Monday, March 19, 2012

Tangorgasmatic Joie-de-vivre Jouissance


You can dance all the happy you want - but 
a) don't scratch the piano, and 
b) don't piss people off with your exuberant reenactment of what you have learned from Youtube!
 
Once upon a time only few months ago, a “Tanguero” from an exotic, foreign, Spanish-speaking land suddenly appeared on a local Tango scene near you.

He was immediately noticeable on the dance floor by virtue of his sheer “exuberance”.  Everything he did was a physical display of “Joie-de-vivre”:  Energetic, people-shoving, space-hogging figures; Passionate, forceful, often frenetic “push n’ pull” manipulation of his partner on the dance floor; Weaving in-and-out, bobbing up-and-down to and against the cadence of the music (and the line of dance); Furious toe tapping and multiple rulo/giro “Man-adornments” - 

- and last but not least, stomping, hopping, clapping, yippee-hi-yoddly-doo-da-dooing and finger snapping whenever the DJ played a snippet of chacarera as Cortina.  Life is Jouissance!!!!!!!

I am getting tired just typing this out.

Tangueras who had been sitting on the sides too long were welcoming of his invitations to dance.  For a couple of weeks there he thought he was some hot s*** just because he could get dances - perhaps he even entertained the idea that he was the new “Fabio” because he came from a country located pretty close to Argentina, spoke Spanish and was exuberant?  Unfortunately, he didn't know that some of the dances he got was because some Tangueras were just bored of sitting and would dance with any ol’ donkey and some Tangueras were just being polite - as one told her girlfriends quite candidly, "Dancing with him takes a lot of guesswork (he can't lead for the life of him) and it’s kind of a pain in the ass. Perhaps that's to be expected - he told me there was no need for anyone to take classes or go to Buenos Aires because you can learn everything you want about Tango from Youtube!"

His exuberance was somewhat dented when he tried to ask some of local Milongueras to dance.  They wouldn’t even look at him so he would go straight up to them and ask. Of course they said no (they have a knack for knowing who is dancing Tango and who isn’t – they have been watching the dance floor, you know).   After being curtly rejected by a particularly beautiful, Spanish-speaking Milonguera, he tried to persist by trying to engage her in conversation (in Spanish) and talking fondly about his travels to her homeland and all the people he knew from her homeland, whom he declared were all wonderful, kind and accommodating.  The lovely Milonguera, as wonderful, kind and accommodating as he hoped her to be - still said no.

To make matters worse, he started to realize that other couples on the dance floor (who were following the line of dance and not crashing into others while doing “exuberant” figures) were giving him the evil eye whenever he was around.  “What kill-joys!” he muttered to himself – but secretly, he started to doubt whether it was acceptable to be so exuberant at traditional milongas, even those so far from Buenos Aires.  

He even toned it down – you know, just a little bit, so people wouldn’t glare at him with such displeasure…

…And then he would go home and watch Youtube.

I can’t tell you exactly what he watched on Youtube but I can assure you it embodied all the “Tangorgasmatic Joie-de-Vivre Jouissance” known to Tangokind.  Kicking, jumping, flying, spinning – you name it, he would be thrilled by it.  Did you really think he would watch videos of sedate social dancing by Buenos Aires milongueros on crowded dance floors?  Might as well watch paint dry!

“Why shouldn’t I set myself free, free, free as a bird?” he asked himself while watching the soaring, heart-pounding Tangorgasmatic images flash across the screen.  “THIS IS WHO I REALLY AM AND BY GOLLY I WILL DANCE IT!”

The next time he collided with the dance floor he would be up to his old tricks and people would be giving him the evil eye – yet again.  It is really too bad that no-one has told him that people dance the way they dance on Youtube precisely because the floor has completely cleared out to give them space to perform - and that when there are other people on the floor, you simply can't dance that way!*

*And that's why we didn't go to dance last night.  "I'm sick to my eyeballs of this guy's crazy antics!" said Man Yung.  "I must be naive, thinking that there is some higher power in Tango music that would make anyone who dances it a better person - or at least a better dancer, if they keep on dancing for long enough.  Just looking at his inconsiderate, selfish, egoistical no-shame flapping exhibitionism all over the dance floor makes me feel tired and ready to quit Tango!"**

** Or perhaps Man Yung doesn't want to dance because he is just too depressed about the Hong Kong Chief Executive elections - all the candidates are each worse than the next and the election is not even democratic.  Hong Kong is going to hell in a handbasket and before long Hong Kong would be another casualty of the Mainland Chinese Corrupt Communist regime.

13 comments:

Chris said...

Irene wrote: "he told me ... you can learn everything you want about Tango from Youtube!"

Take that to mean only he could learn everything he wants about tango from YouTube. Some people really don't want to learn any more that than. The problem is of course that they don't learn to confine the results to YouTube...

Laurie said...

Dancing with Man Yung is one of the main reasons I go to Sunday's milonga.. but after Friday's out of control traffic I don't blame you. Irene, I wanted to ask if R had ever had to announce, in spite of her wanting to welcome new dancers to our community, that they had to get with the line of dance or get off of the dance floor.
I have been evading the gaze and man-handling of mr. enthusiasm of late. Poor Happy Feet was complaining bitterly in Spanish to M about that snobby blonde lady who wouldn't make eye-contact or dance with him, even after he asked her in Spanish.. he got a well deserved scolding in rapidfire Agrentine spanish(M hates complainers)
The lovely tanguera in question had warmly greeted every table and thanked each of us for keeping the Sunday milonga as strong as when she left (has it really been 2 years?). And good for her for being a gracious, welcoming hostess -while refusing to be bullied into compromising her right to dance only with those who she really wants to..

