Tuesday, August 23, 2016

TANGO




     


  When I was considerably younger and a little more agile than I am now, and when I was living in the delectable State of Illusion - also known as Hollywood - somebody (names need not be mentioned) taught me to tango.

Yes, tango. The dance. Alle Argentina.

I was never a dancer, but a few glasses of sangria and a balmy summer night can inspire me to try just about anything. Old records on an antique Victrola. Candlelight. A smooth partner.
I learned the steps, the moves.
I tangoed. 

Tonight - a thousand years later - I'm remembering how the tango ignited my soul. And I'm lamenting that I was born in the wrong era. I need to be transported to the 1920's, languishing in a campy cafe somewhere in Paris or Berlin - smoking a cigarillo, drinking cabernet sauvignon. Immersed in  sensuality, exotica, and promises of passion....

Which is what inspired me to make my latest video today. A tango.

Por una Cabeza has always been my ultra favorite tango - for as long as I can remember. I love it. It is the essence of my soul.


 Carlos Gardel
(1890-1935)

It was written by Carlos Gardel (1890-1935)  a French-Argentine singer and composer, who died much too soon in a plane crash.

Por una Cabeza is a Spanish racing horse phrase, which means "By a head" - a horse winning a race by the length of a head. In the song, he compares his addiction to horse racing with his attraction to women.
Go figure. 

I chose the instrumental version for my video. The original version, sung by Gardel, can be found on YouTube. I'm too lazy to provide the link.

I threw this video together in less than an hour, published it on YouTube, then saw that I made a few glaring errors - so I had to delete it and do it again.
I think it's okay now.

Let's tango. 


Video best viewed full screen

32 comments:

  1. I've been watching your video over and over wanting to just jump up and dance. There's nothing quite like an Argentine Tango ... it's so dynamic, sensual, captivating, elegant ... yet they do make it look so effortless, which it couldn't possibly be. Posture, balance, attitude, I love it. I hear you on wishing to be transported back in time to Paris or Berlin. Me too :)

    I bet you could still pull off a dance or two.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I watched it several times, too, mainly because I love the music so much. Unfortunately I always watch with a critical eye and saw some things that I could have changed - - but, all in all, I'm pleased.

      The tango is definitely the most sensual of dances, and so completely intriguing.
      I could probably still tango - if it wasn't for my back back. I'd hate to end the dance by having to call 911....

      Delete
  2. Jon, that is a wonderful video! I first saw the tango in a Valentino film and was amazed --he moved so well-- but the stills you provide from various eras equally intrigue me, both by the dancers skill and photographers' art. Reluctant as I am to transport myself back in time to an era with no antibiotics in it, I might make an exception with the 1920s --if only for the music of human emotion.

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    Replies
    1. I love the Valentino tango scene in the film "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse". I'm always amazed at the fact that he can dance gracefully with those huge spurs on his boots.

      I had so many wonderful photos to use for this video that it was difficult to choose. The song isn't very long, so I had to drastically edit. Who knows, perhaps I'll make another tango video sometime.

      I never considered the primitive medical resources in the 1920s (one of the reasons Valentino died so young...). If I'm ever transported back in time, I'd better stay healthy.

      Delete
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2BGjyo20QU

    this was my first thought on reading the blog title.

    I will have to watch your video later; must get ready for work.

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    1. Ray and Betty are fabulous together. I've never heard that song before. Thanks!

      Delete
  4. There's nothing like dancing backwards- in high heels. My very first dance didn't happen until I was 20. The man who asked me to dance was shocked when I asked "Can we dance with ME always backing up?" He was shocked. I was straight off the farm where I learned to take long steps - and not for dancing. If we had danced "forward" I would have stomped him into the floor. *sigh* You are friends, Jon, with a hillbilly girl. Honestly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never danced backwards, never danced in heels - but give it time. With enough beer I can do just about anything.

      Ma Kettle came to mind when you described your hillbilly dance maneuvers.

      Delete
    2. HEY! Remember the contract..... Ma Kettle.... harrumph!!!

      Delete
  5. When I was a teen we danced alone 90% of the time--the twist, mashed potato, the pony, the swim, watusi, the shake, the pony, hitchhike, monster mash, the Freddie, frug, hokey pokey, the jerk...now doesn't the tango sound a lot sexier? ;)

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    1. Ah, those were the good ol' days when dancing had some meaning...(*smile*).

