All posts by Ben Lovejoy

EU Editor of 9to5Mac. Sometime novelist. Likes words, tech, photographs, bicycles, drones, places that are London, places that aren't London.

A time to lead, a time to follow

Six weeks ago, I said I was pausing my privates while I figured out my next step. A few days after that, I mulled over the possibility of learning to follow – at least, to some degree.

Sure, I’ve taken a few lessons as a follower, but those have always been geared to helping my lead, rather than actually focusing on following. But I’ve decided it’s now time to have a real go at the opposite (and, I suspect, more challenging) role …

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If I go all the way to Devon, you can bet there’s a good reason for it!

No offence to Devon; it’s a pretty part of the world. But given that I could travel to many European cities in the same time and for the same money, I wouldn’t be heading there without a very good reason. The Feast tango festival was that very good reason.

I first attended The Feast in December, and fell head-over-heels in love with it …

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The only leader is the music: A joyful Feast

Felipe Martinez recently talked about the difference between danceable music and music which moves you, literally and figuratively. I think that’s a good way of describing what is, to me, the difference between rhythmic and lyrical tango.

I’d expected the work I was doing on double-time to increase my enjoyment of rhythmic music. It has, but to my surprise, that wasn’t the biggest benefit …

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A pause in my privates, and thinking about where I go from here

This is a question I first asked myself so long ago that I can’t even find the blog post to link to: How far do I want to go in my tango journey?

Dancing a lot less than I was, I was finding that my weekly privates (alternating between Emma and Diego) were too much: I simply wasn’t doing enough dancing to put the work into practice in milongas …

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Time for double-time: A very delayed post

Despite working independently, Laura and Diego somehow ganged up on me while I was in BsAs back in March. There have been two things I’ve always viewed with terror in tango: cross-system, and double-time.

I’d dipped a toe in the cross-system waters, though always aimed to return to the safety of parallel system at the earliest opportunity. But the occasional rebound aside, I’d still mostly kept double-time at a safe distance …

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Not just another grumble about the F word

I debated whether to write this post. Floorcraft is a perennial topic, and the view from friends who’ve been in London tango far longer than I have is that nothing is going to change, so there’s not a lot of point in yet another discussion about it.

But at the same time, it is without question one of the biggest differences between tango in Buenos Aires, and that of London – and during my recent month-long stay in Argentina, I came to see the topic in a whole new light …

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Bringing a little Buenos Aires back to London with me

Last time when I returned home from BsAs, I found myself wishing that London tango were more like, well, Argentine tango. I mean, I looked forward to dancing with friends and favourite partners, of course. But I felt the contrast keenly in a number of ways.

This time too. The difference was deciding that, while there are factors I can’t control, there are others that I can – whether directly or indirectly …

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Saying farewell to Buenos Aires with one last milonga – and one last protest

I said at the beginning of the trip that I’d be adopting a more relaxed approach this time around, after last time visiting 25 milongas in 12 days.

One reason for staying here a month is to take things easy – an absolute maximum of one milonga per day. Yes, really. Honestly. You’ll see.

This claim was met with a certain amount of scepticism (‘100%’ is a certain amount, right?) …

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Ending an amazing day dancing to Romantica Milonguera playing live in Salon Canning

In a city in which anything can happen, and frequently does, this afternoon still stood out! This was followed by a curfew-busting visit to Salon Canning.

It was the second time this trip that I got to hear my favourite orchestra play, but the first time I could actually dance to it …

Continue reading Ending an amazing day dancing to Romantica Milonguera playing live in Salon Canning

Bizarre things that only happen in BsAs #792: Being asked to dance in front of Carlos Gardel’s tomb

I wanted to spend a little time hanging out with Pugliese, Troilo, Gardel, Caro, Di Sarli and D’Arienzo. Admittedly they’re all getting on a bit, and none of them are very talkative these days, but it would seem rude to be in Buenos Aires without visiting them.

Cementerio de la Chacarita is huge! Recoleta Cemetery, which had seemed pretty large when we visited it, would fit inside this one eighteen times. Terry had sent me a couple of links with approximate locations for each tomb, and finding most of them was straightforward (guide to follow), though D’Arienzo was a little harder to track down …

Continue reading Bizarre things that only happen in BsAs #792: Being asked to dance in front of Carlos Gardel’s tomb