Sunday, 24 May 2009

More Performances

A few weeks ago Los Ocampo did a show at Carablanca. Before their performance Monica announced that they had just become grandparents and were absolutely thrilled with their four-month-old grandchild, who they were missing terribly, and that they would celebrate by repeating their first-ever choreography from twenty-five years ago. They followed it with their second-ever choreography, which Monica described as "very romantic, we were very much in love, and it's still pretty good". Or words to that effect. And it was, in a highly dramatised way - not in the way tango is intrinsically romantic, but more representationally. Anyway, they had great connection.

As you might suppose, they weren't under-rehearsed and they weren't wooden, and for once I was smiling and not sitting there wondering why I was meant to care. I didn't resent the extra I'd been charged for the performance. I barely even resented the twenty-five minutes of dancing time it took up, there or at the Crypt, when they did the lift where her legs go right round a clock-face. It was the purest show, properly written, properly done, properly over the top. I wouldn't really go and see it on purpose, since I'm not that interested in performances as such and I've seen enough now that I treat them as a reason to go somewhere else; but it was very good and it was fun to watch. I really appreciated their excellence.

As for another performance I saw quite recently; the couple were somewhat less experienced than Monica and Omar. I don't know if they are married to each other, but they both looked as if they'd been texting their lawyers about a divorce. Violently molesting two tangos and a milonga (IIRC), they didn't include any lifts; a relief, since whatever their dance communicated to me, it wasn't the level of mutual trust and personal regard it takes to get a lady's toes ten feet above the floor. The audience applauded, much of it sincerely.

They have a hard life, these people, a very hard life. And it's a sad, sad world.

1 comment:

ghost said...

I still find it odd that people refer to "Argentine Tango" as a dance. It's more like "These United States" than a single thing.

Fantasia, show, vals, milonga, nuevo etc not to mention all the different styles.

And yet, you go to a milonga and the majority of music is for what you fell in love with "Argentine Tango", with vals and the others in the minority.

So by the same token I always find it strange that the majority of these performances aren't "Argentine Tango" - in fact it's a rare day when you do see such a thing.