Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Saludos Performance Photos

Here are some photos from Saludos performance at Dance Manhattan. This was a performance workshop taught by the amazing Brigitta Winkler and assisted by Candy Korman.
The group: Lexa, Gayle, Fred, Natalie, Mike, and Shu-Shia.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tango Police

Most of us are aware of the tango codas. I would like to discuss one in particular - that of dancing only one tanda per partner and then clearing the dance floor during the cortina. This is a wonderful rule that is widely practiced in Bs As and partially practiced here in NYC. By partially I mean that it is very rare for NYers to clear the dancefloor but for the most part they enjoy changing partners frequently. For many years, I observed both parts of this coda but these days I often prefer to dance deep into the night with the same partner(s). There are others who prefer to do the same. Not everyone wants to CHANGE PARTNERS at the drop of a cortina. I firmly believe that rules are made to be broken but my concern and frankly objection is that it has now come to my attention THE WAY in which this coda is being broken.
I have been informed that some men use tricks to hold a coveted female dancer during the cortina. By tricks, I mean the use of clever dialogue and repartee, the telling of an engaging story to distract the unsuspecting and polite fairer of the species until the next tanda begins and he immediately dances her away. I have even witnessed this technique myself first hand. It was practiced on my by a woman who also clasped my forearms and held my gaze while telling me a bit of compelling gossip during the cortina. I found myself trapped at the end and forced to continue dancing with her. By tricks, I mean handcuffing and sealing the partner in an oversized Leche Can filled with water and then locked inside a wooden chest. The poor woman, being no Houdini is forced to hold her breath until the announcements and exhibition signal her release. One should not have to be a good escape artist to end a dance. If the lady wants to leave your arms, you need to behave like a gentleman and let her go. You know how the saying goes: If you love to dance with her, set her free. If she looks for your cabeceo again , she's yours. If she doesn't, she never was.
I myself practice the estilo of making an inquiry at the start of each cortina to find out whether the lady would like to continue with me into the next tanda. I want to make sure she is having as good a time as I. I want the feeling to be mutual. Not forced. Or continued out of politeness.
So, now these dirty tricks have been exposed. Please discontinue the practice of them. It will be better to spend your time with more simple virtues like developing the connection and musicality of your dance - for only then will she beg to stay in your arms.

The T Word

Last night I was out in the gay bars in the West Village recruiting lesbians for my beginner tango classes. I must say I was delighted to discover many fine specimens of the butch variety. These handsome women hold promise for becoming good leaders. I was however extremely disappointed in the fem turnout. In fact, the only person to be found in a skirt last night was a Drag Queen! I did finally spot a real fem in a club. She wasn't wearing a skirt but she was showing a lot of cleavage. Don't you know it, she turned out to be straight. One of the butches reassured me by saying: "You know what they say about straight women, right? STRAIGHT to BED!" Yes, I know first hand that this is true but my mind being on business and gender politics rather than sex, the comment did not really put my mind at rest. I am worried that all the fashion mavens on the L Word are not penetrating the lesbian community deeply enough. (at least not on the East Coast.) I am hoping that the T word might trigger a resurgence in Womanly attire among the lesbian population.
I remember the good old days of the Dutchess, the Sahara, and Bonnie & Clydes. (Legendary lesbian bars that like Palais de Glace and other historical tango clubs - no longer exist.) In those days, butches wore suits and carried knives, and fems were HIGH FEMS in skirts and heels. I'm talking over 30 years ago in my coming out days but I know that in the 40's and 50's the scene was even more pronounced. And last night it dawned on me for the first time why I hang out in heterosexual tango clubs these days instead of gay & lesbian bars. The milongas remind me of the way queers used to be. A place where men are men and fems are fem.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Come see Tiger Dance

For those of you who missed Brigitta's performance class at the Dance Manhattan Holiday Party, we will be giving an encore performance at Rebecca's Luna Milonga.
Mon Jan 28
39 west 19th st 5th fl
5/6th av
the milonga begins at 9:30 pm and the Saludos performance will be at 11pm
abrazos y nos vemos

