Another workshop with guest teachers (I do get around a bit at the moment). This was a workshop into milonga and I really enjoyed several of the anecdotes that one of the teachers told us. One of them was about milonga style and I meant to write a small piece on it last week and attribute it to the teacher. I’m not so sure now (see below).
The anecdote according to Golondrina
The advice she gave was that milonga was less pure than tango and therefore, you could be less precise about the moves. You needed to combine the elegance of tango with a bit of ‘dirt’ (or impurities) and so for example, use a bit more hip as an accent perhaps. She was quick to explain that milonga is not salsa or merengue and that you mustn’t go overboard and start furiously adding hip shakes. She then said how someone once answered her by saying that that was how they danced/felt the music. ‘Fine’, she had replied, ‘feel the music inside you but don’t feel it outside of your body as well!’
I really liked this piece of advice but the following week, I spoke to a tanguero who had also attended this workshop. We agreed the workshop had been very helpful and then he said. ‘Wasn’t it great what she [the teacher] said about feeling the music in milonga and how you can just really let it wash all around you and just get really dirty with the moves?’
What????!!!! Were we in the same workshop?
I’ve since seen this tanguero dance milonga and its chaotic and all over the place (in my opinion). It reminded me of a chapter in Jonah Lehrer’s book ‘The Decisive Moment’ which talks about an experiment where a news story was shown to fervent Democratic and Republican supporters. Afterward, they were asked to sum up the story and all of the supporters said the report was favourable about their own party. I think we just hear what we want to hear.
Presumably, my hips are relatively sedate during milonga!