Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Buenos Aires - I wonder...

I am dancing a lot lately, and I am listening to tango music even more. I have taken to looking up the lyrics of the songs that I like so that I can sing them with the music (and understand the parts I cannot figure out on my own – BTW anyone know a good on-line dictionary which would also contain Argentine slang? a monolingual one would do), and they are ever so beautiful! In fact, I hardly ever listen to other music than tango anymore – there still seems to be so much to discover – and while I am perfectly content that way, I have a feeling it might sometimes be a bit overwhelming for those around me, who think that there are only so many times you can listen to a tango...(apart from listening to tango on my iPod, which is quite harmless, I love listening to tango CDs in the living room on a quiet evening at home... or when receiving guests... and when I am cooking... and baking... and getting dressed up and ready to go out... I just like it as a background to my life.

From which it follows that I need more tango music, right? So that people don´t get bored listening to the same tangos all over again and again:)

I have great hopes concerning tango music to buy when I go to Buenos Aires. And the shoes, of course. The shoes...

And the dancing, I suppose...?

Well, the thing is.. I have already got my ticket to Argentina. And the place to stay. And much as I long to dance in the milongas of Buenos Aires, I would also like to see a bit of the country and not just its capital city. I find that seeing the countryside may be very illuminating when getting to know a country, because a capital city will always be the capital. We´re planning to travel up to the north-east, to the provinces near the Bolivian and Chilean border. So I am really looking forward to the whole trip, and have started counting down the days till February.

I am also looking forward to taking some classes in Buenos Aires, and of course to the milongas! But, reading people´s posts about the dancing in B.A., I wonder... Why do some people consider it to be nothing short of paradise? And then, again, specify that ´even´ in B.A. there are some bad dancers...?! Well, of course, there are bound to be better and worse dancers, aren´t there, they are humans like everyone else and not everyone is a born dancer. I know quite a few Argentines who couldn´t dance to save their lives, and why should they?

I do hope that there will be more tangueros in B.A. who dance with the music, not just on it, who dance to connect with their partner, who know how to hold a woman, who know that less is sometimes more, who know how to pause. It may be thanks to the culture of not rushing things and, what is most important, NOT seeing tango as a sport (I am quite allergic to that kind of attitude – but, again, though you may find it more common in some countries than in others, I think it is a personal thing, just like when some people aren´t able to truly feel and enjoy classical music, or delight in the taste of good wine).

Don´t get me wrong, I can´t wait to dance in Buenos Aires, I believe it IS necessary for everyone who takes tango seriously; it is, after all, where it all began..

But then again, it is important to realize that the B.A. milongas are also attended by foreigners, who undoubtedly all go there to dance with porteños, and end up dancing with each other:) and why not? Why do people – foreigners travelling to B.A. – speak so dismissively of ´turistas´??? I live in a breathtakingly beautiful city which is one of the biggest tourist destinations, mainly because of its ´romantic atmosphere´. I have listened to countless tourists say, wistfully: ´It is a beautiful city, ever so lovely, if only there weren´t so many tourists...(sigh)´ Pardon me?! And what would YOU be doing here, then? (I have never actually said that, but the look of astonishment must have been pretty eloquent) We, the locals, have perhaps the right to complain that our favourite haunts are flooded with huge, loud groups of Italian, German, Japanese, and what-have-you tourists. But not the tourists themselves, that argument simply doesn´t hold.

Oh, and before I forget - what I am REALLY looking forward to is the cabeceo being a standard way of asking someone to dance, not just a magic thing that works with certain sensitive individuals...