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tango Tales

Tango Tales radio show is not about playing music only - it is about educating the listeners about Argentine tango - music & dance.
The show is broadcasted on Saturdays 9:00-10:00am on Portsmouth Community Radio ( listen on line,
but you can DOWNLOAD the most of the episodes from the show's site:
- browse movie, book and music recommendations
- new CD releases
- read essays by other tango lovers
- sample the extensive list of alternative tango music (yes, sample - not just read the list of titles)
- browse links to the most informative sites & pages (not just links to more links!)
- podcasting via iTunes (just subscribe to the service and the new episode will be ready for you to download into your MP3 player - LISTEN ON THE GO)
- sampler of Argentine tango music by the modern musicians - for dancing and listening. The best of the best.
Brief history of tango music. Told by the semi-professional pianist Max Valentinuzzi, who played during Golden Age
Jorge Luis Borges: blindness.
Jorge Luis Borges: tango poetry
Histories of old tangos: La Paloma, El Choclo, Caminito...
Understanding the genius of Astor Piazzolla (with Osvaldo Golijov, Yo-yo Ma, Carlos Prieto)
if you have something interesting to say - about music or dance - you are welcome to contact me!
Thank you for listening and contributing - Elmira
Portsmouth Community Radio 106.1 FM SATURDAYS 9:00-10:00 AM ET

Elmira Cancelada
show host, Tango Tales
Portsmouth Community Radio

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

There's Something About the President's Daughter - TIME

There's Something About the President's Daughter - TIME


Merde! Miles of TangoBliss tagged me and now I have to play this game and tag 7 other tango bloggers. (Do I even know 7 other tango bloggers?)
Ok here goes. First I have to post the rules and the joker who tagged me.
I was tagged by

The Tango Tag Rules:

    1.) Post the rules on your blog
    2.) Link to the person who tagged you (see above link).
    3.) Share seven random and/or weird things about yourself.
    4.) Tag seven people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
    5.) Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Seven on me:

1) I will never turn off my iTunes or c.d. player in the middle of a tango. I always listen to the end otherwise I think it's bad luck. So I can sometimes be found hovering over the stop button to make sure I catch it in time before a new tango starts. Once I was an hour late to an appointment because I couldn't seem to stop the player before a new tango began playing.

2) I can't wear a watch because I make them stop.

3) I'm a witch and a psychic. A lot of people think that's weird but to me it's perfectly normal. Once a month I tell fortunes in the milongas.

4) My ears are very sensitive. Don't ever touch them.

5) I hate it when people muss up my tango hair.

6) I used to work in a tree in Central Park reciting poetry and dancing with a 13 ft python.

7) I like to pack when I lead.

I tag
Fishnets and Fedoras
Houston Tanguera
la planchadora
On Tango, Love, and Other Demons
Tango in Her Eyes
Tango Cherie
buenos aires through my eyes

Saturday, January 5, 2008

TangoStars Jan/Feb 2008

Happy New Year and may all your tango dreams come true!
Here is a tango lyric to describe each of your fortunes.
Gracias to for English translations.

Feliz Cumpleaños Capricorn y Aquarius

The Goat is entering a special year with Jupiter (the Gavito of the Zodiac) in your sign.
Gangster, king of the milonga Gangster, sentimental
you hide behind your laughter much desire to cry.
(Patotero, rey del bailongo patotero sentimental,
escondes bajo tu risa muchas ganas de llorar.)

You will be protected from all malevos (except yourself!) and your dance repertoire will expand as you now fully grasp the secrets of the tango.
Lucky Milonga Days: Jan 7, 8, 16, 17 Feb 3, 4, 12, 13

The Waterbearer
Why do you prefer to cry for what you've lost
to look for what you've wanted
to call for what has died?
(¿Por qué prefieres llorar lo que has perdido
buscar lo que has querido
llamar lo que murió?)

Let the dead rest in peace. Loosen the hold of the ghost of the old milonguero monkey on your back. Take some Nuevo classes!
Lucky Milonga Days: Jan 9, 10, 18, 19 Feb 6, 7, 14

Loft furnished by Maple: piano, rug and nightlamp…
a fonograph that cries old tangos of my flower

No you are not redecorating your apartment!

