If you were to hide on my balcony right now, you would hear the sound of tango music playing. I come across this wonderful blog that collects beautiful tango songs, together with lyrics and English translation. This’s what I’ve been looking for, learning Spanish from songs. Just listening to them I am unconsciously taken away from where I am–from my dining table, onto the dance floor, feeling my steps, how I sweep my legs across the floor, counting the beats. Tango songs take me away just like that. No other kind of music has such effect on me. I think I’m under the spell–under the magical spell of tango.

“Be warned if you start taking tango lessons it will seduce and consume your life and you will then be force to make many pilgrimages back to Buenos Aires to dance.”Wikitravel on Buenos Aires

I came across that sentence even before I went to Buenos Aires, and jot it down in my notebook. I knew I had to rewrite that sentence again into one of my writing. And now I am. It’s funny when I was there I hadn’t seen the real Argentine tango, yet I’m now head over heel over it.

I also read about “cabeceo” in a guidebook while on the plane. On board from Bangkok to London on Feb 1st, I could hardly sleep. So I copied all the paragraphs about tango in the guidebook I took on the cabin with me. It’s Lonely Planet Argentina I think. A short history of tango, the cabeceo–etiquette of inviting a partner, the warning (like the above paragraph, which I should have taken it seriously), and the like.

“The ‘cabeceo’–the quick tilt of the head, eye contact and uplifted eyebrows–can happen from way across the room. The woman to whom the cabeceo is directed either nods yes and smiles, or pretends not to have noticed. If she says yes, the man gets up and escorts her to the floor. I you are at a ‘milonga’ and don’t want to dance with anyone, don’t look around too much–you could be breaking some hearts.” – Lonely Planet Argentina, 2012, p.90)

It would be awesome to observe some “cabeceo” happening somewhere across the room of “La Catedral del Tango” where we went, though one have to look hard because it’s a very subtle act between two people. Too bad there was no couple dancing in the place. That’s her trick. Buenos Aires beckoned me to come back to her. I know it.

Now I have found the tango song I’d like to dance to on my first performance, if there’s to be one 🙂 It is “Alas Rotas” (Broken Wings, 1940) by the musician named Edgardo Donato (Do you know him?). Here, listen. I also found a vdo of a couple dancing to the song on Youtube. They are pretty good. I’ll reach that level one day. Watch me.

Eduardo, you said while we were walking the street of San Telmo that you like tango music. Also you mentioned some names. Could you tell the names again or suggest me some musicians, singers that you like, and also your favorite tango songs? I would like to listen to them. I also learned another new word today: cafetin = a little café. It’s in the name of the first song from that blog that I randomly played: Cafetin de Buenos Aires, the first song that makes an impression on me. A wonderful ambassador to the world of tango music.

Too much about tango?

Feb 28, 2016


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