Sunday, 29 November 2015

Sara - the final tanda

Across a crowded tango floor.

She stands, slim, dark hair framing her face, animated mirada .

I look, she tilts her head. I approach. No word spoken.

We dance.

A first encounter - holding a partner in your arms - is a strange event for those unfamiliar with Argentine tango. We identify by feel; we move by shared energy; we slip further and seamlessly into a new place that will happen once; and then end. The close of the tanda is a frame of bereavement – the passing of a precious moment, to be lost in a mist of memory.

Sara is gone. Parting was long and tortuous, but still too fast and short. It leaves an ache in the heart of every tanguero that danced, and every tanguera that watched. We listen for a whistle across the pista to say that she, with Lloyd, will be here. We look for the glint across the room.

Sara’s last Facebook posting was a shared memory from our time in San Telmo, Buenos Aires, where she says that which is Sara, “We sat directly in front of four passionate, highly energetic and totally absorbed bandoneon players. I felt as if my whole body was electrified, especially when they played their final Pugliese track, La Yumba! The effects of the powerful live music felt indescribably healing”.

It now remains for us to absorb our loss, and to heal. Each will have their moment. A smile, a softness, a laugh, a breath. Perhaps you the reader and I the writer will meet on a tango floor. Perhaps mine will be the cabeceo and yours the animated mirada. Maybe we will approach without words. And perhaps we shall dance together our own private memories of a very special woman and friend.

With thanks to Lloyd Spencer for the wonderful photographs and other memories.
With our thoughts to Alex, and our appreciation of him as a devoted son to Sara.