Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Tango Show

Tango dancing
No, the tango show I attended at Tacoreando in San Telmo last night did not star me. But I did get to dance with one of the star dancers. Here I am pretending that I know what I'm doing.

The show was organized by Lucilla for the Cabrillo group as well as for several other foreign students studying at Universidad de Belgrano, and we took a taxi to an area crowded with restaurants offering similar dinner shows for tourists. Lorraine, Toni and I decided to splurge on a dinner which was outrageously priced at 100 pesos (about $32) while the younger students bought an entrance ticket for 30 pesos followed by very high priced drinks. The food was terrible, but the show was terrific. Five women and six men put on an integrated performance that featured songs, dancing and a pantomimed story about love and loss, billiards and a fight which culminated in a knifing. Since they wore 40's costumes, the context was the golden age of tango. All of the dancers/actors, ranging in age from 20's to 50's, were talented and I was mesmerized, temporaily forgetting that the event felt like a tourist rip-off. At the close of the show, the dancers circulated in the audience and invited diners and drinkers to come up on stage and dance. My inclination was to flee, but I resisted and got into the act with one of the more attractive of the dancers. She tried to get me to follow her tango steps but I fell into my usually pattern and even twirled her a couple of times to her surprise. It was lots of fun.

The evening ended badly when the waiter tried to get us to pay for wine and water and we objected. A woman came over and jabbered at me in Spanish. Because I was feeling ripped off, I shouted "basta!" and walked out, throwing the money she wanted on the table. She came outside and gave it back to me, and I'm not sure if she was mad or apologetic. It was an unfortunate end to a nice evening.

Earlier that day the group met at the Museo Nacional de Belles Artes, the national art gallery. There was an incredibly powerful show by the Colombia artist Fernando Botero. His usual subjects are rolly polly people and these were no exception, but this time they were all being killed by right wing militias in Colombia. It was an artistic condemnation of the violence there in the 1980s and 1990s. The pictures of arrests, torture and murder, in an almost cartoon style, were horrific and made their point like a kick in the stomach. There is a Botero in the Malba gallery that features a family mourning their wife/mother with tears running down their fat cheeks. In Santiago we saw a giant fat horse by Botero. But this paintings of violence were exceptional. The rest of the collection was fairly standard, with some European impressionists included, but I prefered the Argentine painters exhibited on the second floor. It include works by my new favorites, Antonio Berni and Xul Solar.

I´m irrated at Blogger which has managed to lose all the information that used to appear on the right side of this page, including the bald me that I love so much. There is supposed to be some reprogramming this weekend, if I understand the Spanish correctly, so maybe my profile information will reappear next week. Until then, consider me the mystery blogger.

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