Chango Spasiuk "Mi Pueblo, Mi Casa, La Soledad"

Chango Spasiuk "Mi Pueblo, Mi Casa, La Soledad"
My Town, My House, the Solitude

I so needed to come across this first thing on a Monday morning. Dragging myself into work, after a weekend of bad news - nothing brings me back to life than this music.

Here's yet another CD I need to add to my wishlist. :-)

"Mr. Spasiuk is an Argentine accordionist, the grandson of Ukrainian immigrants. He grew up on chamamé, a style from the red-dirt region where Argentina borders Brazil and Paraguay. In its down-home form, chamamé has a vigorous 6/8 beat and merges elements of African, Indian, Spanish and other European and Eastern European music; the accordion itself arrived from Europe."

Read Jon Pareles New York Time Review here:

Austin Spring Tango Festival March 27th - 29th

It's that time again! Love and tango are in the air! If you haven't visited already, check out the web pages here:

Austin Spring Tango Festival:

Austin Spring Tango Festival on Facebook:

- Workshop and Friday Milonga at Dancer’s Workshop, 11150 Research Blvd. #205, Austin, TX 78759
- Saturday milonga with performances held at Go Dance 2525 W. Anderson Ln. in North Cross Mall
- Sunday milonga with potluck dinner at Esquina Tango, 209 Pedernales St. (@ 3rd St.), Austin, Texas

The guest teachers (and their respective websites) this year are:

* Somer Surgit (Chicago) -
* Cecilia Gonzalez (BsAs) -
* Donato Juarez (Mar del Plata)
* Florencia Taccetti (BsAs/Minneapolis) - Her bio on
* Federico Naveira (BsAs) - Federico Naveira & Inés Muzzopappa Blog
* Inés Muzzopappa (BsAs) - Federico Naveira & Inés Muzzopappa Blog

Cecilia Gonzalez & Donato Juarez CITA 2007 (Malandraca)

Slow Tango by Silvia Antonia Brandon Pérez

A small portion of Slow Tango has stayed with me all day . . .

by Silvia Antonia Brandon Pérez

inside me someone waited for a sign
for the opening of the door
for the practiced tango step

today i will learn but one new tango step

Read the rest by clicking on the author's name above.

Argentine Tango Introduction Translated into "British"

That snarky title is for the benefit an Englishman currently living in New Jersey. At some point he's promised to come visit and learn a bit of tango with me. To get him started, I've pulled together a few of my favorite video resources from YouTube (of course) just for him.

First there are two videos from James and Joanna of

The first video, which covers the basic eight, windmill and forward ochos is below. They have a second video that demonstrates the back ochos, basic stops, pushes, sandwiches and a few decorations.

The next set of videos is from Happyseaurchin, who not only gives fantastic advice on tango, he shows a real passion and connection in his views on the subject. The very first video on Posture and Balance helped me so much - and that's just the first one! It only gets better from there. The Tango series is shown below:

Tango music in all it's forms

Music choice came up on AmpsterTango's blog and it got me thinking about which pieces of music I use for what - and how that's changed over time.

My first exposure to tango music was the Nuevo Tango of Piazzolla. It expressed things for me that at the time I had no outlet for. I didn't dance to it, though I saw others dance. It resonated with me. It reminded me of particular people and times.

Then I heard tango music on a few soundtracks and compilations that combined Piazzolla's music with more traditional pieces - like the soundtrack for "The Tango Lesson." It not only had beautiful Piazzolla music, but more traditional pieces by Carlos Gardel (Mi Buenos Aires Querido), Juan d'Arienzo (Flete), Osvaldo Pugliese (Zum). That soundtrack was played frequently at the store I worked in, and I loved it. It made me want to move - need to move. But I still didn't have the nerve to learn tango.

Early this year, or maybe late last year, I came across Gotan Project, which didn't appeal to me in the same way that traditional tango music did - or even nuevo tango - but it appealed to me on other levels, for other things. My inner code monkey liked the beat and the dance mix sound. That's the perfect music for when I need to be focused for extended periods of time.

