Osvaldo and Coca performing a beautiful Vals at La Nacional - "Con Tu Mirar"
Today would have been Osvaldo's birthday. We remember the first time we celebrated Osvaldo's birthday, we were at Confiteria Ideal on the closing night of Martha and Manolo's Camicando festival in 2007. It was the first time that we were in Buenos Aires, and Osvaldo and Coca were teaching milonga at the festival. It was a wonderful night - live performances by all the maestros of the festival, live music by Tubatango, and even a group performance by the students. A night to remember!
Our dear milonguero friends and maestros were full of life, living their tango lives to the fullest with milongas every night, busy teaching schedules and teaching tours lined up for months in advance. In a blink of an eye, we have lost Alberto, Martha, Osvaldo....and we miss them every day.
Last night we were talking to two veterans of Toronto Tango, both have been dancing Tango for over 20 years. They had seen and experienced even more of the old maestros than we had, the ones that passed before we even started learning. How quickly things change in life and in Tango! A mere five, ten years ago, tangueros and tangueras all around the world wanted to dance with the milongueros and like the milongueros.
Now everyone wants to train and dance with the newest and shiniest cookie cutter competition winning couple, learn the fanciest figures and adornos, and maybe even win a competition themselves. Milonguero? What is that? Those old people danced strange and funky. They didn't follow competition rules. We don't want that!
Luckily we have the magic of Youtube to keep examples of the old style milonguero dancing alive and accessible to all - along with hundreds of videos of performances by Osvaldo and Coca. When Osvaldo was alive, they performed almost every night and everywhere they went. They were beloved, and they always brought down the house.
Would there be a day when everyone will become tired of Tango turning itself into Ballroom dancing? Would they re-discover the Milongueros and want to dance in the old way?