Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner writes in The Daily Reckoning Australia: (bold print mine)
We are coming to the end of our lonely exile in South America. Last night we went with friends to a Tango Club.
“The trouble with tango,” an Argentine friend explained, “is that it is really not very popular with young people in Argentina. So, when people from North America come down here they always want to go to tango clubs. And they always say they want to go to ‘contemporary’ clubs…where the locals go. But the locals don’t go to tango clubs. The tango clubs are for tourists. It is like in your New Orleans. They have jazz clubs there. But I think that only tourists go to them. They are like museums.”
Our friend, Maria, took us to the best of the museums…a small place in a dicey neighborhood known as San Telmo...
Your editor is fond of tango music…and tango dancing too. As to the former, he doesn’t know much about it, but he likes to listen. As to the latter, he took lessons in Paris for several months…then, he gave up. “You northern Europeans may not be cut out for tango,” his teacher had told him, with a look of pity in her eye.
The musicians were all middle aged. Still, they had some life left in them. There were a couple of singers too – a man and a woman. They seemed to be from the Barbara Streisand school of musical expression. The woman, in particular, tried to get as much out of each song as possible…extruding each note as if it were a piece of wire…and then wrapping it around her neck until she practically choked. We couldn’t pick out the words, but we sensed that something awful had happened. She was carrying a torch as big as a California forest fire and she wasn’t about to let go of it.
After the singers had worn themselves out, the exhibition dancers appeared. The man had spiky hair, in the modern fashion, and a pin striped suit, in the tango fashion. The woman was very pretty, with a dancer’s outfit, a tight top and a skirt split up to the waist, decorated with sequins and sparklers. The music began. The couple held each other tightly…looked into each other eyes…and it was as if someone had fired the starting gun of a race. They were off! Legs flew…backs arched…shoulders and hips swivelled and swirled so violently, we were afraid body parts might fly off. It was very impressive.
When the exhibition was over, the music continued. Both dancers went around the room and asked customers if they’d like to try it.
How could we resist? We clutched the young woman in our best tango-school pose…we looked her in the eye. Her bare left leg flexed…and rose as if to stroke our right flank. So far, so good.
All we can say is that we showed her some moves that she had never seen before.
OK, maybe it's just a question of semantic ignorance ("tango clubs.")
Argentines think tango in Buenos Aires only exists in the "museums" of stage shows in San Telmo? And "lonely exile?" Excuse me?
I feel so bad reading travel articles like this which perpetuate the myth of Argentine tango as only flashy and suggestive moves by girls in slit skirts. You know, the whole "vertical sex" thing. Tango is so easily made fun of, and is so clichéd in the media.
This topic is something that I happen to know a little about. Are the articles I read about unfamiliar topics equally inaccurate? That's scary.
Tango is not a religion, but then, why did I write a book called, The Church of Tango?
Stepping down from my soap box now--but probably not for long.
What do you think? Should I care so much?