So now I'm taking classes and going to milongas and hearing everything! I dance most easily to more traditional tango music - though some songs are too quick for my beginner feet. The tempo, the feel of the music, is made for moving. But I'm still a beginner, having basic beginner problems . . .

Slowin' my butt down...

When it comes time to actually practice (usually by myself) - I was finding that traditional tango music had so much going on in it that when I practiced sequences or ochos, I would move too fast. I was trying to do something to everything. I couldn't maintain my axis that way - I could feel the wobble coming through my turns and my posture was suffering. I needed something I could concentrate to and develop a little more precision in moves. Not moving in stiff, machine-like steps, but developing an awareness of where I was and how my posture was changing.

(EDIT: My proofreader (coworker) said I needed to explain this a bit more specifically, so I'll try. With ochos in particular, I was using momentum more and more to make the pivot, which pulls me off my center/axis - and if I were dancing with a partner and not practicing with a major appliance, it would force him to have to support me or even pull him off of his axis. When I slow down and pay closer attention to the "collecting" of my feet and ankles when I'm supposed to - it makes all the difference in the world to my balance and posture.)

And I needed to breathe. It's not just a dancing issue, but even listening to music, sometimes I get so wrapped up - I forget to breathe.

That's when Gotan Project got loaded back up into the player. Santa Maria - perfect tempo for practicing ochos with my oven. (And I like the cricket accompaniment. ) When I need to focus on slow movements and breathing especially - Paris, Texas is perfect. So I have several "sections" of tango music on my player that I listen to for different reasons. Plus I have several "completely non-tango" songs I love dancing tango too, like "Whatever Lola Wants" - which I also learned for belly dancing. Go figure.

So there you have it. I'm sure I'll change my mind about these selections after the next milonga when I hear something else that catches my attention.

A side note: If you're just really curious about the BeatsPerMinute of your favorite tango music, you can go here to learn more.

Tango for Chronic Pain Relief

Or, the hows and whys I became an a tango advocate . . .

“When someone begins he can be dazzled by things that are external; the things of Tango are internal… A dancer arrives at the roots of the Tango when he falls in love…”
- Eduardo Arquimba

For those of you who already tango, I'm pretty sure this will be "preaching to the choir". For others who have not yet started tango, this is a bit about my journey and a bit more about what others are doing and saying about tango and pain management.

Since I started this blog, I've had a dilemma. How much do I share of what is most personal about tango in my life. How much will my readers even care to know? After some discussion with a couple people in the tango community I've decided to share some of my personal experience as well as a few resources regarding how tango can have the power to change lives in one very specific way - in the management of chronic pain.

Dance and music have always played a large role in my life, particularly after I started dealing with my own pain management. Dancing gave me the exercise I needed and it felt good to my body - natural, like something it ought to do. But I danced a fine line. A little dancing was good, a lot of dancing would mean more pain later. And the line changes, sometimes daily. Music, essential to dance, also gave comfort in it's soothing distraction. But there was always something more about tango.

I should be clear here, when I refer to tango, I refer only to Argentine tango and not ballroom tango. Ballroom tango uses a very rigid embrace compared to Argentine, and doesn't emphasize social aspect of dancing tango, nor, in my opinion, the very unique connection to another dancer. Ballroom tango, in the stiffer nature of it, feels more like marching than dancing to this body of mine. I made it through 3 classes and decided I couldn't pursue it.

Before I get into movement or dance therapy, I want to focus on the social aspect of tango. That key difference both attracted me to tango, and kept me from it for almost 6 years - though I was already enjoying the music. I sensed tango was something so unique, and appeared so fulfilling to the dancers, that it might have a huge impact on my body and my life. However, pain makes one very risk averse. As I've said on this blog before, it's not the pain that changes you most, it's the fear of the pain. Dancing by myself, belly dancing, club dancing and the like, maintained a safer distance from others - I didn't have to rely on another person to feel safe from injury. I needed to look at dancing differently. I needed to be brave enough to take classes by myself, go to milongas by myself - to take the leap into something new, including a whole group of new people.

