This Week's Links
to the Tango
School of Dance
. . . Your Other Right Foot
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by Joe Harkins - Jun 09, '99
I've got to go
to Buenos Aries. A few weeks ago, here in New York, I saw an imported film ("Tango")
that, sorry to say, probably will not play except in a few cities where independent films
haven't been multiplexed out of exposure. The story line was pure soap opera but the
music, the photography and especially the dancing, were 99 point 44 percent pure heaven.
Before the fever with which it infected me subsides, I think I'll need a trip to Buenos
Aries so I can learn to tango like an Argentinean.
If you've ever left a movie theater wanting to boogie like a hepcat or
meringue like a Dominican jet-set playboy you'll understand. Dance is a language. The best
way to learn a language is to immerse yourself where it is spoken.
If you agree, this week's column is for you. Wallflowers can sit this
to the Tango has its footings in New England but it arcs to some surprising
destinations. You've just missed their May/June tour of the tango palaces of Amsterdam
where the staid Dutch are syncopating like a windmill with an extra arm. However, you've
got time to make the Montreal tango tour in July. In an email, Daniel Trenner, founder and
chief dance instructor for Bridge to the Tango, says trips to Buenos Aries are afoot for
this Fall and Winter (the Southern Hemisphere's Spring and Summer).
But if your feet are itching to go right now, there are links to dozens
of tango teachers on Buscador,
a directory web site in Argentina. Most of the pages have an English version. However, if
you encounter a Spanish-only page, just remember you can get an adequate translation at Babelfish.
Sway to the pulsating rhythms of Central America and you might consider
the multi-disciplined Costa
Rican School of Language, Dance and Cooking. The site's ambitious name reminds me of
the discount flight service in an old Bob Newhart sketch, "The Grace L. Ferguson
International Charter Airline and Storm Window Company." If you have a sound
card in your computer, you'll be entertained during your visit by a synthesizer version of
Ravel's Bolero, a trite piece of French Classical music. Please don't ask me what
that has to do with Latin music and dance.
Few dances are more powerful and erotic than Flamenco. This is despite
the fact, or maybe even because, the fiery dancers never touch one another. Men and women
usually dance alternately, in taunting competitive displays. Flamenco World
contains links to the leading schools in Spain.
Tours specializes in a dance immersion experience in Bali. The rich, multi-layered
culture is explored during 6 classes, 4 of them within the Royal Palace of Peliatan.
The tour also includes attendance at 4 different Balinese dance performances. The
coordinator is an American professional dancer with substantial training and experience.
You'll find a complete guide to spicy salsa schools, salsa cruises and
even a Salsa Vacation Planner at Salsa Web. Salsa Freak
seems to be a more personal web site within the larger Salsa Web. Both sites very
thoughtfully contain a direct link to the Babelfish translator. I was disappointed that
options don't include Lucy and Desi's favorite, the cha-cha-cha.
If you don't want your happy feet to leave the USA, there's plenty of
genuine ethnic dance instruction worth a domestic journey. NEFFA
LinkFest lists and links almost 1,200 dance camps and dance conferences where "the
real thing" is taught. Those include Afro-Haitian, Cajun-Zydeco, Clogging,
ContraDance and my favorite, good ole' American Swing.
The Viennese Waltz has been described, quite accurately, as "the
most romantic thing two people can do standing up." If you'd like to learn right
now, go to the online interactive course at The
Viennese Dance School. Put one arm around your mouse, place your other hand firmly on
the waist of your keyboard and ahh . . . one-two-three, pause - one-two-three,
pause - .
There you go.
But please, just because they display the steps for you, there's no excuse for footprints
on the monitor screen.
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