So a tango marathon, or at least this one


Tangotourist in Europe, Summer 2014

I imagined something considerably more hippy. More friendly, More informal, younger. It’s mixed ages (which I like), it’s definitely going strong at 4:09. They weren’t kidding about the dormitories. It’s a roomful of mattresses full stop. People are mostly dancing with people they know. Maybe a little more smiling at strangers than in Berlin.

People seemed surprised that I was wearing wings. I thought it was the dress code. Once again, I think I’m following the rules. They think I’m freaky.

And the music… It’s one thing to have monotony of music for 3 hours, but 6  hours of golden age, uninterrupted with even one tanda of different power, like Sexteto Milonguero or some such, is wearing.

But the real shocker is the dancing. I’m not exaggerating, it’s just ochos, rebotes, and crosses.  Very good technique for the most part, and plenty of space on the dance floor, but nary a back voleo. No ganchos, few barridas. I thought it might change as the evening wore on, but it didn’t.

The level of ego and swagger in circulation is therefore surprising.

I’m not sure about two more days of this. But now I’m going to bed. It’s a lot easier to go to bed in the dawn than to get dressed in the dark.



Postscript: This marathon turned out to be so traumatic that I never went to another one.

Unmotivated by the dancing, I sat for hours and hours and hours. Every time vals came around again I realized I had sat for another hour. After this experience I categorically hated vals.

The nice part seemed to be eating and chatting together. Until some guy flirted with me all afternoon so convincingly I thought he was interested. I dressed with sweet anticipation for the milonga, where he thoroughly ignored me. I was absolutely crushed. It’s just hippy summer camp bullshit. No thank you.

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.


All Travel Stories


All the Blog Posts EVER

Posts by Email



SEARCH the Blog

The Berlin Interviews


More Guides...

2021 TangoForge


NeoTangoRave Bremen


TNT Marathon Dresden


Log In