The most life-impacting, but sometimes least obvious from the outside, aspect of tango is the connection, the social aspect of the dance and the dancers. Even in the very first lessons and classes, I felt the most basic human desire begin to be addressed - personal connection with other human beings. Before I ever reached the milonga floor, I sensed this - even if it was only for fleeting moments clumsily turning around the floor, embraced by another person. Soon those moments became more frequent, and they lasted longer. And then I wondered what took me so long to try this.

Pain, especially chronic, unyielding pain, can isolate you. Surrounded by people who love you and want to help, you can still feel that loneliness of wondering if people really understand what's going on with you - where you are in your body and in your life. I was too embarrassed to let people know (especially strangers) that I couldn't take part in some activities because I was in too much pain or just too tired. That feeling conflicted with the necessity of having the people around me know what I needed. Soon, I just withdrew from those around me, often with no explanation for my absence.

I want to stress this, above everything else - the social aspect of tango can save your life - or at the very least, the quality of your life. Social connection, a support network, and the constantly renewed feeling of community does nearly miraculous things for the body and the mind. What keeps me going to the milongas (though I've faltered once, and regretted not going) even when I'm too sore or too tired to dance is that feeling of connection that I've found in the Austin tango community even in the short time I've been a part of it.

Now to the physical aspect - though it's hardly contained simply in the physical sphere. Dr. Potts, a prominent urologist, has earned the name Dr. Tango for her work connecting Argentine tango to profound changes in the way dancers feel and respond to their bodies and to others. She's published a book on her own experiences and her work with others called,
Tango: Lessons for Life.

"To practice and execute a new step or adornment meant an appreciation of her own muscle memory and a celebration of shared intention/cooperation with another. Beyond the exhilarating athleticism and artistry, Dr. Potts also found spiritual inspiration in this learning exercise. She began to notice the ways personal qualities could either hinder or enhance the dance. Conversely, she realized how techniques used in Argentine Tango could easily spill over into our lives beyond the parquet."

Wilhelmina Korevaar, MD, MMM, is another passionate advocate of dance therapy.
"Sometimes, working out in the water or on a bike is not adequate" for patients with overwhelming chronic pain, Korevaar says. "And sometimes it's hard to get women out walking. But this is something that people would do in the course of their day-to-day life--hearing music and dancing."

Argentine tango incorporates low-impact, smooth, fluid movements that increase balance, coordination, strength and flexibility. It's also certainly more interesting than walking around a track! Like yoga, martial arts like Push Hands and Tai Chi, tango emphasizes listening to your body, breathing technique, and proper posture. All of these qualities combined with beautiful music result in what can (and hopefully will) become a life-long pain-relieving, stress-releasing relationship with your body.

The first time it happened - the blissful relief of pain while dancing,
I blogged it of course. In that moment, and many moments since then, I was reminded of fact that at the tiniest molecular level, we are mostly made of the spaces in between - and at that same level, everything is always moving.

Straight from the health news headlines, a study found that learning tango is helping those with Parkinson's disease, increasing both mobility and balance in the study participants.

"Given these preliminary results, we think tango is feasible for individuals with Parkinson's disease and may be an appropriate and effective form of group exercise for individuals with Parkinson's disease," researcher Gammon M. Earhart, an assistant professor of physical therapy.

That's how it happened, and how I got to this place.

I hope you'll join me.

"Because I have no answers to my questions, I tango. I tango because I have to move in the midst of these uncertainties. . . . My first steps in tango taught me about both overwhelming domination and stubborn resistance." Tango and the Political Economy of Passion (Institutional Structures of Feeling) by Marta E. Savigliano

"In social tango you move with your partner and with the music. The relationship between you and your partner is not personal. What is personal between the two of you is that you both are trying to caress the music with your feet. A good tango dancer is one who listens to the music. We dance the music, not steps. You see, we are painters. We paint the music with our feet." Miguel Zotto


Dance/Movement Therapy Studies -

Wilhelmina Korevaar and MDance StudioDance Therapy -

Goodill, S.W. (2005). Dance/Movement Therapy for Adults with Cystic Fibrosis: Pilot Data on Mood and Adherence. Alternative Therapies in Health Medicine, 11(1): 76-77

Dance Therapy at :

Dance -

The American Dance Therapy Association, Inc. -

Tango Classes Put Parkinson's Patients a Step Ahead -

Dancing with Pain -

Dr. Tango -

Laurie Hawkes: The Tango of Therapy: A Dancing GroupWhat Tango Can Do (Tango and psychotherapy):

Tango shoes of my dreams... no really

I dreamt of these shoes.