Did you already know L.M. is back for a visit?
Laurie

Laurie said...

Dancing with Man Yung is one of the main reasons I go to Sunday's milonga.. but after Friday's out of control traffic I don't blame you. Irene, I wanted to ask if R had ever had to announce, in spite of her wanting to welcome new dancers to our community, that they had to get with the line of dance or get off of the dance floor.
I have been evading the gaze and man-handling of mr. enthusiasm of late. Poor Happy Feet was complaining bitterly in Spanish to M about that snobby blonde lady who wouldn't make eye-contact or dance with him, even after he asked her in Spanish.. he got a well deserved scolding in rapidfire Agrentine spanish(M hates complainers)
The lovely tanguera in question had warmly greeted every table and thanked each of us for keeping the Sunday milonga as strong as when she left (has it really been 2 years?). And good for her for being a gracious, welcoming hostess -while refusing to be bullied into compromising her right to dance only with those who she really wants to..

Did you already know L.M. is back for a visit?
Laurie

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Chris,

If only we could herd all the "Youtubers" who only learn from Youtube together, project them using the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chocolate bar conversion ray right into Youtube itself and have them dance for eternity in their own specially created Youtuber Youtube milonga...If only.

Thanks for your comment!

Irene and Man Yung

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Laurie,

Thanks for keeping us in the loop with all the latest news - and for that entertaining little snippet of conversation between the exuberant one and M that proves that not only were we not making it up when we wrote about him asking a Milonguera to dance and being rejected, we were kind of predicting the future as well, since he used the same tactics to ask another Milonguera to dance - and got rejected again!

It is good when the organizers come out and tell people to dance more responsibly - we heartily approve and it really does make a difference when the crazy ones are told that what they are doing is hazardous and not appropriate - other wise they will continue kicking other people in the shins without any shame. Shame works.

Thanks for your comment, sorry that Man Yung can't make it! (I think he is more depressed about the Hong Kong Chief Executive elections than he is about the state of Tango in Toronto, but when you are depressed, everything kind of sucks).

Irene (and Man Yung)

Chris said...

Laurie said: "after Friday's out of control traffic I don't blame you. Irene, I wanted to ask if R had ever had to announce, in spite of her wanting to welcome new dancers to our community, that they had to get with the line of dance or get off of the dance floor."

Is this the same Friday Toronto milonga described as having "Floorcraft: formal and enforced"?

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Chris,

Yes, it's one of the milongas that enforces good floorcraft, the organizers of La Cachila on Sunday also intervene when the floor gets unruly. If we can recall correctly, Palermo on Saturday has also handed out flyers with pointers for proper etiquette and floorcraft for the milonga. We think it is great when organizers make an effort to do this - it improves the quality of dance in the community.

Thanks for your comment,

Irene and Man Yung

Krasota said...

Great post, Irene. Ha-ha :o)

It looks like Mr.Happy Feet is telling everybody about his exciting experience of learning tango on YouTube.

I eavesdropped one of the smartest and funniest replies on that to him: Wow, you are learning tango from YouTube? Are you sure you are not watching paso doble lessons? Maybe it is time for you to switch to tango lessons now.. :o)

Chris said...

"Palermo on Saturday has also handed out flyers with pointers for proper etiquette and floorcraft for the milonga. We think it is great when organizers make an effort to do this - it improves the quality of dance in the community.

Well, I know only one organiser hereabouts that does this, and he also regularly hires touring show dancers that teach the most appaling ronda-wrecking sequences to people who think they're learning social tango dancing.

But back to Toronto... I am interested to know: how come your floorcraft-enforcing organisers make an exception in the case of this particular teacher? Aren't they aware how liable newcomers are to copy teachers, and hence that those calling themselves teachers should set the best example, not the worst?

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Krasota,

Ha ha ha! Thanks for sharing this witty reaction to the boasting by Mr. Enthusiasm! Loved it (and boy did Mr. Enthusiasm deserve it!)

Oh, by the way, did you see - last night Mr. Enthusiasm was finally dancing in a more considerate manner? Congratulations all!

Thanks for your comment!

Irene and Man Yung

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Chris,

Are your referring to the current teachers at Palermo? Really, we have no idea why - maybe it's a case of one step forward, two steps back? Oh well, at least it's not two steps back, and then two more steps back, and then another two more steps back...

...Which is what it looks like in Toronto Tango on some days. Time for the "Evil Eye" (Take a look at our next post!)

Thanks for this intriguing observation,

Irene and Man Yung

Sharon said...

I just discovered your delightful blog- I was (guilty confessions- searching for blue metallic tango shoes-:-0)..and found Irene's painful, tragic hilarious and totally true tango shoe story. (I wear an 8 and am coveting your blue pair and red shiny peep toe pair-you know what I'm talking about..!). I get to dance in Montreal- I live in western Massachusetts- several times a year and have a great time! Have some friends there who also enjoy dancing in Toronto. I'll have to ask if they know you. And I think there are "characters" everyone in tango communities. Montreal is where I finally had such a terrible tanda (didn't know this person and got preyed on- now I know few will dance with him) that I now find it almost easy to say no- not quite easy- but getting there.

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Sharon,

We are glad that you are enjoying our blog! If it makes it easier, personally, I have only felt regret not saying "no" - and by being "nice", ended up wasting fifteen minutes of my life with either someone who spun and kicked willy-nilly and expected me to follow what was actually choreography, or bored me out of my wits. What are the chances that you are going to say "no" to a Pablo Veron, or a Ricardo Vidort in disguise? Zero!

Hope you find the most fabulous tango shoes of your dreams. But make sure that we won't be wearing the same shoes at the same milonga!

Thanks for your comment,

Irene (and Man Yung)

Alberto Dassieu

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