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.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Milongueando en Bariloche!

Ruben and I just returned from a fabulous week of nature and clean air, good food and relaxation in Patagonia.

But the first thing we did in San Carlos de Bariloche was to go to a milonga!

It's held downstairs in the Casino on Sundays, and the night we were there, there was live music from the Bariloche Tango Trio.

A glamorous atmosphere

Milongueros generally aren't that crazy about dancing to live music, because as in this case, valses are mixed with milongas and all sorts of tangos, and there were no tandas as such. Still, this group played very well--especially the violinist. A pleasure to listen to, if a bit difficult to dance to for some. The cabeceo doesn't exist there either.

We danced and had fun, and folks came up to us to ask if we were from Buenos Aires. I had a Caipirinha cocktail, whoo hoo!! (I do miss my cocktails, living in BsAs)

The fabulous violinist

Time to go--big day tomorrow!

The lobby poster

 We were disappointed that there were not more milongas to attend while we were in town, but at least there was this one. It's the "off season" in Bariloche, but anyway, it's not a Mecca for tango. We spent the rest of the week enjoying many of the other attractions that Patagonia has to offer. And I can't wait to go back! Not for the tango but for the natural beauty. (More about our trip coming soon.)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Sometimes you wanna go
Where everybody knows your name
And they're always glad you came
You wanna be where you can see
Our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows your name
                                --Theme song of Cheers! (American TV series set in a bar in Boston,   1982-1993)

I especially "wanna be where everyone knows my name" because I live in a foreign country and my home and family are far, far away. I think we all want to be at Cheers! at certain times. So it's a great pleasure for me to walk into a milonga in Buenos Aires and feel at home.
Since I tend to go to the same milongas week after week for years, like most of the other habitués, we kiss each other hello (not goodbye), sit in the same chairs at the same tables, and watch each other get older. It's comfortable and wonderful.

Still, not everyone knows my name or me theirs. When we buy our ticket at the door, we check our personal lives, our worries, and our aches and pains with our coats, and enter the milonga where all that matters is the dancing.

It's traditional that between tangos during the time for chatting, we only speak impersonally (if we follow the codigos.) We never talk about what we or others do for a living, marital status, housing and living arrangements. We speak about the weather, the music, whether the milonga is crowded tonight, and perhaps give our first name. But often as not, we don't remember everyone's actual names and instead greet each other with, Hola, linda! or Que pasa, flaca? or Todo bien, jefe?

So perhaps everyone doesn't know my name, but still I am home in the milonga.

Thursdays at Nuevo Chique