Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Festivalitos & Encuentros for Milongueros 2012

Although I did not plan to post anymore, I would like to update my list of Tango events for Milongueros who cherish the "Abrazo" to traditional music. Although some of these events also offer classes and short, improvised demos, the focus is on social dancing. The etiquette of invitation by Mirada & Cabeceo plays an important role as does the respectful interaction of all dancers on the dancefloor. These are traditional Milongas and no place for people who want to show off their newest Sentadas, Montadas and Ganchos. Please stay away, if you don't like dancing in a close embrace! 
There might be some more Encuentros of that sort, but I only include events that I can recommend personally, because I have been there or because I know the organizers and participants well enough to guarantee for their "esprit milonguero".

So, these are the events that me and/or my friends visit in 2012:

Pasionara Milonguera, Côte D'Azur, France, January 27-29
Mirame, Montpellier, France, February 24-26
Rendez-vous Milonguero, Bologna, Italy, March 2-4
Montecatini Terme Tango Festivalito, Montecatini, Italy, March 30 - April 1 (read review)
Yo soy Milonguero, Crema, Italy, April 6-9  (read review)
Abrazos - Encuentro Milonguero UK, Devon, United Kingdom, May 4-6 (read review)
Les Cigales, Carpentras, France, May 17-20 (read review by Ms. Hedgehog)
Tango del Mar - Encuentro de Abrazos, Constanta, Rumania, June 8-10 (read review)
Raduno Rural, Slovenia, Juni 29 - July 1 (read review by Ms. Hedhehog)
Encuentro Milonguero, Kehl, Germany, September 13-16 
Festivalito Rural, Celje, Slovenia, September 7-9 (read review)
Ensueños, Valongo, Portugal, October 4-7 (Facebook event)
FCA (Tangokombinat, private party)
Raduno Milonguero, Impruneta, Italy, November 1-4
Abrazame, Barcelona, Spain, December, 6-9
Milongueando in Bari, Bari, Italy, December

Looking forward to meeting you there!

Monday, 7 November 2011

I‘m a blogger - not anymore!

Exactly one year ago, I started blogging. I was planning to write about Tango, my studies and whatever is important to me. This turned out to be one of my most intensive Tango-years ever and the blog contributed to it. Writing about Tango so much kept me from doing other stuff. I even decided to give up my studies. I do not regret this step, but I would have wished to present a more diverse blog.
These were my most popular posts (by number of visits):
My personal favourites are the posts in which I wrote about my European Milonguero friends and the great Encuentros for Milongueros. Not just, because it was fun to write them, but because I really want to promote the philosophy of Tango as an embrace. Tango is a social event, an intimate encounter with friends all over the world. And thus very, very dear to me!

All in all, I liked blogging a lot. Mostly I wrote down, what I‘ve been discussing with other dancers and phrasing my ideas helped me to substantiate them. And I just love analyzing situations and writing "manuals" (kleine Leitfäden") like this one

I‘m also glad, that I stayed honest and spoke out about what really bothered or moved me. Even when it may have cost me some contracts. Many posts resulted in lively discussions and I got in contact with interesting new thoughts and people. I‘m proud to say, that my blog reached many dancers all over the world. In total, it was viewed over 44.000 times. Thank you all, my faithful readers!
But: the blog also attracted the usual crazies and trolls. I will never get over the fact, that someone who does not even know me personally, can hate me so much, that he (or she) will start attacking or insulting me publicly. Very often I was tempted to reply in a likewise rude manner but restrained myself. This nevertheless cost me a lot of energy and time, so they got what they wanted! Such people really can take the fun out of things. Maybe I‘m going to examine this peculiar online-behaviour one day... in case I ever return to Psychology. 
But for now, I‘m done with blogging about Tango. I‘ve written about everything, that is relevant to me and that is not already covered by other bloggers. I don‘t want to start reviewing music or writing poetry... Others can do that much better.. Also, I will not visit any new interesting Milonguero events coming year - I‘ll just go to the same ones again. Never change a winning team! 
So, there‘s nothing left to say at the moment. The blog is going to stay online, so that you can still ready my posts or link to them. And maybe I‘ll get new inspiration in the future. Or I‘m going to write about something completely different... I‘m already shifting my focus...
Just stay tuned. I might be back!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

What makes a traditional Milonga?

Inspired by a comment on my last post, I decided to write down my definition of a traditional Milonga: 
- The music is 100% traditional argentine Tango, Milonga and Vals, preferably of the late 20‘s to the late 50‘s. No non-Tango, no Electro-Tango, no non-argentine Tangos, no Tangos that were recorded for Tango shows or for listening. There may be a „Tanda“ of Rock, Chacarera or Salsa, although I would not put it as a DJ.
- The dancers actually know the music and connect to it. (There is no need in knowing EVERY Tango of an orchestra and being able to name it, but everyone should strive to know the important orchestras and listen to what they are doing.)
- The music is presented in Tandas & Cortinas with a logical order (e.g. TTVTTM).
- The dancers leave the dancefloor when the Cortina is played to sit down and choose another partner. Waiting alongside the wall or at the bar is acceptable, as long as you do not stand in front of seated dancers and disturb their Cabeceo.
- There is proper seating around the dancefloor.
- People invite by Cabeceo & Mirada and there is light enough to allow for it.
- The dancers do never break the embrace. Some might open a little for turns, as in Villa Urquiza style. 
- People know how to navigate on the dancefloor. (Including all rules like keeping in one‘s line, not standing too long in one spot, not crowding the next couple...)
- People dance exclusively movements, that are appropriate for a social dancefloor: no ganchos, (high) voleos, or any other movement that breaks the embrace or could disturb/hurt the other dancers. 
Did I forget anything? Do not hesitate to remind me! I'm sure, that there are other postings on the Net, who refer to that question. Links are welcome.

Later addition to the text:
Please note, that I do not define GOOD or BAD Milongas. A traditional Milonga can still be an unpleasant surprise. To make a traditional Milonga "good", it also needs good dancers (whatever your personal definition of a good dancer may be), danceable and interesting traditional music, friendly hosts, a good floor, a nice ambiance and much, much more... But that would be a totally different post!