Alice in Tangoland

Aug 4, 2010 by

2010 NYC Tango Fest

2010 NYC Tango Festival BallAttend any milonga – a tango social dance – and talk to some milongueros about their dance, the Argentine tango. Chances are at least one of them, probably more, will speak of it as an addiction (“a good addiction” of course); the milonguero will also likely correct you on your blasé use of the word  ‘dance’ because tango, you see, is not so much a dance as it is a way of life. To an outsider this solemn claim to tango’s habit-forming power might seem an amusing and drama-queenish overstatement; it does, at least, until you realize one evening that you have joined the ranks of the afflicted.

2010 NYC Tango Fest. Photos by Constantine Markides

2010 NYC Tango FestivalNext month, on September 4, I will give a rookie addict’s account of Argentine tango. Until then, I offer a YouTube compilation of video I shot on July 24 at the NYC Tango Festival’s closing ball (which is where I also took these four photos of Alice in Tangoland) and a line from Lewis Carroll’s song “Lobster Quadrille,” sung by the Mock Turtle as he circles in dance with the Gryphon: “Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?”

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  1. Maybe Anton needs to reevaluate his choice of partner! Bianca doesn’t seem all that into the dance.

  2. seldomseen

    tango? argentina? you tube compilations? NO NO NO. we want Olaf, and that fake whore from greece, and Coco. And all the rest of them for that matter.
    for gods sake give your fans what they want and quit wasting your time, and ours, on this bullshit.

    • sorry, seldom, but you’ll have to wait a bit on that. you see, olaf & coco & co. are still recovering from your comments.
      p.s. you’re getting their names mixed up. watch that rum. it puts holes in the memory lobe.

    • Seldom,
      Speak for yourself! I agree with you that we’re missing Coco, Olaf, and the others, but you’re being a bit harsh no? And “fake whore from Greece”? First of all, it’s not Greece, it’s Cyprus. And it was Coco that was the prostitute (preferred to the word “whore”).

  3. Veronica

    So many opportunities for entanglements, but no broken toes!

  4. Zac Pelleriti

    Give us the Tango, Conz!! Just wait Seldom…it’s so sexy it fries itself. Conz, give us some Tango!

    “When I was young I had teeth and no bread. Now I am old and I have bread and no teeth to eat it with.” An old Tango Man performing, picking women from the crowd, in the San Telmo district in Buenos Aires.

    Seldom — The tuna were jumping all around the island last weekend.

  5. “you have to love dancing to stick to it. It give you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive. It is not for unsteady souls.”
    –merce cunningham.

  6. Veronica Hackethal

    Great quote. Of all the arts, dancing exists most in the present– once it’s done, it’s done. And also like the other arts (writing, painting, music), it’s best when one loses oneself in it. I suppose that’s what gives one the feeling of being alive, and also what makes it habit forming. As for tango, what do Olaf and Coco say?

    • Yes, I agree with you on the Merce Cunningham quote, although I’m not sure the other art forms are for unsteady souls either. A stored-away manuscript doesn’t even have an audience to applaud it. As for Olaf and Coco, I’m guessing the former would share Seldom Seen’s sentiments while the latter would head for the nearest milonga.

  7. Wow, this blog has evolved quite a bit since I met you leaving Monhegan with the avian ecologist. You inspire me to resurrect my blog and look up Fourth Fiction. I also like the idea of a new project undertaken every year (per your July post from my old haunt, Walden Pond).

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