After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A Milonguero's Tango

The tango of a milonguero is perhaps the only thing that he really owns. His dance is his and his alone. No one can control it or take it away. He can be generous or selfish with it. He can use it to conquer, to seduce, to give and receive pleasure, to earn respect, notoriety, money.

As Gavito used to say, "Tango is my mistress. Only she has my heart."

No one tells a milonguero who to dance with. He might comply once, as a gentleman, but that person will be invisible to him forever more.

Do you think I can tell Ruben who to dance with and when? Or who not to dance with?
Ruben, like all milongueros, owns his own tango.


Anonymous said...

Is the reverse also true?

tangocherie said...

You can also say that Tango owns him;
A marriage for life without the possibility of parole! :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, of course. But I meant, would he deign to tell YOU with whom to dance, and when?

tangocherie said...

You've got to be kidding!
Of course he does!
But it's fine with me because I really don't want to dance with anybody else, except for a friend or student once in a while.

A couple of years ago we were at a milonga with a group of friends, and the organizer announced over the microphone that El Flaco Dany was now going to do a milonga demonstration with Cherie!!

I was eating pizza at the time, but I wiped my mouth and did the demo. I didn't know it then but Ruben was offended that Dany didn't ask his permission first (the heck with asking me, right?)!

So neither of us dance around and we're both ok with that. The fact is though that if Ruben wanted to he could. And because of the codigos, even if I wanted to, I couldn't get arrested (by the locals as the foreign men don't know any better) in Buenos Aires.

Tango is nothing if not macho!

Anonymous said...

"Dance around". Sounds so naughty :-)

Hey, as long as everyone is happy!

tangocherie said...

I can only answer for myself that yes, I'm very happy with the way things are.

when I met Ruben I had been dancing tango for 8 years; I had danced with all the dancers and milongueros of BsAs that I wanted, and you know, it was starting to get boring. At whatever milonga when a certain orchestra began, I would look at so-and-so and we'd dance; and when a fast vals tanda began, I'd look at another who I enjoyed the vals, etc. Pretty soon I knew exactly what steps they were going to do when in every piece of music!

But Ruben's dancing is never predicable or boring, ever! He's always doing new moves and improvising differently to the same music, and so very, very musical...

And I suppose he's happy too with how we manage our milonga life, because if he weren't, he'd do something else, dance with whomever he wanted, because he's the milonguero!!!

NYC Tango Pilgrim said...


It is always a joy to watch you and Ruben dance. I am often touched by the connection you share. Ruben is surely a milonguero who I have utmost respect for.