Archive for the ‘Tango night’ Tag

Another tanda   Leave a comment

Another tanda

People who just yesterday played with us on the dance floors around the San Francisco Bay Area suddenly begin to have babies, others die in the most tragic of ways, and a new breed of playmates give us the eye the way we looked at our parents when they shook their heads watching our tastes and preferences. Lucy has morphed into Ethel, and Ricky is now Fred.It feels like just the other day when we made the decision to step aside and throw our support to a former disciple turned tango entrepreneur. In return we’d get the treatment and respect extended to visiting celebrities, and occasionally would be invited to do a workshop or two, or perform at some special occasion.

In between we had to deal to unexpected health challenges, one that almost marked the end of a road. Nevertheless, one year after our last foray as milonga hosts, we returned to the former Taqueros restaurant, now the upscale Irish House.

It was Sunday, the week after the Saints fumbled their 2011 Superbowl hopes in San Francisco, allegedly affected by the same malady that some New Orleanians who venture out of the Parish line suffer, the fish out of water syndrome. What’s great about this city is that nobody goes ballistic, there is no mourning period, they put their Saints paraphernalia away and resume the countdown to Mardi Gras.

We had this idea of appealing to a new group people so the critical mass of dancers in the city would increase, and we were expecting and prepared for a great introductory lesson and an introduction to tango parties to many newcomers. I felt like 1997 again, except I had long hair back then.

Imagine our surprise when face after known face began to file into the upstairs room on time for the multilevel lesson. They changed their shoes and stepped on to dance floor forming a circle. It really felt good and it changed our focus immediately.

We presented a very nice combination consisting of a turn to the left right after the salida in cross feet, then showed a similar salida followed by a turn to the right, and finally taught them how to concatenating them together for a longer and challenging move.

After the lesson, we danced almost four hours non stop, a new after Katrina record. The virtues of dancing at a public place become evident one more time. People made their choices of whom to talk to, whom to dance with, whom to drink with, and whom to sit with. The place really look like (not, I’m not going to say Buenos Aires), the place look like the kind of place where adults go to socialize with other adults.

Even a group of youngsters put some of us to shame, by occupying a table, ordering diner and drinking champagne. We really appreciated every single person who took the time to come, dance and have a good time.

When it looked like we were destined for the geriatric hall of fame, we heard the music, looked at each other and got up to dance another tanda.

THE OTHER SHOE DROPETH   Leave a comment

I respect you in the morning and the check is in the mail have been forever two of the most quoted lies when it comes to highlight empty promises that people often make but have no intention to follow through.

Although it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone within spitting distance in this town, many of you readers from the blogosphere may appreciate getting a background about the lukewarm support of tango at Le Phare, how the romance came to a sudden end, the sadness began and a few things more.

The nice manager of the former Loft 523 seemed very eager to resurrect “the tango night.” He had heard so many tales about the pre Katrina tango night at the Loft, he had said when  we happened to walk by the place and see it open again after two years in the aftermath of Katrina. During that time we had been nurturing the emotional wounds caused by the bitterness and bile of a few former dancer/student/friends who for some evil reasons were “unhappy that we had returned to New Orleans.”

There was a  caveat though, and that was that the available day was Wednesday. Not good because there already was a very well attended dance in Baton Rouge which we liked to attend every now and then on Wednesdays. For the rest some do swing and others suck on sour grapes. But there was a core of dedicated dancers from the past, a number of friends who promised to respect us in the morning, and a handful of new bodies so we went ahead and got back into providing an opportunity for good tango dancing on September 17, 2008.

We managed to survive through the holiday season which this town takes very serious, focusing on family and friends, and even took in an unusual amount of thunderstorms and even a snow fall. The word lukewarm kept defining the support the community at large gave to arguably the best floor, the best ambiance, and the best music available to indulge in the intimacy and exhilaration of the tango. Yet, Mr. Nice Manager kept assuring us that all was good, that he enjoyed the small group, and that the rumors that a hip hop DJ wanted to move in on us were unfounded. Then came the last minute email, “it’s not you, it’s me.” The other shoe dropeth. The party line is that the finance people (nobody’s ever seen them, but they do exist, don’t they?) were not happy with the meager $150 tango dancers were dropping at the bar every Wednesday.

I have another theory. Two weeks ago as I approached the bar counter I was shocked hearing a most offensive racist statement regarding Mr. Nice Manager who was even closer to the wingnut than I was. Somehow the racial rant was about, and I paraphrase, how Mr. Nice Boy Manager got to have an education, a job and a good life because of the money that the federal government took away from the Mayflower families coffers midway through the twentieth century.

The “it’s not you, it’s me” email continued, “I regret to inform you that after my meeting today, the managing partners for Le Phare have decided that Tango Night isn’t what we’re looking for on a Wed. Night.”

I think that Mr. I Carry a Card That Proves That My Ancestors Arrived In The Mayflower got Mr. Nice Manager pissed. Thump, kaboon, and the tango got kicked out of Le Phare.

Posted April 1, 2009 by Alberto & Valorie in HOME

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