I cradled them in my arms as I ran down a tarmac to catch an airplane. (It was a strange dream.)

Too bad I didn't actually get to dance in them.

Washington DC's "An Evening in Buenos Aires" 4/15/09

April 15, 2009
Two to Tango: An Evening in Buenos Aires - Argentine Tango Lessons and Latin dance party

This is not the first time "An Evening in Buenos Aires" was organized in DC. The Argentine Tango is known around the world as one of the most romantic and passionate dances of all time, and this is a rare opportunity to learn how to dance Argentine tango from an expert instructor. Following the tango lessons, MezeTango dancers will offer you a special show, high in color and elegance, commemorating the glamorous years of the 1930s. Later in the night, you’ll dance the night away to a great mix of tango and Latin music.

International Club of DC's Event Details Page

Do you dream in tango?

Aside from the usual "oh my God, I'm back in school and it's too late to drop all these classes I'm failing - and I didn't bring my No. 2 pencil dreams" (conveniently illustrated here), I dream about tango a lot these days. Sometimes just pieces of music in the background, sometimes watching other people dance - less frequently the treasured dreams of myself dancing.

Last night, or rather this morning, I dreamt of tango class. First I danced with teacher 'C' who has a habit of telling the leaders to attempt to "trick" their followers by constantly doing the unexpected. The idea is that this will encourage a genuine, authentic follow - not rote repetition of steps. I think I must have been very cranky in my dream. When I danced with C. he went through his usual maneuvers and I tripped up, thinking I knew what he was doing when I didn't. Of course that was the point. But as I said, I was cranky in my dream and this time I spoke up. I told him that I would feel better about offering a genuine, authentic, complete follow if I felt safe doing so - not like this was an exercise meant for me to prove myself.

I wish I could think of this stuff when it actually happens.
sigh... C'est la vie

Next in my dream, I danced with my teacher D. and relaxed completely, effortless. I felt so light, almost ethereal. I told him, between tandas, that he was like the philosopher's stone, turning my feelings of leaden heaviness into light strands of gold.

I never think of things like that when I'm awake...

Talking Tango with Nana

Me: "I'm taking tango lessons and I've already been to two milongas!"
Nana: "You're taking merengue lessons? Is that like salsa?"
Me: "No tango, a milonga is a party where you dance tango."
Nana: "You're in Texas, why don't you do line dancing? Or country and western dancing?"
Me: "Because I like tango music more."
Nana: "You should learn waltz. Why not take waltz?"
Me: "There are more opportunities to dance tango. It's a very social thing - I can go tango dancing almost every week." (God willing.)
Nana: "You can waltz anywhere."
Me: "uhm... actually, not really."

I could actually dance tango anywhere though. Bus stops, intersections waiting for the light to change, my office . . . Why is that?

Just silly, bit so damned catchy . . .

"We Tango Alone" - English Lyrics

Na na na
Give me your love
Na na na

Verse 1:
Come and talk your world to me
Cause I've been watching you get closer
Come and tell me what you feel
Cause every time your near its so real
Come and show me what you see
When you say tonight is special
I just hang up on your lips
And wait up on your kiss
A sign of your love

Na na na
We tango alone
Na na na
And maybe we'll take it to far
And maybe we'll touch in a star
Give me your love
Na na na

Verse 2:
Come and share just one more dance
And tell me who believes in romance
Now is just a point in time
And love is not a crime in my mind
Come and dance my life away
And tell it will last forever
Just a second or a day
As long you deplay a sign of your love


May I have this dance
Follow me
Follow me
You'll be mine tonight

Na na na...
Na na na...

Give me your love

Na na na...
Na na na...

