Social distancing

The new social behavior, forced upon us during the pandemic, is the antithesis of social behavior for tango.  This new normal is strange for portenos who are accustomed to closeness, not distance.

In a way, I’m glad that I was no longer dancing tango this year.  My visits to the milongas ended in 2018, after 20 years.  I found other activities to replace my milonga routine.

Elba Pateiro called me last week to see how I’m doing during the quarantine.  I told her that I’m fine and get out for exercise on my building terrace on sunny days.  She hasn’t left her apartment in weeks.  Her partner of 17 years was a milonguero, who passed a year ago.  She misses going dancing, even without him.  Her solution is listening to tango radio all day long and dancing alone in her apartment.  She dances her tango from the heart, wherever the music takes her.  This is how she manages the social distancing and quarantine alone at home.  She feels that the milongas will not reopen, and social tango is gone forever in Buenos Aires.  We don’t know the future, but I tend to agree with her.  I always said that when the milongueros are all gone, there won’t be anymore social tango in Buenos Aires.  We didn’t know that a pandemic would change everything.

Jorge DeGouvea called me today to see how I’m doing.  He’s been in his apartment for 49 days.  All he does is eat, sleep, play cards, and watch television.  I could tell by his voice that he is stressed during the quarantine.  A milonguero lives to dance tango.  Jorge has nothing else to do.  It’s not easy to accept the possibility that he may never dance tango again.  The milongas were his social life and exercise routine.  I told him about Elba and suggested he do the same.  Listening to tango will bring him joy.  He needs exercise that will help him reduce stress.  Even if he doesn’t feel like dancing, I know that listening to his favorite orquesta Juan D’Arienzo with Alberto Echague will make him sing along. That will take care of stress.

Both of them are 85.

2 Responses to “Social distancing”

  1. tangogeoff Says:

    What can I say?
    Love from us in Wellington, Janis

  2. suerteloca Says:

    The world is long and viruses and vaccines come and go. I believe social tango will persist in Buenos Aires.

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