Tango, Buenos Aires
I wanted to write everything.
From Claudiu Grosaru, Rumania.
I wanted to write everything. In one article. I wanted to let you know it was going to be a cabbage. But I gave up. Maybe I’ll make a cabbage from the following articles, but not from this one. Because I have a special reason – I will write about two people I love and respect a lot.
In December 2013, I met Nestor. It only took me a few minutes to see that he was a special man. Smart, joking, neat, refined. In three months I discovered him as a teacher. With an unforgiving eye for any mistake, with a didactic oriented to do and not to say, with many and repetitive exercises, meant to make you understand the essence yourself. I think Nestor is that teacher that only those who have gone through hard training, such as martial arts, ballet … can understand.
It was a great joy to see him again this year. And the joy doubled when I saw him teaching in tandem with another man I hadn’t been able to reach six years ago, although I really liked him at the milongi – Blas. But about Blas, a little later.
As I expected, as if he were my brother in teaching, Nestor started, of course, with criticism … The “motorcyclist” side step, the pelvis too far in front, the center too low, the lack of dance height, excessive use of heels …. pfuuu! For the most part, there were flaws that I had seen in my filming. Others, however, I have developed intentionally and consider them elements of personal style. I don’t know, maybe there are things I’m not ready to change.
All in all, Nestor is a kind-hearted man and may be the best friend in the world, but he remains one of the most demanding teachers in Buenos Aires. I admit that he managed to make me grit my teeth, or shed tears of resentment, a few times, but there are things you only change when you are taken out of your comfort zone. I hope to be able to send him, in a while, a video in which he won’t see mistakes … But I’m lying, I hope he sees as many as possible, so that I have something to work on and correct. 🙂
Blas is a milonguero. I admired him many times in 2014. A man you always see on the patrol, addicted to dancing. He has a personal style that stands out easily. It even has a very nice navigation philosophy. In short, a man I wanted to meet and learn from. Well, it looks like I was lucky. And as a bonus, I discovered another man with a big heart, friendly, attentive, modest.
From Blas I learned (I hope) some traditional structures. I also learned that you have to listen to the woman (sic!) And let her dance, but also that she has to impose her dance. And he told me about taking height in dance and about posture. I admit that I neglected the look a lot. I have practiced for a long time with lower height partners and I tend to crouch to be at their height. So far, no one has explained to me how I can reconcile the difference in height. But, of course, the answer was obvious: a hug.
I learned a lot about hugs from Blas. Of course, and he pulled me out of my comfort zone. It has given me food for thought for many years. The first of these is “control versus freedom, in embrace.”
What intrigued me a lot and made me think hard was the musicality. I had noticed the minimalism of those in Buenos Aires, but now I was guided to dance it by an excellent teacher.
By the time of Buenos Aires 2020, I understood not to dance linear rhythmically (“Three bumpy kids”), to follow the melodic line with sanctity, to respect the pauses, to set dynamics through accelerations and slowdowns, not to start on the first measure, to I also listen to music and women, etc.
Along with those taught by Blas, I noticed a terrible paradigm shift between Argentines and us – the break. No, very good dancers in Argentina don’t look for a break, they don’t respect a break, they don’t dance a break, as we try. For them, the break is natural. They are in no hurry, they do not want to dance everything. For them, the break is the tango. After all, why would you want to be an orchestral instrument that plays all the time? Isn’t it better when you can enjoy music, working less? Those two words, which Blas kept telling me, “quiet” and “soft”, took on a special meaning for me. I don’t know if I will be able to detach myself from the idea of dancing everything, but I promise to try to understand these two notions.
I wanted to share a little of my experience with these two special people. They were extremely warm and friendly with us, but also very good teachers. Thank you very much and I hope to someday live up to their expectations.
So far so good. I still have stories from Buenos Aires, with wonderful people from there, but all in their own time. 😉