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.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Dancing in the City of Angels

I'm in red and black at right, dancing with Avi.

I usually never take my tango shoes to L.A. when I visit. But this time I planned to meet my old tango friends at the milonga of my first teacher, Linda Valentino, Tango Mio.
That's me in black on the right

I loved seeing so many familiar faces, faces of my Los Angeles tango family: Flo, Dee, Howard, Manley, Johanna, Marcelo, Linda, Malina, so many.

An extra-added bonus was son Jason and his friend Connie attending with me. What a surprise to see Barbara Trelles who had been a student some years past in Buenos Aires!

It's a wonderful venue, the old Leonardo's Ballroom on LaBrea, with a great wooden floor packed with dancers as soon as the  QTango quintet from Tucson took the stage.

We also saw Black Swan, but I was disappointed. Yes, Natalie Portman is gorgeous, but enough already of the closeups of her face with the same expression: closeup--longshot--closeup--longshot. And we're supposed to believe the PR that she did her own dancing? I don't expect an actress to be able to dance the lead in Swan Lake, but the faking just seemed so, well, fake.

The makeup was outstanding though, and so was the performance of Barbara Hershey as the ultimate controlling ballet mother. (Sure I was a ballet mother myself, but I never was able to control Jason, not then, not now!) I do hope, though, that the film will make people want to see the ballet. Along with MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake is my favorite. I've seen it danced all over the world and like The Nutcracker, I'm never tired of it.

My last dance event of 2010 was The Nutcracker danced by the Pasadena Dance Theater at the historical Pasadena Playhouse. For me, it was never Christmas without The Nutcracker. I have many memories of watching Jason perform every Nutcracker role over the years, from Snow King to Russian dancer to Mouse King to Cavalier.

Jason as The Nutcracker, with Elkin as Clara, in the Los Angeles Ballet circa a long time ago

It was a cold and crispy winter night. We climbed into the hills of Pasadena while the stars shone overhead and the city lights twinkled below.

The performance was wonderful, great staging, well-rehearsed, delightful; a fitting finale to my holidays in Los Angeles.

Friday, December 10, 2010

National Day of the Tango

Sandra of My Buenos Aires Travel Guide is always up to date with announcements of interesting events in Buenos Aires. I wrote about this special tango day last year, but this year I'll quote Sandra. (For Ruben and me, every day is a special Tango Day!) Go to Sandra's blog for more information on the free live orchestra concert with tango superstars and dancing in the streets:

Buenos Aires celebrates National Tango Day on Saturday, December 11th, 2010, with an open air free concert at the Obelisco, at 7:00 PM.
The Tango, declared by UNESCO as World's Cultural Heritage, celebrates its days in commemoration of the birth of Carlos Gardel and Julio De Caro. The stage will be mounted on Avenida 9 de Julio looking towards the south, there will be 8000 seats available to the public, and two large screens will be installed for easy viewing of the show.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

El Dia de La Inmaculada Concepcîon

by Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
Today is a holiday:  el Dia de la Inmaculada Concepcîon, a Holy Day of Obligation for Roman Catholics, or Dia de la Virgen, or the Day to Put Up Your Christmas Tree.

Check out my last year's post here.  I had my Virgens wrong, but still it's the national day of decorating for Christmas. Everyone brings out there tinseled  plastic trees from the closet and plugs them in. Dress shops drape ornaments around the bikinied mannequins in display windows.

Just to let you know, my beautiful little pine tree lives on and today we will bring it in from the terrace and decorate it for another year.

Ruben--my Papa Noel and my Christmas present