Friday, 14 September 2007

Danish dancing

How unusual that it would take a Dane to pull back my tango from oblivion at such a sensitive stage? Just when I reached the point of wondering whether learning tango was worth the pain and misery of defeat, I was rescued by Anna. Tall and striking, Anna stood head and shoulders above the rest of the class and our eyes inevitably met across the dance floor. Inadvertently, as Anna is young and attractive.... well, OK, very young....well, alright if you must, young enough to be my daughter. But what a delight! I had heard of the 'tango connection' and indeed even written about it on my blog, but never truly experienced it. And for about four seconds in the dance class with Anna, there it was! The world picture outside the studio stopped. Dancers around went into slow motion and disappeared leaving us to hold the embrace and caress the floor.

Anna was part of a Rotary International group from Denmark visiting Santa Fe. Her field is emulsifiers. After the class, Anna took me to dine at her favourite restaurant and later introduced me to Bo (Leggo), Jorgen (farmer) Grete and Merete, the other members of her team. Instantly Buenos Aires shrunk to the size of Copenhagen, as we kept meeting, first in Recoleta, and later at the next dance class. And then on to the tango show.

Now this was a 'first' for me, as I have only seen the street dancers. Whilst sipping champagne, we watched a team of six dancers, two elderly singers, an even older presenter and a fabulous tango band present their special brand of entertainment to the few tourists who had managed to struggle out late on a Monday night. The drops and lifts were as spectacular as the footwork was passable. Naturally, Anna and I agreed that our dancing eclipsed that of the tango professionals. They clearly lacked our passion, her beauty and my maturity.Clearly the band had fallen out with the majestic female singer, so they played slightly flat and averted their gaze whilst she attempted to sing. But the show was entertaining, not least for the exchange of stifled mirth with Merete whilst the ancient compare tried to inject dignity into the event.

As the last bows were taken and the ripple of applause of an audience of twelve subsided, Anna and I set off for the milonga . There, again, we ventured onto the floor and during a tango valse electrified the purple strip lighting announcing that we were at 'Club Gricel'.

I have a hazy recollection of returning home at about 6 am. After the club, on to the restaurant. There, singing in Danish and other languages too remarkable to remember, until the manager persuaded Anna to remove us, and afterwards to the roof of the Embassy Hotel in Cordoba where, with a view across the rooftops of Buenos Aires, we drank more champagne and sang until the early hours. Bo provided the music and Jorgen the songbook. When Anna left to prepare for her early morning presentation, I collapsed into Merete's arms to dance. Oh, how I love Denmark!

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