grabbed me to lindy hop. Don't really know how, but his lead was so good, I did not really need to know. So suddenly we were the entertainment for everyone, bopping around the living room to some swing, and having an absolute blast. Not that I plan on giving up tango, but who knows? Maybe swing will be a fun sideline at crew parties from now on.... ;-)

I will miss the bats in the attic. They ate all the mosquitoes as they swooped around the garden at dusk.
I will miss the smell of wet grass and lilies in the morning.
I will miss the girls I dressed every night in their hooker fineries..... what a lovely group of budding professionals!
I will miss the crew, local 54, and their donut breaks... they never understood why I did not want to eat donuts twice a day......

So goodbye Tanglewood. Take care. And for goodness' sake, dry out!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Hiatus hiatus

Am in the middle of my tango hiatus..... going crazy..... stop.....send help... stop.....preferably in the form of DiSarli tango or Canaro milonga asap.......stop..... quickly!


Really though, the first week I was here I was climbing the walls. I felt like an outdoor cat who was shut into a closet and no one heard me yowling. I literally paced when we got home at night. My roommate would laughed at me. No tango, no tv, no internet (oh, I am hijacking the theatre's internet right now as this is the one day off before we head into tech hell and there is no one here to kick me out of the office, mwuahahaha!), no car, no nothing.... except for lots of thunderstorms. One tree split in half, one patron at The Shed was struck and survived. Me, I'm staying inside, dry and electric free, while enjoying the night light shows.

Although, lucky me, my antsy-ness was alleviated one weeknd. Sorin came to visit me for a weekend a week ago and he got to experience the country with me. And dear that he is, he found a milonga that was an hour away and we went. So I had one night of dancing, which was fun. The folks in Amherst MA were very welcoming and kind. Although I rather felt like an exotic animal because when we walked in, everyone turned to look. This is a small community, everyone knows everyone, and there are no surprises. And in walks two surprises. But once they figured out that we were not looking for directions to somewhere else, they were very warm and I had a very nice night. It just felt lovely to dance with Sorin again.

Once we start tech I won't be able to miss anything, I will be too busy, which will be a blessing. Then in about two weeks, I will be back home, safe and sound. And dancing again!