Monday, June 30, 2008

An Elegy for Lost Blogs...

With some delay (I didn´t have much time lately so my visits to other blogs have been scarce) I have realized that another tango blog has been taken down this month. It has happened with others before and I just quietly, if with regret, removed them from my blog roll; but this time I would like to say a couple of words, not concerning this case in particular but this whole public vs. private blogging dilemma which apparently often leads to blogs being discontinued or even taken down.
It is always a loss when a blog you read disappears. And they were all really interesting blogs, so I can´t help thinking the blogosphere has lost something. And even if you don´t personally know the writer, you do develop some kind of an affinity with them, especially if it is a blog you read regularly, you come to know their personality as it gleams through their writing, and when it is no longer there, it is like loosing an old acquaintance. It is sad.
I have no intention to question the reasons which lead those bloggers to end their blogs. I don´t think it was easy for them, either. I am just saying it is a pity for everyone.
And of course it depends on why you blog, what you want your blog to be for you and for whomever might read it - because you must always assume someone will read it, it is on the web and therefore, while very personal, quite public. But this seeming contradiction has actually been the reason why I started to blog: I have my own Journal Intime, written by hand, in a notebook, where I write about my intimate life, about people and things that I would not care to discuss with public, some perhaps not even with my closest friends or family. The reason I created a blog was that, apart from the obvious technological advantages a blog presents over a simple diary, I wanted to learn to write about my experiences, my opinions, my life in a way that would be personal and yet suitable to be read by anyone who cares to read it, to find and never cross the line between what is my way of seeing the world, which I will gladly relate, discuss, even defend, and what is private and so intimate I don´t care to share it with others. It is not easy for me - I love writing, but had before only been able to write either essays, well-reasoned, scrupulously objective and elegantly impersonal, or personal journals with very intimate details. I find a blog is the perfect space for one to do something in between, if you want to; I am not saying I have entirely managed to strike this precious balance, but I am trying.
Anyway.. the rest of you, keep blogging, or not, if you no longer find it amusing or satisfactory - but don´t forget your readers;)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A faux pas, or a new trend?

On a more frivolous note -
a couple of weeks ago I attended a big tango event and apart from the fun of getting to dance with people from all around the world I also had the pleasure of watching the show of the teachers, among whom there were some of the greatest couples of both Argentine and international renown. The performances were great, I enjoyed them so much! The last time I had seen these people dance was months ago at the milongas of Buenos Aires, either performing or dancing socially, but here such treats are harder to come by, so of course one appreciates them more;)
Anyhow, there was one aspect of the performances which at first seemed harmlessly amusing but became quite bewildering as the shows went on and I realized this was a recurring feature: in three out of five couples we got to see a lot of the woman´s knickers during the dance - and I don´t mean a glimpse here and there during a particularly high boleo. The fourth couple broke the pattern because nuevo dancers rarely wear skirts, and the fifth one were two men who both wore trousers.
With the first couple it was, by the look of it, a case of a very beautiful dress of an unfortunate cut and material with a very high slit which was to show off the girl´s thigh but, as it slid around her body during the dance, ended up showing off a completely different part of her body, luckily covered by her knickers. Oh well.. that can happen. But as the performances continued, what with high slits and ultra short skirts, the trend became clear.
I certainly don´t mean to criticize the waning morals of our age:) I just think the matter is noteworthy and cannot be waved aside as coincidence. It might even be a new trend in tango fashion, so I point it out here for those of you who want to be up to date;)

BTW, seeing as Eugenia was the one nuevo dancer who wore wide pants and did not show her knickers, I can name her without compromising her, just to say that she is really incredible; the chica is so graceful you can´t take your eyes off her when she´s on the dancefloor, regardless of whether you like tango nuevo or not. I don´t particularly like her style of dancing, but her moves are so full of grace, it is simply a pleasure to watch. And I really liked her with Ezequiel, they have a lovely connection and on the dancefloor they are just two beautiful people.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

El poema del día

Muere lentamente quien se transforma en esclavo del hábito, repitiendo todos los días los mismos trayectos.

Quien no cambia de marca, no arriesga vestir un color nuevo y no le habla a quien no conoce.

Muere lentamente quien hace de la televisión su gurú.

Muere lentamente quien evita una pasión, quien prefiere el negro sobre blanco y los puntos sobre las “íes” a un remolino de emociones, justamente las que rescatan el brillo de los ojos, sonrisas de los bostezos, corazones a los tropiezos y sentimientos.

Muere lentamente quien no voltea la mesa cuando está infeliz en el trabajo, quien no arriesga lo cierto por lo incierto para ir detrás de un sueño, quien no se permite por lo menos una vez en la vida, huir de los consejos sensatos.

Muere lentamente quién deja escapar un posible amor, con tal de no hacer el esfuerzo de hacer que éste crezca.

Muere lentamente quien no viaja, quien no lee, quien no oye música, quien no encuentra gracia en si mismo.

Muere lentamente quien destruye su amor propio, quien no se deja ayudar. Muere lentamente, quien pasa los días quejándose de su mala suerte o de la lluvia incesante.

Muere lentamente, quien abandonando un proyecto antes de empezarlo, el que no pregunta acerca de un asunto que desconoce o no responde cuando le indagan sobre algo que sabe.

Evitemos la muerte en suaves cuotas, recordando siempre que estar vivo exige un esfuerzo mucho mayor que el simple hecho de respirar. Solamente la ardiente paciencia hará que conquistemos una espléndida felicidad.

Pablo Neruda

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Tango and horns

Fontanelle e motorini.
The epitome of the Eternal City.

Neither the Sistine Chapel, nor the Capitol, the Fontana di Trevi, or the hundreds of other sights, architectural marvels or works of art that Rome abounds in, but the omnipresent fountains with excellent drinkable water all-year round, while the South is struggling with drought, and the likewise omnipresent scooters, largely responsible for the insomnia of the inhabitants of the city centre; yet without them, Rome wouldn´t be Rome, would it?
In keeping with my private promise to go back every year, I have spent the weekend in the Eternal City, to see dear friends and catch at least a glimpse of the ochre-coloured city whose streets I know by heart.
Rome has undergone some changes since my student years, some good and some less good; but, seeing as it is eternal, its centuries-old charm remains unharmed (though the traffic in the city centre really should be banned, or at least drastically reduced, before the smog turns even the Vittoriano black; mind you, it doesn´t look like that will happen now, with the new mayor.. but that´s another story). I did all the right things - long breakfasts with latte con caffè, an exhibition of Renoir´s paintings in the Vittoriano (the real reason of my haste, incidentally, as it ends in June), a walk up the Via del Babuino and Via Margutta to Pincio and then back downtown, a stop to see Caravaggio´s lovely Madonna dei Pellegrini in a side-chapel of a church where a wedding was taking place, an evening stroll down Il Corso, several cones of my favourite rice-and-cinnamon ice-cream, and a stop at Feltrinelli´s:)
And a milonga. That evening, Roma had beaten Inter, and the city went bonkers; the milonga was taking place in a lovely location, a beautiful room with a splendid shiny parquet and large mirrors in gilt frames. It was quite warm and so the high windows and the balcony door were thrown open, to let in the indescribable racket from outside! While dancing, we could at times hardly hear the tango music, drowned by the sounds of horns and cheering outside..
Tango romano?