The Gavito classes almost brought tears to my eyes

13 08 2010

The second of two Carlos Gavito classes I took yesterday with Maria Plazaola was particularly moving. Maria was Gavito’s last partner. She was in Buenos Aires teaching tango classes on the dance of Gavito at Mansión Dandi Royal for the first time since his death. Since Gavito’s death, she has taught Gavito classes before in Europe, but never before at Mansión Dandi Royal — the hall where Gavito, himself, taught tango. “I’m not Gavito,” Maria said, “I’m not trying to be Gavito. You should not focus on me, only Gavito. No one else will ever be Gavito or dance like him. I’m just trying to share some his steps with you.”

Maria is a warm, soft spoken and humble person. She spoke slowly and deliberately, although her English is excellent. She was clearly pushing through another meaningful moment as part of her own personal growth in tango. While we practiced some steps, she continued to speak of the importance of the feelings — the feelings inside the embrace, the feelings between steps, the feelings in the pauses.

Some dancers in my class had previously taken tango lessons with Gavito in the same hall in 2004 — actually down a half flight of curving stairs to another studio. They kept pointing downstairs to the studio where they studied with Gavito. They of the fact that where there had been mirrors on the walls, where there were now paintings. The memories were still vivid, although Gavito left us a number of years ago.

To Gavito, his life was tango. His life was meaningless without tango. I understand that Gavito knew that he had cancer for about his last ten years. At the time of his death, one of his lungs had already been removed. But he kept dancing and kept smoking. His last tour was to Europe — Italy, I think. He knew his time was short, cancelled the tour and flew home to Buenos Aires. He made his last public performance. He kept dancing, although he knew he was dying. Within a few weeks he was gone.


Current Milongas in Buenos Aires

27 07 2010

I’m going to Buenos Aires for few weeks in August and recently ran across a website link that provides a great comprehesive and updated list of current milongas in Buenos Aires.

The list not only includes the necessary event details, but also includes dates when the milonga descriptions most recently updated and notes when other ongoing milongas have been canceled. While I can’t personally vouch for this list today,   I’ll learn a lot more in the next few weeks while I’m in Buenos Aires, and will update my readers, accordingly.   I did notice that the list includes milongas that have recently been recommended to me through word of mouth.    Let me know your own experience and whether or not anything is missing or listed when it shouldn’t be.

I also recently discovered a blog post of a visiting milonguera’s recent experience at various milongas in Buenos Aires — why she went to that milonga in the first, what she expected to find there and she actually experienced

It would have helped me understand the differences in some of the milongas in Buenos Aires before my first visit a few years ago.  It should be helpful getting of sense of the what a visitor experiences at some of the milongas, and would be particularly helpful to the uninitiated.

Wow…One of the best tango valz performances I’ve seen–with Alberto Dassieu and Elba Biscay

26 10 2009

Ah … to return to Buenos Aires soon!

21 10 2009


Originally uploaded by RichardMiller

Why the name “Tango chose me”? Sally Potter and the movie, ‘The Tango Lesson’

7 05 2009

Each time I view Sally Potter’s movie, The Tango Lesson,  I gain new insights and understanding of the Tango dance, the partnership and the passions of Tango and of life expressed both on and off the floor, as well as the new discovery on how the partnership continuously works to create something special, together.

Near the end of the movie, Pablo Veron was asked by Sally Potter why he chose to dance Tango. Pablo replied, “Tango Chose Me” — hence the name of my  blog.   The journey is profound.  While each step along the way may seem uneventful, the composite has given me a new life that continues to provide me profound insights  — about myself, my relationships with others and life in general — that build on each other one day at a time.

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