Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tigris and Tango

Today after class and a long lunch we took a boat tour of part of the Paraná river at Tigris.  The river goes down through a lot of South America, and Buenos Aires is centered around the area where the river empties out into the ocean.  Our boat navigated one of the tributaries in the delta.  There are lots of houses along the river, some really nice and some not so nice, and in many areas there are no streets - the residents only have transportation via boat.  They can use their own boats, canoe, kayak, row, or catch a ride on one of the tour boats or postal service boats. 

Nate's host family has a friend who teaches tango classes, so a group of us met up tonight to do the one thing that you have to do before leaving Argentina.  I got to Nate's house early and his family fed me steak, Argentinian people are so nice.  The tango place was really amazing, I'm so glad we went.  The room looked like more of a foyer with tile floor and high ceilings and really new age-y paintings on the walls.  There were a lot of students, probably 20, so we split up into beginner/experienced groups and half went outside to the courtyard where the there was a little breeze and cafe tables with lights strung up.   The teacher was named Lucía, and she was sooo cute.  It was really interesting to take a dance class in another language; we didn't really have any problems understanding anything because she was so visual and demonstrative.  We changed partners a lot, and one time I ended up with this swarthy looking (not in a bad way) Argentinian man with a really impressive head of curly long hair.  He was pretty intense.  I had never danced tango before tonight, and what I learned was that a lot of other dance forms (salsa, swing) are about learning to do things that look cool... tango is more about learning to feel your partner and intuitively react, and if you're good enough to do that then it starts to look cool.  We started out by learning how to walk properly, and to me beginning tango looks a lot like fancy walking... but even then it's still difficult, because every step is so precise and intentional.    

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