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March 22, 2005

Official Tourist Guide to Milongas

This government web site includes a guide to tango with an interactive map of the city - red dots light up to show where the milongas are - mouse over them to see name and address information, subway details.

Click the link "Tango" in the right sidebar.

This site also has plenty of other interesting things about the city of Buenos Aires.

Turismo Bs As - Sitio oficial de turismo de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires

Turismo Bs As - Sitio oficial de turismo de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires (English Version)

Posted by joegrohens at 03:21 AM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2005

The Correct Dancing Position

(Click to enlarge)

Perhaps this poster from our wise elders best answers the many questions raised in a recent cu-tango discussion thread, which was prompted by the Ask Maleva Advice Column entitled "Help! Men Try to Kiss Me When We Dance" (reprinted on next page).

Text of Poster

Conventions are the fences society has built to protect you and the race. Familiarities arouse dangerous desires. They waste your power for the finest human companionship and love. Physical attraction alone will never wholly satisfy. Complete and lasting love is of the mind as well as of the body.
Next Page:

.... 4. New ASK MALEVA Advice Column - .... & "Help! Men Try To Kiss Me When We Dance" .... ....

Dear M,

I am a tanguera who loves the close embrace. I also have no problem with
letting myself go in a man's arm during a dance. Thus far, I have found that
most men have been respectful of that and that only a few might insinuate
things after the dance. But I have had two occassions, one very early on in
my tango experience, and one most recently, in which the men attempted to
kiss me full on during the dance. Needless to say, I wasn't very happy
about it and my first reaction was to slap the men. I didn't. I love the
dance too much to have any situation ruin my experience. Anyway, my
question to you is, how do I go about making my intentions clear? That the
outpouring of emotion and passion i have in a dance is strictly for the love
of the dance and not for the dancer. Do you think it would be appropriate
to just say something along those lines before I begin dancing with someone?
Your advice would be much appreciated : )


* * *
Dear L,

Ew, how awful! Well, I don't think it would be appropriate or even necessary
to mention that you don't want any 'extra attention' before you begin
dancing because in most cases the 'tango relationship' starts off with rules
and parameters. One of the wonderful things about the tango experience is
that one can feel 'open' during the dance to experience many feelings
without crossing boundaries. There is nothing wrong with flirting or trying
to hook up with a woman at a milonga, but it should happen off the floor,
out to public view, and with the woman's consent. Taking the embrace is not
the same as giving consent to romantic intentions. I think you will find
most of the good dancers are there just to dance and will demonstrate any
romantic feelings through their dance in a respectful way.

Unfortunately, as in the case of the incidents you described, people
can sometimes get swept away by these feelings and there will always be
those few men who will try to take advantage of you during the dance,
whether you 'let go' or not. Some guys think that just because you let them
take you in your arms that you want something more, regardless of the
signals you are sending him. Personally, I think you should have slapped
these guys when they tried to smooch you, or at least pushed them away and
said something to put them in their place. At least, I hope you made it
very clear that what they did was totally inappropriate, and I hope that you
haven't danced with them since. I know you don't want to the reputation of
being a b*tch, but you don't want to be known as easy either. In tango,
sometimes it's better to be the b*tch. Don't be afraid to be strong about
it; if you come off as strong there is less a chance of guys thinking they
can take advantage in the future.

[To be fair, my friend who is a guy, wants to say: "May I ask, do you do
anything a little 'out of the ordinary' to demonstrate your passion for the
dance? Moaning, perhaps? (Some women do this!) Caressing the man's neck? Or
even the dreaded um, 'flip up'? Sometimes the woman has to restrain herself


Posted by joegrohens at 12:23 AM | Comments (1)

March 05, 2005

Barcelona Tango Stencilist

Here's a photo of some stencil art, which I blogged about previously.

Here's a related photo, tagged as tango, and uploaded to Flickr by duncan. (Click image to see larger version on Flickr.)

The second is another photo of work by, apparently, the same Barcelona tango graffitist. It makes me curious about a bunch of things. For example, what is the relation between tango and anarchy in Barcelona? Do tango dancers there favor tango nuevo? Do they go to the milongas with spiked hair and wearing crepe-soled boots? Or is tango itself always already transgressive?

And how many instances of this tango graffiti are scattered around Barcelona? Where are they? When will I go to Barcelona? Etc.

I love the stencil. It looks like, in the more recent photo, that the artist has used a separate stencil for the word "TANGO", which has the "A" blocked out so he can draw it.

But isn't there some irony in associating anarchy with such a traditional, convention-laden, and vociferously protected (by its practitioners) cultural form as the tango. Perhaps the contradiction of tradition and revolt is part of the point of this stencil. Like wearing tennis shoes and a three-piece suit. And, is graffiti always already transgressive?


Posted by joegrohens at 04:49 PM | Comments (0)