Monday, April 20, 2009

Something Refreshing...


There's nothing quite so irritating as the experience of having Nuevo Tango dancing couples bumping or gouging you with errant heels, knees and elbows at your local ultra-traditional milonga. And even if our dear Nuevo Tango dancers are not managing to take out chunks of flesh from the people next to them as they whizz by - if looks can kill, the Nuevo Tango dancers would be stone dead from the evil eye they are getting from all the other dancers when they dance like the masses should part like the red sea to give them space to demonstrate the newest thing from the Temple of Nuevo.

Let's face it: Nuevo Tango + our favourite Friday traditional milonga usually = Disco Inferno of the Worst Kind, a.k.a. Navigational Disaster. Nuevo Tango dancers would fare much better in less crowded milongas in Toronto on Friday nights where they actually play Nuevo Tango music and encourage a practica-like atmosphere.

That being said, last Friday's milonga gave us a refreshing surprise: Nuevo Tango dancers who were (on the whole) navigating well and not trying to stamp out extra space for their "Cosmotango Duet" by dancing dangerously or threateningly!

In North America and Europe at least, Nuevo Tango is here to stay - at least for now. We are not against people dancing Nuevo Tango - Dance, after all, is a physical expression of one's personal feelings about music, and Nuevo Tango dance moves are as legitimate as any other dance move when it comes to dancing.

What we are against are dancers who act like they own the floor and who will adamantly do whatever moves they damn well please - without any concern for crowded conditions or potential injury to other dancers. Nuevo Tango, by being inherently athletic and space consuming, is easily culpable ... but no more guilty than:

- the Tango Fantasia couple who stabs someone in the sternum while executing a gravity-defying lift
- the Tango Salon/Villa Urquiza couple who lacerates the naked exposed shins of the poor tangueras close by because they can't keep the adornments on the floor
- the Milonguero Tango couple who shoves other dancers into the side tables because they can't change directions on a dime, or
- the real Tango Navigational Idiots who repeatedly engage in unpredictable eight-directional rock-step bouncing so that no-one could avoid where they will land (and pulverize toes) next.

The Nuevo Tango couple we saw last Friday night are (somewhat newish) instructors, so obviously a certain high level of Nuevo Tango skill has to be attained before their refreshing navigational dance floor non-disturbance can be achieved.

For those Nuevo Tango dancers or wannabe Nuevo Tango dancers who don't have this kind of skill - it doesn't take a whole night's dancing to find out that you still can't make the grade. One or two awkward collisions on the dance floor are more than sufficient evidence that you should hone your skills even more - and PLEASE, at the local Nuevo Tango practica, rather than the crowded traditional milonga!

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Alberto Dassieu

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