      How about the Bunny Hop?

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    2. The Locomotion, too. So many I can't remember them all, but we knew them at the time and how to do each one.

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. I appreciate that, Larry.
      The last time I danced was when a bee stung me on my bare foot.

      Delete
  7. The music is beautiful and the photos so evocative. I especially liked your little surprise at the end where the picture flashes to color.
    I am too uncoordinated to dance. The only way I got away with going to bars and dancing in the '70s was with copious amounts of alcohol. That and we were all pretty much there to hook up, not show off our moves...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm extremely uncoordinated, too, but my coordination improves when I've had a few drinks (at least I think so....).

      The photo flashing into color at the end is one of my "trademarks". I've done that in several of my videos - but I can't remember which ones.

      The Pola Negri video
      and the Empress Alexandra are two that come to mind.

      Delete
  8. Brava, Jon!
    I, too, am FAR too uncoordinated to consider the tango ... but I'm an enthusiastic sideliner. :)

    Love the varying angles and subtle splashes of color. Wasn't that Spielberg who first used that in Schindler's List?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I would NEVER dance in public - I'm far too self-conscious. I've always maintained that dancers are very narcissistic - - and all dancers angrily disagree with me.

      I remember Spielberg's little girl in the red dress. I have seen the splash of color in other films, too, but can't remember which ones. Spielberg might have been the first to do this.

      Delete
  9. The prof was a professional dancer in his youth
    I cannot dance
    I did once at a family wedding years ago and my mother told me I danced like someone with learning difficulties
    Hey ho

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually can't dance, either. I'd never dare dance in public. I have enough trouble maintaining my balance when I walk....

      Delete
  10. You painted the picture. I am there. The 1920's, Paris. Let's tango.

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    Replies
    1. I knew this would intrigue you. I'll meet you at the cafe at midnight....

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  11. Jon
    I was in Buenos Aires twice, both times for about a month. This was around 2002, I think, and a year later. I had been in other South and Central American countries before: Panama, Costa Rica, Venezuela, but Argentina was something completely different...European, perhaps Italy. Anyway, I went one evening go a Tango Dinner Club in the Recoleta area of BA...the meal, like all there, was wonderful. I watch the tango dancers, don't know if the were pro's or just the customers, but I was fascinated and awed. My hotel told me that there were lessons available. I realized that my Orthopedic surgeon pal in Seattle was planning his new boat depending on my decision to take the lessons.
    Great post, brought back many memories of what BA was like, the meals...oh the meals. And the wine.
    cheers,
    Mike

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  12. What fabulous memories you have! I've never been to South America. Seeing it all firsthand must have been an extremely rewarding experience. The tango is truly special - when it comes to the true passion of dancing, there is nothing else like it.

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  13. And now you've brought back my memories of my youth as an Arthur Murray teacher/dancer. We did little Argentine Tango, but instead English style (now called International style). On some of the earlier dancing-with-the-stars shows, that's what they did for Tango. But more recently they have been doing Argentine style. It is much sexier and more intimate. I loved your music in the video. I used to teach and dance to Stanley Black Top Tangos album. Very fast and staccato. I just checked on youtube - they are there. You may like them also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. The Argentine tango is definitely the most interesting, dramatic, and passionate.
      I just watched two of the Stanley Black tangos on YouTube - La Cumparsita and El Choclo and I liked them both. Thanks!

      Delete
  14. Jon,
    Oh I LOVE a tango! I can't tango (of course), never learned. But I do love tango music and watching a couple do the tango. Have you seen the video of the two brothers doing the tango? I think I'll post it on my blog. Your complication video is wonderful. You are a man of many talents Jon.
    Ron

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Many thanks, Ron. My talents are few, but I spread them around like butter.
      I love the tango, it's my favorite dance - but I'd NEVER dare dance in public, not even if I were drunk.

      I've never seen the video of two brothers doing the tango - I hope that you'll eventually post it on your blog.

      Delete
  15. I love, love, LOVE the tango. It isn't just a dance; it's foreplay.

    You did a super job with the video.

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    1. Thanks, Susan - I had fun making this video.

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  16. I always loved to see two men do the tango. Do you think this could have been the start of your back problem?

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    1. That's funny....
      the tango COULD have been the culprit - - but most of my back problems came from when I fell on the ice last winter.
      I should have stayed in California...

      Delete

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