So now I add my own post to the dozens popping up all over the tango blogosphere - milonguero Pedro "Tete" Rusconi, has died. Of particular note are Alex's at Alex.tango.fuego and Deby's at TangoSpam: La Vida Con Deby.
I read the "news" first on Facebook - a post from a couple different tango dancers. I was shocked since I had only just read of him dancing at a milonga a few nights ago. I searched other social networks, Google, a few news sites - nothing. How, I asked myself, could such a man die and there be no news online about it? Maybe it's just a rumour. I asked around - no one had a link to news site. Maybe it's a terrible hoax.
Still - no news even of the rumour. Nothing. And then I really thought about it. Outside of tango, who knows this man's name? I had seen video footage of him dancing before I started dancing tango - but I wouldn't have known his name. In a short 11 months, I had gone from barely recognizing different teachers to becoming a Tete-rabid-girl-fan. How does that happen?
Still more status updates on Facebook about Tete. Now coming from friends in Argentina. Now I know it's true. Everyone begins posting their favorite videos of him. I posted mine and tried to watch it. I made it about 1 minute before I had to stop it and close the screen.
Why was I so upset? Red-eyed and sniffly over a man I'd never met, never corresponded with. Selfish really ...
I had been hoping to get to Buenos Aires and at least watch this milonguero dance in person. If the stars and timing and finances aligned - maybe to be able to learn from him in person. Now he's gone. All that's left is watching videos and talking to people about him, about his style - about how he felt/lived/loved/breathed tango.
More than that, he represented a style of dancing tango that I don't see so much here. (I can only speak really to the style that he "appeared" to dance, since I have no firsthand experience to go on.) That chest-to-chest, cheek-to-cheek style of tango that I find so exhilerating. Ricardo Vidort, Carlos Gavito, now Tete Rusconi. I'm not just sad for the loss of these men, but for what they represent in the collective experience of tango.
There is a woman I know, our own milonguera, who says there are younger ones learning, dancing, and thankfully, teaching, tango in that style. I can only hope she's right. Purely selfish again. I want the future of tango to look at least a little bit like these dancers.