Just came across a very recent video of an exhibition by two wonderful milonguero dancers we adore... Blas Catrenau and Myriam Pincen performing to D'Arienzo's "El Flete" at La Nacional:
We have loved Blas Catrenau's dancing since we saw a little clip of him dancing La Cumparsita with his previous partner Graciela Lopez on Rick McGarrey's "Tango and Chaos" website. Blas and Graciela were the first Metropolitano competition champions in 2002 and we had the pleasure of meeting Blas and taking his class in 2009 and actually writing about it here:
It is such a treat to see Blas, who is an absolutely amazing, top milonguero dancer, paired with the awesome top milonguera Myriam Pincen!
This is what I wrote about Myriam a few years ago:
A Toronto Tanguero who is enjoying all these videos of the milongueras asked us, "What is it like dancing with Myriam Pincen?"
I want to dance like Myriam one day! She is a wonderful dancer, her
footwork and adornments are perfect and subtle, she is musical, she
follows EVERYTHING. She is a real, living Goddess of Tango - but she is
more than that. Would you be able to find anyone with even half her
talent who is so warm, welcoming and humble? I think it would be very
And what's more, Myriam finishes each tango with a beautiful, bright smile!
The combination of Blas and Myriam is the creme de la creme of social tango. It is becoming rarer and rarer now to be able to see such wonderful dancing since so many great milongueros have passed away.
For leaders, it would be a dream to dance like Blas; for followers, it would be a dream to dance like Myriam. And a dream come true for me to be able to watch them dance together!
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Saturday, February 10, 2018
...And the chain-smoking philandering alcoholic Mad Men won!
Instead of going out to a milonga last night, we stayed in to watch Mad Men on Netflix. Of course it wasn't just that watching Netflix was more tempting than an evening of "tango boogie" - there was 10 cm of snow and some freezing drizzle making the prospect of driving all the way downtown daunting. And Man Yung had some kind of running nose/sniffles. And I am fed up and tired out with all this bad weather and brutal slushy commutes to and from work all week. And our cat has constipation and needs some heavy duty massage to poop.
HOWEVER we have to face the fact that bad weather and germs and fatigue and cat constipation didn't used to stop us from going out to tango before. To illustrate, this was our list of non-work non-sleep activity priority as recent as 2015:
2. Staying home because not feeling good/tired/snow storm/tornado
3. Spending time with family because have to/birthday party/wedding/special occasion
4. Going to a concert
5. Eating out
This is the revised list of priority as of beginning of 2018:
1. Staying home because not feeling good/tired/snow storm/tornado
(But sometimes tied with or losing to Netflix)
3. Spending time with family because have to etc.
4. Eating out
5. Watching a robovac vacuum our carpet (We are too tired and old to sit through a 3 hour opera or 2 hour concert now). After much deep thought, we have given our robovac the very original nickname of "Robot".
Back way back when people would flock to the milongas because there wasn't anything but re-runs of Seinfeld and Friends on tv. But now Tango has some serious competition. People have other "better" things to do, like sitting on their asses eating ice cream and chips while online shopping or binge watching shows on Netflix.
It's time for Tango to "try harder". And it is. But I think, it's trying harder in all the wrong ways. Like too many freakin' festivals/marathons and visiting tango teachers. Too much exclusive obscure and no-body has played before frackin' "special" music. And too much friggin' competition style tango.
I wouldn't be bored at all to go to a milonga to dance to the greatest hits of tango with dancers who have great embraces and who listen and express the music with their dancing. I wouldn't give a s*** about Netflix if that was the case.
Instead I go to some red-hot Toronto milonga and I immediately regret not staying home to watch "Paul Blart Mall Cop 2". About 90% of the dancers think they are top of the pops because they've gone to lots of workshops by "famous" dancers. They don't want to embrace and don't want to be embraced because 1) they want space to see what their feet are doing because they learned some really nifty! "Tango de la Pista!" steps and 2) they need space for their feet to do lots and lots of adornos. And they don't want to hear the same old stuff. Bring on the Circus Music please!
Not like they are listening anyway they are too busy showing off, or putting 100% of their concentration into duplicating their workshop steps correctly and in the right sequence. Recently, a couple dancing behind us was so engrossed in tango salon steppage, the leader stepped right on top of Man Yung's feet.
Unfortunately, I don't see that things are going to change in the near future. The people learning to dance now may be taking workshops on "Floorcraft" or "Dancing to music from _________ orchestra" or "Steps for dancing in a Milonga" but the people they are learning from don't have good floor craft, can't dance to any music from any orchestra with any meaning and moreover their steps aren't suitable for dancing in the milonga. So sue me.
Netflix costs $10.99 per month in Canada. Enjoy!
Martha's Apartment in Buenos Aires
A Non-exhaustive set of Tango links in Toronto
- La Cachila - weekly milonga
- Paradiso -- weekly milonga
- Practica El Beso
- WE Tango
- Tango Sur - classes, shows
- Rhythm and Motion - classes, milonga, practica, annual Toronto Tango Festival
- Tango Obsession - classes, weekly Practica La Coqueta
- Tango Lirico - classes, practica, weekly milonga
- Tango de Oro - classes, shows
- Tango Soul Productions - classes, weekly milonga, shows, El Congreso annual Tango Festival
- Vivatango - classes
- Tango Argentino - classes
- Club Milonga - classes, special events
- Alternatango - classes, weekly milonga
- University of Toronto Tango Club - classes, practica
- El Abrazo - classes
- Tangoloft - twice monthly milonga