Friday, 17 April 2009

sleeepy old Malvern tries el Cabeceo!

Another week evaporates, this time of course we have had the Easter weekend as well, and some of us have been sharing eggs and buns with family. If we lived near the bright lights of London no doubt we'd be be out far more, but here in the depths of rural England, we tend to lead a quieter life. We had toyed with the idea of promoting "el cabeceo " within our young tango society, for several reasons, but mainly due to some of our own experiences at milongas over the last couple of years or so. Milongas should ideally be highly enjoyable sociable events where you can dance tango as much or as little as you personally like, simply chat with friends, and have a drink maybe. But sometimes, this doesn't happen - you can easily become drawn into the "getting x amounts of dances competition" and risking not really enjoying yourself as much as you could otherwise. My last blog of course did mention the slight problem with dancers setting their sights only on certain partners, and then possibly missing out on some truly memorable dances with others, now by mentioning the cabeceo I wonder if we can trigger some other responses. My experience as a woman has made me think if we could at least make people aware of its principles (cabeceo), we could perhaps make it a little clearer who we'd rather like to dance with and also very discreetly (of course, as we hate to have to reject people openly) suggest by averting our eyes appropriately we could avoid being asked to dance by someone we feel not ready to dance with (for whatever reason)....however maybe even later on in the same evening, for we may prefer the music now being played, our feet may have recovered, we may have finished that little chat with our friend, any reason(!) but we may now absolutely love the idea of dancing with you, and if we could just hint at this by a longer than average mutual stare, it would be so liberating! If only. However, we know how us the rather shy English tend to be about eye contact! "Oh my goodness, he looked at me, quick look away before I blush.." So, this game needs to be aired in the open a little so we can practice our flirty little tricks with each other and become more comfortable with it. Hence our class last monday, in the middle of highly restrained Malvern, famous for our Elgar connections, the Malvern hills, Malvern water (the Queen drinks this, you must know) yes, all in the true heart of England, we decide this is the place to introduce the slightly controversial cabeceo. Our tango pupils were given a little game to play, with leaders and followers facing one another across the hall, we were instructed to give each other negative and positive glances, with the idea of "yes, we do really want to dance" or "no, not interested at all!" At least we had a bit of fun with it, as it was Easter monday anyway and we were aiming for a mini milonga/practica for half of the evening in any case. Did it work? Well, I hope we haven't frightened people away, when we are really trying to empower them, it was certainly a start, it broke the ice, got people talking about the issues, and we hope to continue with the cabeceo project. Thank you to everyone for being such good sports. Thank you Mhari for bringing the bottle of Argentinean wine, that helped as well! And also Isolde for making some authentic mate (Argentinean type of tea) for us to share too.

On Tuesday, we made the journey to London to go and see the radical Orchestra Tipica Fernandez Fierro being their UK debut and which shook us defiantly from our sleepy Worcestershire comfort zone! Brilliant young musicians from Buenos Aires, of 3 violins, a viola, cello, double bass, piano and 4 bandoneons, plus a powerful vocalist wearing a selection of ties and even LED glasses (?), they were like nothing we'd ever heard before, very different from Bajofondo Tango Band, and the well known Gotan Project....playing Piazzolla with passion and aggression at the same time....those people who had expected to dance in the aisles to more traditional tango music were surprised, and their dance shoes were never taken from their shoe bags... Phew, what a night!

Tango Malvern web site is

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