(A little) life in Dresden


Dresden reminds me of Wellington. A sweet counterculture with a worldly feel but small enough that you can easily get anywhere.

Eating ice cream seems to be the thing to do, so I had it for breakfast (mint chip) and dinner (salted caramel). In between I had a look at the old black buildings and the lively artisan neighborhood of Neustadt. Now I am taking the tram to Hellerau. The marathon is in a very famous building for the arts and dance called the festival theater. There we will have accommodation, meals, and !air conditioned! dancing.

The milongas here are chokingly humid. Outdoors the air is lovely so it makes you rather take a walk than dance. I surmise that the reason for this discrepancy is that the buildings are seriously insulated.

I go with interest, and enthusiasm too, to see M, but also with trepidation, as last night’s pre-marathon milonga was stifling. In fact I left. Fortunately my host was a good sport to make a 3-tram midnight dash across town with me to catch the regular milonga’s last tandas.

A has lived in many parts of Germany, but returned to Dresden “because it’s the most beautiful.” It is beautiful, in a slightly Disneyland way. It’s astonishing that they have been able to recreate such convincingly old buildings (I wondered how much rubble they had to work with), but some of the marble is trompe l’oeuil. Maybe it was so originally?

I really enjoyed all the hand gestures made by the statues, the fact that they made facial gestures related to the hard work of holding up the buildings, and the layers and contrasts of the black stones and light stones.


I took my first selfie ever in a garden of nymphs. This one seemed to be a dancer.


I asked A for his favorite local food. It’s like a mix of cheesecake and angelfood cake, very eggy and light. I had it at a very dark antiquey resto.


Silences in history. Silences by code. Silences of fear. You already know that Tango’s silences can be sublime and they can be devastating.

What I do in my blog is use myself as a lens – sometimes a microscope, sometimes a telescope. I try to be as honest with myself and you as words concede. Then I try to find a deeper meaning and imagine a pathway for us.

A blog post can be a fragment, a wisp of inspiration, an outline for thinking. A book must complete and reconcile it all. Now I drag the social scientist to the scene to enumerate the facts of the case, the mystery which brought both stardom and tragedy to my life.

I invite you to join my resolution to take a look at the dark silences of Argentine Tango in our lives. It’s time.


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