09 June 2008

Weekend of tango and photos

Milongueros viejos IIThe IV Encuentro Metropolitano de Tango ("Fourth Metropolitan Tango Meeting") finished last Saturday. I don't have much to say about tango, but my girlfriend Marisa was in the organizers' group assembled by the Municipality of Rosario, so she had to be there and I took advantage of that to be there with her and take pictures. The closing event was twofold: the first part was an outdoors milonga in a closed-off section of a street downtown, and the second part was a tango show at La Comedia Theater, on the corner of that same street.

A milonga is the name of a tango subgenre and also of the place where people go to dance, and the event itself. In the olden days a milonga was like a disco or bar, i.e. the place where men went to pick up women. Today they're venues for tango bars, known and popular only among fans of tango. Marisa, incidentally, is one of them. I understand she hasn't been to a milonga for quite a while, but that didn't stop her from trying a few pieces.

The afternoon was delightful, sunny and only mildly cold. There was an introduction with a group of very bad actors representing a typical old-style milonga scene, an older man having fun with a younger tango companion and chased by his outraged wife. Although the acting was flaky, the script and the feathered hat were funny.

Feliz entre la espada y la pared

After that came the dancing. A lot of couples old and new went out on the street and showed their abilities (or lack thereof — it wasn't really important) while the music played. There was an interlude with a "tango" exhibition — not real tango but tango-inspired choreography, and then the milonga resumed. My photo buddies and I took a lot of pictures and then left. Marisa had to stay there and then hurry to work on the theater, until the grand finale at around midnight, so it didn't make much sense for me to stay.

On Sunday I met another photographer friend of mine and her friends, and after some chat we went out to get some more pictures... nothing fancy, since we didn't want to walk that much, and it was getting dark (it's only 12 days till winter after all). Luckily I'd brought the tripod I recently bought. I took some unremarkable pictures, then we went to a café, and then I returned home.

All in all the weekend was satisfactory — I was hungry for pictures, and I took a lot of them. Photography, I've noticed, calms me down. I don't know exactly why that is. Taking a walk along a nice street also helps, of course, but since I have a camera, 90% of the times I feel as if I'm missing something when I don't carry it along for the walk. That can't be good, for sure. But as long as I can get away with it...

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