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January 29, 2005

Fiction: The Dancing Detective

The Dancing Detective (www.tangomascarada.com) is a tango murder mystery in English, French, Spanish, Greek and German. With illustrations and soundtrack. (Requires Flash player.)

Succinct and campy, the language imitates the trite hard-boiled American detective fiction of the '30s and '40s. Wolf weaves tango into the text with fetishized fragments -- his detective finds splinters from CDs of rare Tango music at the crime scene, a woman's "plunging neckline" is a metonym of the underlying kinky eroticism of this story's perverse tango underworld. All surface, little depth, a pastiche of clichés - it gives a smell of tango that seems simultaneously true and false.

"My God," he said, "the killer walked her to the cross and crucified her." He didn't know who it was, but Damien recognized the steps; the killer was a tango dancer.

Comparing the different translations from the English yields some interesting nuances. The translators seem to have their own individual styles, and some vernacular slang comes through. I discovered that "dancing detective" is "boeuf qui danse" in French.

And I think the crucifixion line I quoted above has more of a ring to it (more assonance, more end rhyme) in Spanish:

Dios mío” se dijo, “el asesino la llevó hasta el cruce y la crucificó”.

The story was first published in the New York magazine ReporTango in March
2003. The author, Victor Levant, is a Gestalt Psychotherapist, PhD. In International Relations
and a tango dancer in Montreal, Canada.

Posted by joegrohens at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2005

Tango #56

The music won't take no for an answer tonight
It is grabbing us by our hair, our feet
Shaking us awake
Insistent, demanding our full attention, saying
"Listen! There is only this moment.
Come dance. Come now."
It wraps its mesmerizing arms around us
And begins to teach us why we have ears and arms
And what feet were created for.
Caught in this torrential downpour,
We are washed away in a flash flood of tango,
Carried miles from where we began
Rinsed clean of all traces of our former selves
Eyes shining
Wearing silly little smiles on our feet
Wide awake at last.

The Secret Diaries of Sonia D'Angel

Posted by Sharon at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2005

Tango #17

Becoming Amber

Yes, this is how it happens
This is how the mosquito is glad to be caught
Caught forever in the thick delicious sap of the tree's embrace
He oozes tango from every pore
Dancing with him I am transformed into a jewel
The color of the sun
Caught in the thick irresistible sap of his tango
I want this dance to last forever
Yes, this is how it happens

The Secret Diaries of Sonia D'Angel

Posted by Sharon at 11:49 AM | Comments (1)

Tango # 22

I am the pen
With which you write your poems
Across the floor
Fleeting ephemeral lines
Like sacred Tibetan sand paintings
Meticulously crafted by worshipful monks
And brushed away
When they are complete
As a reminder of life's illusory nature
We are two happy and focused monks
Diligently practicing our own religion
Our own ritual art
As we create
This elegant ephemeral tango
This pure pursuit of grace
That only we will remember

The Secret Diaries of Sonia D'Angel

Posted by Sharon at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2005

Comparison of Tango Poets with French Symbolistes

Historias de Tango

The link between Verlaine and the tango poets is shown in Canto de ausencia, a poem wrote by Homero Manzi:

Escrito en un poema está tu nombre.
Colgada en la pared tu cara buena.
Tus cartas escondidas en un cofre,
y en un libro de Verlaine, tus azucenas…

Posted by joegrohens at 03:58 AM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2005

Tango Trip Reports

Here is an interesting report of two (naive) tango dancers from Houston travelling recently in Buenos Aires. With photos.

Rick McGarrey from Tucson has journals from two trips, one in 2001, and another in 2003: Tango and Chaos in Buenos Aires by Rick McGarrey

Chicago dancer Bibi Wong has written these Postcards from Buenos Aires

Do others have tango trip reports that I can include on these pages?

Posted by joegrohens at 07:33 AM | Comments (0)

January 02, 2005

Torito's web site

Rob "Torito" Nuijten of Amsterdam publishes a very interesting, and attractively designed, web site for tango in Netherlands. Links of interest:

From browsing his "Tango agenda" just now, I learned of the death of Jose Libertella, cited below.

On a lighter note, Torito reports on a great tango video clip ( "Uniquely Spikey".) from a TV commercial of the Singapore travel industry. (Requires QuickTime).

Fun: Webmovie commercial spotted: Dancing Tango for Singapore. Bold man with lady in selfmade SM bra. (Who are they, do you know?)

One must note that Torito takes some very nice tango photographs, as I have mentioned previously.

Posted by joegrohens at 01:41 AM | Comments (0)

Jose Libertella R.I.P

Many of us from Urbana and Purdue saw the great bandoneonist Jose Libertello leading the Sexteto Mayor in concert with Tango Pasión in Chicago last year (October 2003).

The fueye has taken its last breath in his hands.

From Torito's website:

A great loss. Jose Libertella (Sexteto Mayor) dies in Paris, on wednesday Dec 8, at the age of 71, while on tour with Tango Pasión. The maestro has been flown back to Buenos Aires. Jose Libertella in Torquato Tasso, BsAs, in December 2002. Photo © Rob Nuijten, Amsterdam (Torito.nl)

Posted by joegrohens at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)

January 01, 2005

Tango Writings website

Night Work: The Tango Book is a compendium of "Fiction, Poetry, and Prose by Tangueros Who Write." It's entertaining. I like the story "Dancing with Uncle Jorge."

Oliver by Chelsea Eng
Fabian by Jane Candace Bullard
Dancing with Uncle Jorge by Diane E. Dees
The Gift by Alexis Sixela
Tango Noir by Jane Candace Bullard
One Thing Needed by Rhoda Janzen
Tango Feet by Chelsea Eng
That Walk by R. Joyce Heon
Great American Tangos by Jane Candace Bullard
Cortinas by various authors

Posted by joegrohens at 09:38 PM | Comments (0)