Give me your love

Testing a playlist embed

These two songs are from Raising Sand - Robert Plant and Allison Krauss. The Sister Rosetta song is the result of Me-Likey-Tango's awesome music tastes. So now I'm attempting this whole mp3 embeddy thingy to see if it works, since I have a few readers who refuse to play any of the YouTube videos I embed. You know who you are. :P

(NOTE - Amy Winehouse's Back to Black contains explicit lyrics.)

(ps - not all of these songs are tango related, btw.)

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

The sudden cessation of pain, and tango hangover

I debated about sharing this. It's been in my drafts for quite awhile. How much personal stuff should I share in this blog? Will it make any sense to anyone else? Well, here it is anyway. At least it will be out of the drafts box.

While dancing at the milonga on Saturday I had *the experience*, the liquid, floating, sublime experience of losing myself completely in the music and the leader for the entire song. I don't remember the song now. It was one I knew. It doesn't matter. When G. stopped at the end, he beamed at me and apologized for having to go answer questions now. I think I just blinked for a second before thanking him, grinning madly and drifted back to my chair. I was lightheaded. My ears were ringing before I realized what was happening. My blood sugar was dropping, and then my blood pressure. From the sudden cessation of the pain I had been in all day. Two days? Three days? Whenever the rain started, the pain in my joints came back. So whenever that was. My chair was mercifully very near the food so I didn't have to go far to bring my blood sugar back up. Some apple slices and cheese and the ringing stopped.

Then G. came back, looking for another demonstration partner and I was back up again. Watching the room go by, but not really watching. Just colors like tracers. We were turning around and around, twice around the room before I realized I hadn't actually learned turns yet. I think I giggled then. I think I told him, when he asked "what?" that I didn't know how to turn yet. He laughed and said, 'yes you do, obviously - you've just been.'

The music stopped. More questions from other students. Back in my chair, grinning, radiating.

The other leads were sweet and patient, some newer than me, some far more advanced. More fleeting seconds of that place I love now. One lead who seemed so frustrated by our dancing, stopped at the end of the tanda and told me I had been following very well. I hadn't thought so, but I'm glad he thought so.

I have preferences now, opinions about things. Is it too soon to have those about tango? It seems like I don't have enough experience to have opinions, but there they are.

I don't like to be rushed on to the dance floor as soon as the music starts - before we've leaned a little, moved a little together. I need a sense of my lead, and a sense of him in the music before I feel comfortable starting. Not ages - just a moment or two. I also can't talk a great deal while dancing. A few of the leads were talkers and for some reason I can't multitask very well to the music. It seems that conversing extensively is the opposite of what I want to be doing while dancing. However many years ago it was when I danced with a friend in nightclubs, I told him I wanted to dance until I didn't know my own name. Or his. Or anyone's.

Just dance.

Now, every time I leave a class, or practica, or milonga, I ask myself (and my calendar) - how soon can I come back? How soon until the next class, the next milonga, the next chance. I can tide myself over with music and videos and blogging and twittering to new-found tango friends from all over the world. But it's not quite the same. It was like this to some extent every time I would get back into the habit of dancing, but this is much more intense. That's when I get the tango hangover. The next day. Sometimes even the same night. The quiet settles in around me.

And the countdown begins to the next tango.

Tango and Appliance-dancing Preference

Since I have been lacking a steady tango practice partner, I've been practicing crosses, ochos and the like on my own at the office, at home, in stairwells, at bus stops - wherever. I've actually been doing this steadily enough that I've developed preferences for certain appliances and pieces of furniture (much to the annoyance of Darling Husband and assorted pets.)

The first experiment -ochos in the stairwell at work. While this is an excellent time filler at lunch, it always seems that no one enters the stairwell until I'm in there - and usually it's my director taking the stairs. Slightly awkward, but workable.

The next was the refrigerator at home. About the right width, obviously a bit on the tall side, but still workable for monitoring my stability for stretching, turning etc. The cat did not approve as he got a slight shove when he came (quite stealthily) to investigate what I was doing. There was much petting and cuddling the cat afterwards to repair his damage (-d ego.) Plus, I could still feel my axis getting wobbly but couldn't quite identify where in the turn or step I was losing it.

