Sally Potter, director and star of "The Tango Lesson", posted on her blog about watching three couples dance an exhibition at Nino Bien one night:
At a milonga called ‘Nino Bien’ that we visited on our last night, three couples performed at 2am (normal timing for such things in Buenos Aires, the most night-oriented city I know). The first couple performed with all the rapid fire athletic skill we have come to expect from ‘Nuevo tango’ or in most of the virtuoso tango shows. It was impressive but kept one at a distance, the distance of admiration. Then a tall, thin, older man affectionately known as ‘Flacco’ (the thin one) performed his speciality, an agile milonga, fast rhythmic and old school. It was touching and impressive in a different way.
Finally an elderly couple slowly walked out onto the floor. The stooped man began by bending down and gently kissing his short plump wife on the lips. Then they began a delicate, subtle, un-showy tango together, saturated with tenderness, with pauses and silences full of ‘waiting’ (a compliment by older dancers in the tango world where frantic activity is frowned on as an inability to truly listen to the phrasing in the music.) Tears streamed down my face as I watched their tiny, delicate steps, the gentle flow of their movement, the embodiment of the sad beauty of age and experience, a life shared, bodies that have suffered in nameless ways and now transcend their difficulties with beauty.
When they finished the crowded hall erupted in applause, a collective roar of approval. As the couple left the floor I could see that the man was struggling for breath, a longstanding condition of some kind.
Nights like these induce the love for Buenos Aires that tango lyrics express. The city somehow feels like a long-lost companion, an ageing lover…yes, my darling Buenos Aires, you feel like singing, I may leave you but |I will surely return.
Great piece of evocative, nostalgic writing....I wonder who was the elderly couple who made the cameo appearance (and made Sally cry)? And when can we expect the movie to come out?
Here they are performing at Glorias Argentinas last weekend:
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