Sunday, June 19, 2011


With Martha and Manolo at Sunderland, February 28, 2009
Periodically, Man Yung will ask me: "So, when are you going to write about our trip to Buenos Aires in 2009? Are you ever going to write about it?"

My answer would always be yes....just that I haven't gotten around to it.  2009 became 2010.  2010 became 2011...other posts intervened.  Other trips intervened.  Life intervened...

I wondered what was the real reason for my writer's block.

I recently took another look at the videos and photos and written records we made of that trip.  Amazing stuff!  And I know why I didn't want to write it.

How innocent we were, back then.  And it was merely two years ago! Looking at our fresh smiling faces in all our photographs, I could feel how much more jaded and cynical and snarky we have become since [What? you ask. You weren't jaded and cynical and snarky in 2009?].  Was it Life or was it Tango that did that to us?

No, we are not as we were in 2009.  We've danced with all the milongueros and milongueras we've ever wanted to dance with.  We've gone to all the milongas in Buenos Aires we have ever wanted to go to.  We already have the most wonderful teachers in the world - we wouldn't want to learn from anybody else.  Comme Il Fauts can't get more amazingly gorgeous or interesting, we've seen (and bought) all the pairs that our hearts could possibly desire.  We have even achieved one of the "Holy Grails" of Tango - the opportunity (or opportunities - we have performed several times already, isn't that nuts?) to perform in Buenos Aires - and while it is great, it isn't all that.

I am plagued by the sense that people are tired of reading about what we were up to in Buenos Aires - I could hear them say, "Come on, all you do is eat, dance, hang out with your friends having a great time - isn't there anything new?"

The only thing new,  I guess, is the cynical: some of the people we have encountered in our Tango journey, whom we trusted and considered friends, turned out not to be worthy of either friendship or trust.  Personalities we had admired from afar in Tango have turned out completely unworthy of admiration.

But even that isn't really anything new.

No, there isn't anything new.  I think that's what makes it perfect.  That's what makes Tango perfect - not the new, or the innovative, or the fancy and new-fangled and the exciting.  You don't have to escalate - the basics are your shining treasures.  Tango connects us to our feelings and emotions, our hopes and dreams, our successes and failures, our strengths and vulnerabilities.  Tango is love - and humanity. 

We'd do it - and write about it - all again in a heartbeat.  Despite the ravages of experience, nothing is really old and tired if we can still embrace it with the same innocence. 


Elizabeth Brinton said...

Irene and Man Yung, thanks especially for this one. For all of us who started out so starry eyed and thought everyone was so "nice".
A healthy dose of cynicism seems like a good thing to me now. So many charlatans on every level of tango. But still, you are right, and we can still embrace it all with some innocence, some huge enthusiasm.
And I for one am not one bit tired of hearing about your adventures, especially since you write with such humor and grace.

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Elizabeth,

Thank you very much for your kind words - you've made our day!

Hope you will enjoy our 2009 adventures - even though we are two years late writing about them!

All the best,

Irene and Man Yung

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