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.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


As I sit and watch the dance floor, I often wish the Tango Police would give citations to people who don't respect the Codigos, who endanger others with voleos and ganchos, or whose attire, like the other night, is not respectful--in this case, a man in shorts and athletic shoes. Sure, I admit it, sometimes I wish the bad dancers would get fined as well.

The other night at Maipu, Hector stopped the milonga three times to announce that the line of dance must be observed! I don't know who the guilty parties were, but the warning, especially under the conditions of the terribly crowded floor, didn't create a good atmosphere.

Now here's an Argentine guy, Gonzalo Otalora, who wants to put a tax on people who are ugly, saying beautiful people get untold advantages over ugly ones. Now never mind who's supposed to be the judge and jury. (Lucy Mangan reviews his book, Feo!, in the Guardian.)

To my mind, Otalora wouldn't have to pay the tax himself--just look at those eyes! But thank goodness, beauty is in the mind of the beholder. No matter how unattractive on the outside a person may be, if they have what it takes on the inside, people will love them. That's aside from the fact that there's someone for everyone on this earth, no matter what they look like.

It's just another quirk of the Argentine superficial standards of beauty. I honestly at times don't understand how the profound tango ever came out of this society, and maybe it wouldn't have today.

But now here's my idea of Feo, although for sure this photo from the Associated Press has its admirers.


Caroline said...

Is Gonzalo kidding about the ugly tax?? I can't believe it. Like you say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we all have our own definition of what beauty entails.

I wish in Montreal that the milonga organizers would say something about the line of dance. "If I had a dollar bill for every kick I got, there'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin."

NYC Tango Pilgrim said...


As serious as I am with Tango, I found the last photo from AP somewhat interesting, to say the least. :-)

Big hugs

PS. I am coming down in August with two friends.

Anonymous said...

In NYC, there used to be this old Argentine man who was the self appointed "tango police" and didn't hesitate to "enforce" the rule right on the floor. :) No one seems to know how old he was, but every year he would return from his winter(Summer) break in BsAs looking older and angrier.

I was told he went back to BsAs and won't return. I wonder whether he's going to the milongas there these days...

tangocherie said...

Hey Anon,
I think I know that guy!!

Looking forward to seeing you here in August, TP, but before that you're dancing in Asia? Cool!

Besos to all! Thanks as always for stopping by and leaving comments.