Posts Tagged ‘narcotango’


This last weekend Narcotango played in São Paulo in a special milonga, which turned out to be my first in Brazil and in almost 2 years.  I was very impressed and moved by the live show, even if not so much by the milonga as, contrary to my previous experiences, people seemed to be dancing within their own groups. So, although I had a chance to dance, I also felt like I was lurking for some time,  which suited both the sociologist in me and my injured foot.

picture by Pierre Andrews

If I am honest, however, my professional affiliation had very little to do with my enjoyment as an observer; watching couples do the tango provides some entertainment that can be akin to first hand access to hot gossip: bodies that seek one another with passion; strangers that take a little too long to break the embraces tango allows them to experience; expectant ladies that wait for a dance while reluctant leaders hang about without ever asking for one; bodies that stall in disagreement as to where that dance is taking them…  Even without feeling it myself, I could recognise the presence of the strange tango witchcraft that transports dancers in and out of relationships and, as a wicked genie, grants them 3 mistakes.

When Tina told me of the 3 tango mistakes I thought of them as one’s allowed share of it and, even though I could immediately recognise myself as a survivor of a devastating one, I took it lightly.  Enticed by live tango in a lively milonga, this new piece of information produced excitement rather than caution.  I smiled at Tina and said maybe I was ready for my second mistake, and went on exchanging glances with the tall, dashing Argentinean and soon forgot I had ever heard of anything but pleasure together with the word tango.  It was just thinking in retrospect that Tina’s shared knowledge hit me as prophetic.

During narcotango’s concert, I looked at people around me, wondered how far they had got on their mistakes and considered making an effort to pass on my knowledge, but I could not see much use in doing so…  I knew all too well that having heard about the 3 mistakes hadn’t stopped me from making them.  The problem, as it frequently is the case, is that it is hindsight that allows unsuccessful actions and choices to be reinterpreted as mistakes and, when it comes to tango, it is fair to expect those choices to be fairly tainted by somewhat narcotic effects.


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