FAIRBANKS - Galen Cook has had a long relationship with swing dancing, but when he was introduced to the Argentine tango in Washington a few years ago, he fell in love.
“It’s a very complex, complicated dance,” he said. “I call it the ultimate balancing act for two people on the dance floor, in which the man and the woman wear a paintbrush on their legs and they paint the floor to their design.
This has been something of a moribund year for this blog, as other matters have distracted my attention. I'm hoping to breathe some new life into it over the next few months – but in the meantime, I'll raise a festive glass to all tangueros and tangueras out there, and celebrate another year of heart-breaking dancing… ;-)
Here's a little Christmas number given a tango twist to get you in the Christmas mood:
It was during a tanda at the Tango Mundial that I remembered that I had come to Buenos Aires to learn tango. I had spent days imaging how many classes I would take, how many Milongas I would go to, and the vampiric lifestyle I would be leading. But somehow the city has instead crawled under my skin and ingrained me in a life where tango is the main lifeline, but not the primary goal of my day to day living.
She hesitated. "For me, the tango is dead." This was powerful coming from a woman who has been dancing since she is 4 years old. She continued. "I went last week to an afternoon milonga. They were too old for me. No milongueros. The ones that used to go were all dead." There are others I wanted to tell her, but she was on a roll. "Later that night I went to another milonga. I met up with some friends. People do not know how to dance. The tourists killed our tango. The foreigners killed our tango. They took it and killed it.
Being in love is hard work. So is being in lust. Just ask a professional tango dancer. Night after night, the good ones come out looking ready to bodice-rip; men grasping at skin like it's freshly fired porcelain, women clinging knee-to-thigh as if strong tendons are the secret to sealing the deal.
Tango should be steamy stuff. But what if, in reality, the women are ready to throw their partners under the tour bus?