Finally, I tried the oven/broiler combination against the opposite wall. This had two advantages over the refrigerator. First, the oven doors are mirrored allowing me to see exactly where my body is slipping in alignment. The second advantage is the horizontal line going across the top of the upper oven door. So not only can I see my wobble or tilt when it happens - but I can also see when and how far my head is dipping in relation to the line. Perfect. Also, I have to resist using the oven door as leverage as doing so tends to open the oven. This is not only slightly embarrassing but also attracts the above-mentioned assorted pets.
So now I dance with my double oven.

Tango Shoes Acquired!

My excuse of bad dancing due to inappropriate footwear will now be a thing of the past. Now my clumsiness is all me. Hopefully, though, these superior fitting shoes will help my balance and stability a bit - and they should help me be able to keep dancing longer than trying to keep up the pace in my regular 3" heels. They're not fancy in the least, but they feel amazing, and that's what really counts.

Wow, just WOW. Sight impaired students learn to tango beautifully!

This is so beautiful that all I could do was stare. We all know how hard it is at first especially to learn tango. Imagine being blind and keeping track of your partner, the other dancers and the audience by sound and feel alone. This is a bit dated (10/2/08) and I found it on the wonderful Hybrid Tango Blog in Atlanta, GA

It takes energy to dance this badly . . .

I had the best partners last night at tango class - gentle, helpful, patient . . . Amongst them they probably led 12 crosses... I "got" 3 of them. Of the ochos - I did "catch" most of the back ochos - and almost none of the forward ochos. My axis was wobbly. I kept forgetting to keep my knees bent. I also kept watching my leads' feet. To be fair, one of them was wearing shiny bronze shoes. I can't be responsible for staring at shiny things - it's genetic. Impssible to resist.


Sometimes I think, my God this is the greatest thing ever - I could do this for hours and hours. Other times I think, how can I suck so badly at something I like so much?


I'm not sure if my Note from the Universe is helpful or not...

Sometimes when you're ready for a change, Mari, and you kind of know it
but won't admit it, when it comes, not only are you surprised, but it hurts.

Yeah, I know that doesn't help much, unless you remember the "ready" part.
Because there is simply no change that might ever transpire in time and space
that happens before you're fully able to use it for your own growth and glory.

Love watching you create,
The Universe


Next milonga in T minus 62 hours.

Sit down at the table and write - Confianzas, Gotan Project

Confianzas, Gotan Project
translation by Jose

I wasn't going to post anymore music today - and I certainly meant to ease off of Gotan Project. But I love this, and it's been sitting in my favorites for ages (with so many others, unfortunately) waiting for a blog post.

Sit down at the table and write
"With this poem you won't take the power", it says
"With these verses you won't do any revolution", it says
"Nor with thousands of verses you won't do any revolution", it says
And furthermore
These verses won't be worth for workers
Teachers and lumberjacks to live better
Eat it or he himself will eat it, live better
Nor to date a woman it won't be worth
You won't earn money with them
You won't go to the movies for free with them
They won't give you clothes for them
You won't get tobacco or wine for them
Nor parrots, nor scarves, nor boats
Nor bulls, nor umbrellas you won't get for them
If it were for them, rain would soak you up
You won't reach the forgiveness or grace for them
"With this poem you won't take the power", it says
"With these verses you won't do any revolution", it says
"Nor with thousands of verses you won't do any revolution", it says
Sit down at the table and write

Now that's alternative to alternative . . for dj

My darling husband... you know I said you can dance tango to all sorts of things and you just look at me with that look that's sort of "pat on the head" kind of look? Well, over at MediaMonkey their alternative tango play list has this on it:

Apocalyptica's "Nothing Else Matters" - a song that you actually like and own! Woot! For those who aren't familiar with the song - here's is the ubiquitous youtube link and lyrics (not sung in Apocalyptica's version.)

So close no matter how far
couldn't be much more from the heart
forever trusting who we are
and nothing else matters

never opened myself this way
life is ours, we live it our way
all these words I don't just say
and nothing else matters

trust I seek and I find in you
every day for us something new
open mind for a different view
and nothing else matters
never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know

but I know
so close no matter how far
couldn't be much more from the heart
forever trusting who we are
and nothing else matters
never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know

but I know
never opened myself this way
life is ours, we live it our way
all these words I don't just say
trust I seek and I find in you
every day for us something new
open mind for a different view
and nothing else matters

never cared for what they say
never cared for games they play
never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know

and I know
so close no matter how far
couldn't be much more from the heart
forever trusting who we are
no nothing else matters

Today's Music - Tanghetto's Blue Monday.

