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Posts Tagged ‘musicality’

I went up the few steps that led to the main dance hall, turned right to get through its door and was surprised to see it with the lights on. It looked bigger and more detailed with its stained glass windows, wooden floors and panels and little tables lined next to the walls.  It was the place’s anniversary so they were holding a special party with live music by tango negro and a music workshop before the milonga, instead of the usual dance classes they offered.  I had been there three times already, but only for the milonga, so I usually found the place much louder, darker and magical as it vibrated with music and people.

There were no seats near the door so I had to cross the bright room, where tangueros sat unusually still in a ring of chairs that faced the musicians, who were still checking the sound. I made my way towards an empty chair near the stage, just a few seats away from two young looking guys who talked suspiciously to one another’s ears and did not strike me as particularly friendly. It was, nonetheless, an available seat and a relief to finally rest on ‘my’ chair and wait for the workshop.

by Pierre Andrews

A few moments later the musicians started talking about different tango orchestras, their historical periods, styles and the impact of their way of playing on dancers. They also illustrated what they presented to us by playing some fragments of the music in those different styles, so we could get a feel for the information they were conveying.  That’s how the bandoneonist made me fall for Troilo’s melodic phrasing.  Enraptured by the music, I discovered myself lost in another sensual reverie. Sitting on the farther corner of the stage, near the door to the main dance hall, was a man of striking good looks: tall, with broad shoulders, long brown hair and eyes that, from that distance, looked as though they could be green. Argentinean, I guessed, and so rare to see good-looking man like him at the milonga.

Damn! I was starring at the man and he was looking back at me.  I looked down and away.  How long could it have lasted? I looked back, he was still looking, so I quickly looked away.  I looked back again and there he was looking at me.  Definitely Argentinean. This time I dared to sustain my gaze – if he could do it I could do it.

The milonga’s manager came to talk to him and Mr. Gorgeous went with him to say something to a man who was controlling the sound on this booth I hadn’t even noticed existed upstairs.  There was some coming back and forth with them and the man from the booth and I focused my attention on the bandoneon again.  The workshop had to be over soon, it was past half nine and the milonga was supposed to start at nine, so the manager was anxiously speeding things up. We were still supposed to go through some exercises. ‘What is this song’s tempo?’, 4/4, some of us said, but most were quiet.  ‘What orchestra would that be?’, ‘Di Sarli’… The gorgeous man walked felinely back towards the stage, holding his gaze at me a good for part of his trajectory.   I felt acid burns up and down my stomach and blushed as if everyone could see exactly what was going on inside me.

It was time for the band to stop so the musicians and some of the staff went to the back of the room as the manager took over the stage and announced their anniversary milonga was about to start.  Electronic music came through the speakers and the chairs that formed the ring were pushed back to the tables near the walls, clearing up the dance floor.  I pushed my chair just slightly back and sat comfortably by a table on the corner waiting for the milonga to start when the older man sitting next to me approached me:

–       Would you like to dance?

–       Thanks, but I am not good enough to open the dance floor with the lights on and all.

–       Okay.

–       But maybe later?

–       Sure.

I noticed there were quite a few ladies in colourful dresses standing by the dance floor near the bar, waiting for an invitation, but the man did not make his way towards them. Neither did a rather eccentric guy I had danced with once before and who ended up crossing the room to ask me for a dance.  He extended his hand to me, but I remained on my seat.

–       Sorry, but I have just told him I don’t want to open the dance floor with all the lights on, and cannot dance with you now for the same reason.

–       Oh.

He looked so insulted that I ended up feeling offended myself. The nerve! It was as if I had the duty to respond on demand and dance with him. I had always been nice and grateful for all the dancers who asked me, I just needed some time!

–       There are so many good dancers clearly waiting to be asked, why don’t you ask one of them?

He left and not once again asked me to dance with him, which was noticeable but not regrettable.  Ian, the man I had promised I would dance with when I was ready, smiled at me reassuringly and I felt I had done the right thing.

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