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June 30, 2009

Step One

"The first step to wisdom is silence. The second is listening."

(Chinese Proverb)

Posted by joegrohens at 05:01 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2009

Eugenia Parrilla Interview, Part 3

Chicho & Eugenia dance to "Poema" at CITA 2005

Final installment of interview with Eugenia Parrilla, August 2006, Chicago.

Beatriz: When I see the couples dancing tango salon, I can more or less tell which couples are connected and which ones aren’t. Can you do the same and tell which couples dancing "new tango" are connected and which ones aren’t?

Eugenia: Yes, by all means. And for me it doesn’t have to do with what type of tango you dance. There are things that I would never do, and I like them, but I know I would never do them.

B: Like what, for example?

E: There are couples that I see and I say, “Okay, I would never do that because it’s not what motivates me.” But I might still love it. I know I’m not going to dance canyengue style. Maybe I could as an interpretation of a time, but I’m not going to dedicate my life to doing that. But I love it when I see it. I love it. There are things that reach you even though it’s not exactly what you would want to do.


Joe: What do you want to do for your personal goals in tango?

E: The idea of integrating more and more things interests me, of being able to integrate theater. It might not have much to do with tango, but I also really like aerial things. I would like to be able to integrate other arts with tango.

B: You’re referring to aerial dance?

E: Yes, aerial dance. I would like to be able to do theater quite a bit.

B: You’d like to integrate that with tango?

E: I would like to, that with tango, and theater, and for everything to have a common thread. To get to the point where I can do something more open, more thus like the dance [[la danza]], more artistic. So that the tango would be seen more like something like a dance [[la danza]] and not like a closed circle that only knows tango. That it would expand more each time, that it could go further to la danza, more to expressivity, more to something credible, of expressivity. And I would like to be able to deal with real topics about actual problems, about what’s happening in the world. And not just from the point of view of the cabaret and the cafishio who manages the crazy women. It seems that that makes you able to… Well, it’s fine. It’s the roots. But if that is managed in an intelligent way to be able to do a show, I think in that way it will be interesting. But if it’s always the same story, I think it’s always frozen. You can take something old and relate it to something more current. Because even today there’s lots of prostitution, there are a lot of things, through another context, through another place. And I think that that’s interesting, being able to approach the emotions, what’s happening with emotions, from a more psychological viewpoint, than through something so closed. I don’t know. Something open, more artistic.

J: You said that you studied music?

E: I studied piano.

J: From the point of view of music, do you like the direction that contemporary tango music is taking today with the tango electronico?

E: It seems to me… Mmmm. It’s difficult to talk about this because I think that each person wants to do the best they can do, and they try to do the best they can. And those people that try to do the best they can in my mind are very respectable. It’s not the same as someone that wants to take advantage and make some money. No, it’s not the same. That’s why it’s difficult for me to talk about this.

B: Do you personally like to dance to electronic music?

E: Not all of it, not all of it. But there are things I like and others I don’t. But I think that electronic music is missing a little bit. Like if there’s a hollow space between Piazzola, who was more modern, and electronic music. I think that maybe they have to go a little further back to get to something better. But all the same, I don’t know. I think there’s something missing. But I still like it.

J: What do you think tango music could be like if we had new tango music?

E: I imagine it with more participation from the instruments, like the bandoneon, like the violin, with more rhythmic changes, like with integration of perhaps a little of classical music, maybe a little of something of Pugliese, but without it being Pugliese, but a little of the essence of each thing with an electronic bass. But for me electronic music isn’t that march music that goes “Boom, boom” the whole time which I can’t stand. I imagine it as like something more symphonic without it getting to the point of being classical music.

J: Are you working on any theatrical projects now, today? Or do you have anything coming up that you can work on?

E: There are projects that I have in mind. But in this moment I’m not doing anything. I want to prepare myself for that. But right now, nothing concrete. But yes, I know what interests me. I try to write the ideas that come to me.

B: If there were a 10 year-old kid that asked you, “What is tango?” and you had to answer him at a 10-year old level, what would you say?

E: (Laughter) How difficult! It’s very hard. That tango is like when you love someone and you can move freely like you’re playing in freedom with the body.


Carlota: Do you have a favorite tango performance that you’ve seen recently that you really liked a lot? That made you think, like, “Oh, yeah, I’d like to do something like that.” Not exactly like that but, oh, that’s what I’d like to see happening in a tango performance.

E: I wouldn’t do it. (Laughs). I wouldn’t do the same thing they do. But I love Melina Brufman and Claudio Gonzalez. It’s totally different than what I would do. But they impress me, they touch me. They’re incredible. And there are a lot of people I like. A lot. I think everyone has at least one thing I like. In everybody something I like. But always you can take something from somebody. But I like Melina and Claudio…I don’t remember now because it’s a lot.

End of interview conducted August 2006 in Chicago

Posted by joegrohens at 04:38 PM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2009

The Look of Tango

My friend X wrote to me about her chance encounter. Perhaps people in tango can develop a certain radar ("godar"?) for recognizing birds of their feather.

I was in B. (a neighboring town) visiting a friend that recently moved there. We were in a shop and I saw a man dressed in the most beautifully cut black pants and shirt. Gray hair, very distinguished looking. I don't know why, but I said, "excuse me for asking you this strange question, but are you a tango dancer. I know there is tango in your town, but I don't know where." He looked at me and said, "no, I am not a tango dancer, I am a priest".

I swear to you, this just happened to me today. About five people that worked there just cracked up. By the time I left everyone in the store knew I was the one that asked the priest if he was a tango dancer. I have completely lost my mind. He told me he really shouldn't remove his collar. Duh! The least he could have done was have a large cross around his neck. This could only happen to me.

Posted by joegrohens at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)