And everything at half light that love is a sorcerer...
At half light the kisses...At half light the two of us...
(Pisito que puso Maple, piano, estera y velador...
una fonola que llora viejos tangos de mi flor,)
(Y todo a media luz, que es un brujo el amor,
a media luz los besos, a media luz los dos...)

You are having a (ssh) secret love affair with Tango.
Lucky Milonga Days: Jan 12, 13, 21 Feb 8, 9, 18

This is how one dances the tango, while I "draw" a figure eight,
for this fancy footwork, I am like a painter.
Now here is a run, a turn, a sitting.
This is how one dances the tango!
(Asi se baila el tango, mientras dibujo el ocho,
para estos filigranas, yo soy como un pintor.
Ahora una corrida, una vuelta, una sentada.
Asi se baila el tango!)

You will increase your classes in the New Year and be sure to also increase your rates! Lucky Milonga Days: Jan 14, 15, 22, 23 Feb 10, 11, 19, 20

Staying up all night…
My best companions always were the milongueros boys,
the gamblers and something else; and with them,
night after night I wasted, between drinks, dances and parties…
Siempre fueron, mis mejores compañeros los muchachos milongueros,
jugadores y algo mas; y con ellos,
noche a noche derrochaba entre copas, baile y farras…)

You are on the tango festival circuit. Non stop!
Lucky Milonga Days: Jan 16, 17, 24, 25 Feb 12, 13, 21, 22

Goodbye, my pampa!... I'm leaving... I'm leaving for strange lands
(Adios, pampa mia!...Me voy... Me voy a tierras extrañas.)

You carry heaviness in your heart that only the tango can soothe. It is time to leave home and all that is familiar. An adventure awaits!
Lucky Milonga Days: Jan 18, 19, 27, 28 Feb 14, 15, 23, 24

A heart throbs...I seem to see you returning with a good bye.
(Late un corazon... me parece verte regresar con el adios.)

An old partner returns only to break it off again. And in the milonga, you unite once more...until the next quarrel. Ah, the dulce y amargo of love.
Lucky Milonga Days: Jan 2, 20, 21, 29 Feb 16, 17, 26

Dressed like a dandy, hair slicked with styling gel…
you dance at the milonga with an air of importance,
shining the elegance and giving exhibition.
(Vestido como un dandy, peinao a la gomina
y dueño de una mina más linda que una flor,
bailás en la milonga con aire de importancia,
luciendo tu elegancia y haciendo exhibición.)

You are on fire (and full of hot air)!
Lucky Milonga Days: Jan 4, 22, 23 Feb 1, 19, 20, 28

You don’t know, you'll never know what it is like
to die a thousand times of anxiety.
(No sabrás, nunca sabrás lo que es
morir mil veces de ansiedad)

Oh yes you do know! Between work and love, your passions run deep and you love to torment yourself.
Lucky Milonga Days: 7, 8, 24, 25 Feb 3, 4, 21, 22

If I don't live what I dream I dream all that I sing,
that's why my charm is love.
(Si es que no vivo lo que sueño Yo sueño todo lo que canto,
por eso mi encanto es el amor. )

Your magnetism embellishes your every step. And your laughter and song inspire others to dance their own dance of life.
Lucky Milonga Days: Jan 9, 10, 27, 28 Feb 6, 7, 23, 24

Carnival in my neighborhood!
where everything is love,
bells of laughter,
toning down the pain.
(¡Carnaval de mi barrio!,
donde todo es amor,
cascabeles de risa,
matizando el dolor)

Everything you need is in the hood. Milongas, lovers, cafes, even the pharmacy to ease your suffering.
Lucky Milonga Days: Jan 2, 3, 13, 29, 30 Feb 8, 26, 27

I have my little ranch on the hillock, where the thrush sing…
Daisies, and rosebushes have sprout for you…
Because one day this gaucho nest will be yours and mine…
(Yo tengo mi ranchito en la loma, donde cantan los zorzales...
Margaritas, y Rosales han brotado para vos...
Porque un día será ese nido gaucho de los dos...)

Your days of milonga hopping are over. You are building your nest with the partner of your heart.
Lucky Milonga Days: Jan 4.5, 14, 15 Feb 1, 2, 9, 10, 28, 29