Just seems to fit today, I think.

My first milonga . . .

was wonderful - though I spent most of the time trying to find a comfortable position for my injured toe and listening to music. It was of course the music the got me there in the first place. I did have someone come tell me that I must be "hard core" to come to a milonga mostly for the music. My journey started with one piece of tango music - what can I say but that?

In my first milonga I watched gentlemen ask women to dance with merely their eyebrows. Fantastic. The language of eyebrows is fascinating. I must practice answering in my mirror ;-)

The music of the evening was accompanied by something I didn't expect - the somewhat hypnotic sound of the dancers' feet sweeping the floor like soft whispering in time with the music. Next time my feet will be contributing to the whispering.

I also learned to never, ever stop by your office on the way to a milonga. It's courting disaster - if not just distraction. For god's sake don't look at anything in your office - you don't really want to know if anything's gone wrong anyway. And don't check your email, either. Just a suggestion.

and to Carlos and Patrick - thank you for making me feel like a million bucks.

At the musical intersection of Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets

I left the milonga too early, it seems. After I left, they played "Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets" which would have been wonderful to hear in that setting. I learned one of my first belly dancing routines to Natacha Atlas's version, below:

Gotan Project's version is used in the video below:

Next time I have to find a way to stay 'til the end of the milonga!

Funniest line from a tango blog so far . . .

From Very Shy Tanguero (from ages ago, since I'm just now finding all of these fabulous blogs):

"There are two groups of people in the world: the beautiful, intelligent, perspective, funny and interesting ones and those who don't like tango."

Murat and Michelle in Tango Amor show

Simply too beautiful not to share. Murat and Michelle dancing in the show, Tango Amor in Maui, August 2007. Its their favorite tango: Remolino by Francini Pontier and Raul Beron.

White Rabbit as Alternative Tango Music - on recommendation

I had heard about this being played for tango and just had to listen for myself. It really does work - and not just because I always liked the song. I can imagine this being beautiful for tango actually.

Note from the Universe

All things've never really asked for much. Hey, what's up with that?
--The Universe
(Thank you to for the link!)

Pondering alternative tango music

Every once in a while . . . oh, who am I kidding, frequently I catch myself listening to non-tango music and thinking, I could dance tango to that. The emotion, the rhythm - something in the music works in my head for that. Here's an example:

I can totally see myself doing beautiful boleos during this song - if I could do beautiful boleos, I mean. Which I can't. Except in my head.

OK - really . . .

I really, really need to do something about that link list. Holy cannoli that's a seriously hard to read text monster. There will likely be some unavailability of the page while I do some re-arranging.

Trio Garufa's Gamulan, a Project Tango Film

16mm PROJECT TANGO film by Daniel Peters starring TRIO GARUFA performing and dancing to "Gamulan" with dancer Andrea Fuchilieri.

I love the man dancing with his foot in a box. Well, who wouldn't?

Just whinging . . .

The milonga is in a few days. Every dress I put on makes me feel like "mutton dressed as lamb." I feel completely unprepared to actually dance. Reading leaders' posts complaining about their inept/non-musical/awkward followers fills me with dread. I want to wear my fancier shoes - but that would draw attention to my clumsy steps. At least my DH will be giving me a lift home - saving me the half an hour bus ride home in the middle of the night.

Tango Bitter Sweet - Posting this just because . . .

it cracks me up. I love this. I may need to watch it a couple of more times later to get through this day.

That other dance I do - dancing w/ mudras

I've had a couple of people ask, so rather than try to explain - I, as usual, looked for a video to that showed it instead. This is a classic performance of Sattriya Nritya from India that demonstrates mudras used in dance. Only this dancer does it about 200 times faster than I can.

PS - to D. (as opposed to drj), if you never look at the videos, you might be missing the good bits. :-)