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.