Puddle jumping to the Festival

It rained all day.  I took the bus to Recoleta and had six blocks or so to walk to the Centro de Exposiciones where concerts, conferences, classes, and the first rounds of the tango championship are held.

A dance floor serves its purpose throughout the Festival and World Cup until August 25.  People come just to dance during the concerts and to recorded music.

I arrived shortly after the concert began at 4:00.  I had no problem finding a seat.  There were only about 50 people in the audience, true tangueros who arrived early to hear this excellent performance by Noelia Moncada and Esteban Riera singing tangos by Alejandro Szwarcman and Raimundo Rosales, two lyricists.  Riera’s performance of one song with solo piano brought tears to my eyes.

Each year the festival has its product fair — one-stop shopping for everything to do with tango.  There are more shoes than anything else.  I saw several familiar brands and a couple new ones.

I waited at the dance floor for Julio and Elsa Duplaa’s class.  They weren’t late, I was in the wrong place.  I went to the other end of the hall where I found the room for dance classes, but I wasn’t allowed to enter.  There is a limit of 30 men and 30 women for the classes.  People line up an hour before to get one of the wrist bands to enter the room.  I watched through a plastic window as Julio and Elsa talked about pauses and the embrace.  Julio changed hand and arm positions of several couples while everyone danced to the music of Carlos Di Sarli.

The smallest attendance is usually at the conferences which are interesting. This one was about censure, prohibition and pasteurization of tango.  The morality code-setters changed “percanta que me amuraste” (lover who ditched me) to “muchacha que me dejaste” (young woman who left me).  The instructions for radio broadcasting (1934, updated 1943) not only focused on the refinement of the language, with the intent to eliminate lunfardo, but also modified tango songs whose language couldn’t be listened to by the audience and conditioned the future work of poets.

I left the conference after hearing only three of the five speakers so I could find a seat up front for the Franco Luciani Tango Trio concert.  I heard them in concert a few months ago and wanted to hear them again.  Another amazing performance.

I left at 9:00 during heavy rain.  Getting from the Center to the bus was a challenge.  I was puddle jumping all the way to Las Heras and Puerreydon to take a bus.  At least I learned my way around the Expo Center for next week when the qualifying rounds of the championships begin.


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