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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Do cortinas matter?

How important is a cortina, apart from clearing the dance-floor between tandas?

     Does it affect the mood and energy of the milonga? 
     Might it complement or clash with the preceding music? 
     What is the ideal length of a cortina?
     Is it a problem if the same cortina is used all the time? 
     Should the DJ bother with this, and just focus on the tandas?

Well, I'm going to have a little gripe. I wish more DJs would indeed consider the contribution of the cortina. I've seen the mood created by the most thoughtful selection of music spoiled by a cortina which is soporific & energy-sapping or jarringly inappropriate.

Cortinas which allow dancers to not only clear the floor, but are also long enough to return to one's seat, have a drink and reconnect with those around, are considerate of the dancers.  So, nowadays my cortinas are usually around one minute in length, and that seems to work well.

Personally, I like using a variety of cortinas to complement or spice up the mood during a milonga - not too gloomy or bland.  On the other hand, the Heavy Metal cortinas which I heard some years ago in Buenos Aires, of all places, were way beyond the pale. Some current favourites: Pretty woman (Roy Orbison), Words of love (Mamas & Papas), Son of a Preacher Man (Dusty Springfield), Back to black (Amy Winehouse), Hard times (Ray Charles), Breaking up is hard to do (Neil Sedaka).

Am I being too precious? Does the cortina really matter at all? Next time you're at a milonga, take note and decide for yourself.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Centenario Aníbal Troilo

The great Troilo, bandoneón player par excellence, orchestra director and composer was born 100 years ago 11 July 1914, a day also commemorated nowadays as the Día del Bandoneón in Argentina. With the right partner, I love dancing to his music. Here are just a couple of my favourites:

Troilo with singer Francisco Fiorentino

With Alberto Marino

Reasonable quality Troilo recordings have been very difficult to acquire until recently.  So, if the Troilo bug has bitten you, head to TangoTunes.


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Evolution of the coolest man dancing in the milongas

Another amusing take on dance-floor practices from Murat and Michelle Erdemsel

Guys, how evolved are you?

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