Something has changed in the way winter visits our city. It used to feel like it was a matter of days that we had to scramble looking for sweaters and jackets before the subtropical weather returned reminding us why we came here looking for a home base of year around bloom and greenery. So far this winter appears to have overextended its stay, or so it seems.
Last night was the coldest so far with temperatures dropping to the mid thirties and it took a lot of love for what we do to leave the toasty confines of our camel back bunker to venture out to the CBD for another tango night at Le Phare. Just as the car heater began to blow warm air around we started circling Gravier, Magazine, Poydras and Camp in search of a parking spot. Through the windows of Le Phare we saw the usual suspects, the loyal brigade that week after week work hard on their technique and styling for an hour before indulging in a couple of hours of intimate dancing.
At 5 past 8 something unexpected began to unravel. The spacious room was filling up with people we hardly expected to see. A gentle couple from California we had meet last July during Valorie’s birthday month made their unannounced entrance. A known horn player who had played at Myra’s wedding came in saying that Myra had recommended us as the best place to learn the tango. A couple of young Argentine college educators returned bringing with them a couple of young men very interested in learning the dance. Then, there were a handful of people whom we had not seen for the longest time. At one point it almost felt like the old days at the House of Tango when time after time we brought along a new crop of tango dancers.
There is nothing more inspiring than to have a room full of people expecting to be challenged, so we did. I never know why we choose a particular style of music and offer a lesson on choice moves that match the music. Last night Juan D’Arienzo seemed a natural choice to heat up a room that had started cold and empty. The This is the king CD from our collection got spinning and we proposed a sequence that uses the base in crossed feet to generate a double time change of direction using the opening step of the woman’s code and a triple pizza slice step for the man. As with all tango trickery, the devil was in the detail and once we put the turn in context with the use of known elements and familiar patterns, we experienced the second high of the night as the couples began to execute and understand the purpose of the figure and its relation to the beat of Juan D’Arienzo.
The dancing period that followed was also intense and full of energy lasting way into the midnight hour when the remaining Argentines began to wake up and squeezed out the last tanda before venturing out into the coldest night invigorated with the energy of the hottest night at Le Phare.