Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Pop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Which one of following choices is not an authentic Tango experience?

A) Randomly encountering what you perceive as Tango on the street and being compelled to film and/or photograph it.



Jack and Mona, Kensington Market Street Milonga, Toronto, June 29, 2008.

B) Encountering what you perceive as Tango in any milonga in the world, including the ones in Buenos Aires, and being compelled to film and/or photograph it.

C) Seeing what you perceive as Tango in the media and being compelled to learn how to do it.

D) Taking what you perceive to be Tango classes and thinking that you are learning how to Tango.

E) Listening to an Argentinian, native Spanish-speaker and/or Tango Professional tell you a long-winded history of Tango or give you long-drawn advice about dancing Tango and either i) thinking it is true, because the teller is either an Argentinian/a native Spanish-speaker/a Tango Professional; or ii) knowing it is false, but being too polite to interrupt the monologue because the teller is either an Argentinian/a native Spanish-speaker/a Tango Professional.

F) Being instilled in mantras like "You must dance tango with more HATE", or "Tango is a SEXY and SEDUCTIVE dance" or "Tango is all about the EMBRACE" and believing them to be true.

G) Buying and dressing up in full Tango regalia (all the flavours of "Tanguero/a", "Cayenguero/a", "Milonguero/a" and everything in between), thinking it gives you Tango "street cred", or believing that you have somehow morphed into what your costume represents.

H) Going to Buenos Aires, visiting Confiteria Ideal, La Boca and San Telmo, taking a lot of photos and being a flagrant Gringo Tango Tourist.

I) Going to Buenos Aires, avoiding Confiteria Ideal, La Boca and San Telmo, but going to Porteno y Bailarin, Nino Bien, Gricel, Sunderland, Maipu 444 and/or La Viruta etc. and thinking you are not a flagrant Gringo Tango Tourist.

J) Being ripped off/robbed/betrayed in or generally disillusioned by Buenos Aires.

K) Not being ripped off/robbed/betrayed in or generally disillusioned by Buenos Aires.

L) Learning all the moves from "Asi Se Baila el Tango", "Forever Tango" or "Cosmotango" and thinking that people should get out of your way when you are replicating what you have learnt on the dance floor.

M) Thinking that people should get out of your way on the dance floor because you are a Professional and any exhibition of your moves is educational for the public.

N) Not doing any "moves" but still thinking that you have the right to defy the line of dance/dance with your eyes closed/dispense with the skill of navigation just because: you are an Argentinian/a native Spanish-speaker/you have visited Buenos Aires many times/you have taken a lot of private classes/you are in full Tango regalia/you have danced longer than the people you are bumping into/you think you know what you are doing.

O) Dancing with your favourite Argentinian Tango Professional/Milonguero/Milonguera and having something to brag about to your tango friends.

P) Not dancing with your favourite Argentinian Tango Professional/Milonguero/Milonguera and having nothing to brag about to your tango friends.

Q) Falling in love with your favourite Argentinian Tango Professional.

R) Falling in love with and marrying your favourite Argentinian Tango Professional.

S) Falling in love with, being seduced by, and eventually being abandoned by your favourite Argentinian Tango Professional.

T) Falling in love with, being seduced by, being abandoned by and being cheated of all your money and self-respect by your favourite Argentinian Tango Professional.

U) Resenting the fact that you were not seduced by, abandoned by and cheated of all your money and self-respect by your favourite Argentinian Tango Professional - better luck next time.

V) Bumping into the visiting Argentinian Tango Professional doing drugs in the washroom of your favourite milonga.

W) Videotaping your Tango dancing and posting same on the internet for the enjoyment of the public.

X) Videotaping your Tango dancing and the Tango dancing of all your important Tango friends and posting same on the internet to boost your credibility as a Tango authority.

Y) Doing your post-doctorate thesis on Tango, and getting Hollywood to make it into a movie!

Z) Quitting Tango to devote yourself to other important things, i.e. Life.

ANSWER: FOLKS, THIS IS A TRICK QUESTION.

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Alberto Dassieu

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