The El Beso afternoon milonga fun continues, at Tango Camargo

Following another heavenly Tango Champagne Club on Tuesday, and a delightful Perfume de Mujer on Wednesday, it was back to El Beso for the third-but-not-final-time this week for Tango Camargo.

Today I got a wonderful surprise in the form of an unexpected live orchestra …

This was the Entre Mundos (Between Worlds) quartet: bandoneon, piano, violin, and double-bass. Unexpected because I wasn’t checking Facebook pages for the milongas since there was usually only one I could go to, time-wise.

It’s generally considered a sign of respect to simply sit and listen to a live orchestra’s first song, dancing only from the second, so I take that as an opportunity to video them. However, in this case it seemed the room was too impatient, so as people headed out onto the dance floor, I hastily abandoned my video, cabeceod someone and immediately joined them!

I did sit out a milonga tanda, as I find live milonga sets can be … unpredictable. That provided my photo and video opportunity, but as things turned out, that was literally the only tanda I didn’t dance – not just in the live set, but in the entire milonga! I wasn’t even given the chance to sit out the extended cortinas (I’m very much hoping there isn’t video evidence of this).

I hadn’t imagined this possibility when I walked in, as the milonga seemed relatively lightly populated, but it was certainly busy enough to keep me on the dance floor for three hours.

Things began when one of my now-regular El Beso followers cabeceod me as soon as I had my shoes on, and another didn’t even wait for the next tanda to begin – she did so as I was walking back to my seat! This pattern continued: the afternoon milongas may have different organisers and hosts, but there’s a fair slice of people who seem to be there almost every day.

The live band did play tandas, though it wasn’t always 100% clear that a slightly longer delay before the next song signalled the end of one. That lack of clarity always raises a slight sweat over the potential for inadvertently causing offence by thanking someone before the tanda is over, but all was well.

They played quite a lot of vals, which really suited the atmosphere of the milonga – more relaxed and lighthearted than some, with a lot of laughter and casual conversations between couples in the gaps between songs.

The recorded music was also great, with a good balance of rhythmical and lyrical tandas. Ironically, one of the followers seems to like my (very new) D’Arienzo dance more than anything, as she did the laser-mirada thing every time it was played!

I’ve mentioned before the shameless flattery of BsAs followers, and have had to up my Spanish game to be able to reciprocate, adding “Tu baile es hermosa” and “No es mi baile, es nuestro baile” to my vocabulary. I’m also having to expand my Spanish abilities more generally, to cope with at-table chat now I’m seen as a regular – though that wasn’t needed on this occasion, as I didn’t get to sit at my table!

You know, I think if I lived here (also a topic for another post …), I might go to more afternoon milongas than evening ones.

By the end of the this one, both my feet and legs felt like I’d run a marathon. I was fully intending to take a bus home, but the adrenaline overcame the tiredness, and I opted instead for the 30-minute walk, albeit stopping off at a restaurant for an emergency steak en-route.

This was only the second time I successfully got the rare steak I ordered – usually, raro here is interpreted as medium, or medium-rare at best. I have considered showing the waiters a photo of a live cow being led on a rope.

I’ll be back at El Beso again tomorrow, for what is probably my last milonga of the trip: El Abrazo. Probably, because I could potentially do an evening milonga as well, but with a 6.30am start and a need to pack for my Saturday morning departure, I can’t see that being a particularly practical option …

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s