Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Two to Tango

People here love to stay out late. And they love to dance. Tango.

Before I got here, I thought these were generalizations or stereotypes. But they're not -- they're absolutely true.

I didn't understand how Argentines are notorious for staying out till 6 a.m. How was it possible? Now I understand -- EVERYONE is out, restaurants are open, old people, families, babes in arms and strollers are out -- it doesn't FEEL like it's midnight. If octogenarians and newborns can hang, I surely can!

I love strolling around our neighborhood. Several blocks from our house is a park -- remember how I said Argentines LOVE their parks? -- with a gazebo in it. I've gone by there in the evening after work and there are always lots of people out, walking their dogs, sitting on blankets, enjoying their summer. And there is tango in the gazebo. Hip, young dancers. Middle-aged people, enjoying getting dressed up to dance. Old people, still perfecting their moves, holding on to one another.

It's so beautiful. Some people like me stand and watch them. Argentines aren't all about personal space. Strangers share small benches. I saw a teenage couple, talking and kissing on a bench by the tango gazebo, and beside them was an old lady, watching the dancers. I wish I would've taken a picture, but that would've been weird!

After dinner Friday night, all our friends went their separate ways and Neil and I found ourselves walking home past the tango gazebo park. And they were having a dance! They had an outdoor projection screen playing old black and white film of tango musicians performing, and a stage with a professional couple dancing.
When the performance was over, everyone was invited to dance and they played waltz music and then more tango. It was so amazing!!!
I took these pictures at 11:30 p.m. Friday night. I am of course still learning about the culture here, but I just know that in the States, you would never, never, see such a variety of people, especially older people, dancing in a park at midnight.


abby said...

Dancing must be a Latin thing in general. I was in San Juan and everyone was dancing to live music--young and old. It's fun to watch and it makes you want to dance. Even in Latin church dances in the States, no one is left behind on the dance floor.

Iggy Bloggit said...

i love that you've been using your camera so much lately. miss you guys.

Taralyn said...

That's awesome! Are you guys gonna take tango lessons? You have to adapt you know :)

modestmuse said...

Yeah, I think it is a Latin thing. And no one was drinking, either -- they're just dancing for the fun of it.

Leslie, we miss you too. I'm glad we got to see you RIGHT before we left. Maybe we won't reunite in Hawaii this year, but you should think about coming down here to B.A.!

Taralyn, yes we ARE going to take tango lessons -- I started this week! It's really fun and I really like the music.

Stephanie J. Robertson said...

k- i have been thinking about this post everyday, a couple of times a day since you posted it. HOW COOL! (do i sound like a broken record yet??)

my second oldest sister brittany has a best friend who is from argentina (they live in las vegas now) and she always tells me how her and her family have these like all night parties and the kids are up too...etc. etc.

oh and that they have ways of making their babies sleep through the night by nursing on a certain schedule and all the women in argentina do it...etc. etc. and i have always been so fascinated by all these things.

plus, her friend (virginia is her name) is always so warm, and personal, and compassionate, and kind and generous and i have attributed it to not only just who she is but the culture she and her husband were raised in. i love that you get to be a part of it all!