Tuesday, 18 September 2012

It's official: I am the Tango police

This was so sweet. 

Last weekend we've been teaching in Celje at the Festivalito Rural. Our friends Saso and Alja always create a unique and very friendly ambiance. After the demo, they like to give us a small present - no flowers but something real useful and personal. Last year, Detlef got an antique iron. (Facebook friends know why.)

This year, it was my turn. I got a complete Tango police kit for interventions at Milongas and it was presented in an extraordinary way:

The music started and Saso - the conferencier - began to describe a typical Milonga, whilst Alja was sitting on the side of the dance-floor and demonstrating the use of my present: 
A nice couple entered the floor and started dancing in a close embrace and civilized way. They were presented the green "milonguero? si!" card. 
Another couple joined them, dancing a little disoriented and bumping into the first dancers. Alja showed the yellow "milonguero? no!" card with a stern expression. (Actually the yellow card should say "milonguero? not yet!" in my opinion. That's a minor flaw.)
The last couple perfectly impersonated an out-of-control guy and a poor woman being dragged onto the floor and forced into weird poses. Exactly as I had described it in my article. They were shown very decidedly the red "milonguero? no!" card.

Great idea! Everyone loved it.

From now on, I will carry my Tango police kit to every Milonga. Evildoers beware! ;-)

Friday, 7 September 2012

When I'm 64

Here I am in Celije at the „Festivalito Rural“. It is one of nicest Milonguero Encuentros that developed within the last years. I am looking forward to meeting dear friends and clients from France, Italy, Germany, Austria, the USA, Hungary, maybe Romania and many other nations. Three days of dancing in a super-friendly environment - it feels like being at home, because I am surrounded by people that I know well from many other events. Last week, I‘ve met some in Eton, now in Celje, next month they‘ll be in Saarbrücken and just before Christmas in Barcelona. In the meanwhile, Facebook helps to stay connected. It‘s like a big family!

What have we all got in common? Apart from Tango, many of us we share a frustration with our local communities, where we cannot find the dance we are looking for. All those cuddly embraces with skilled dancers... we can only get them if we travel far. Most Milongueros spend a large portion of their income on these trips. The last three years, I was lucky to participate in some of these lovely events as a teacher, but from next year on, I'll be teaching less and therefore spending more to visit the Encuentros. That's ok for the time being.

But what will be in 20 years from now? Those who are now in their mid-forties will be in their sixties, either retired or still working because they cannot afford to stop. I will surely be working, but I won‘t be a travelling tango-teacher anymore and whatever I do, will - most likely - not generate a high income. And with the economic situation being as it is, I am on the safe side to say, that in general there won‘t be as many well-off (or at least ok-off) pensioners as you can find nowadays in Tango. I guess only few Tangueros have surplus funds to provide for old age. This is why most of us will not be able to buy that flat in Buenos Aires or travel to the great Encuentros as many of the more aged European Milongueros still do nowadays.

So, where will we get our direly needed embraces? Will there be - by then - nice close-embrace Tango at home? I guess not, at least not in my town. As I will have lost all my non-Tango-friends by not keeping contact, I will most-likely be sitting alone in my tiny flat, looking at old videos of the Encuentros and wishing I was back.

Wow... that sounds really depressing.

I gotta do something: get a life out there or create great dancers and Milongas at home or move to a town with a good Tango community... Or marry a millionaire. Or start a Milonguero-pension-fund. ;-)

But for today, I will just try to do my job as good as possible and have fun at the Festivalito.