Monday, June 30, 2008

Inside Our Russian Stacking Doll: Tango At the De Young Museum


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Over the past year and a half the only thing that has boomed more in SF than the price of gas is tango. When I switched to tango a year & 9 months ago there were usually a couple of tango events going on each night. I just took a quick look at & in the Bay area today there are twelve tango events (classes, practicas and milongas). This boom was very evident Friday night as the tango community descended upon the De Young Museum for a great milonga organized by Terence Clarke and Beatrice Bowles (great job, Terry, Bea and the De Young team!).

I was hoping there would be enough dancers there to give the milonga a party feel. I need not have worried--the De Young was packed! The dance floor felt more like bumper cars at times, but it was well worth it. Not only was the De Young packed with tango dancers, but our milonga turned into a live work of art as the museum-goers lined two and three deep to watch everyone tango. Even the main stair case was packed with kids and adults watching in fun. I finished one tango and a lovely couple came up to my partner and me and said "you both look so happy!". Well, that's because we were. We encouraged the couple to try a tango, but they just wanted to watch.

And then it was time for an excellent tango performance by Nora Dinzelbacher and Ed Neale. It was during their performance I realized that the milonga felt like we were living inside a never-ending Russian stacking doll (you know, one of those Babooshka nesting things) because there was one work of art inside another. Here we were in the incomparable San Francisco and inside her the green forests of the Golden Gate Park and inside her the shocking copper beauty of the De Young Museum and inside her our joyful milonga where Nora and Ed were tangoing passionately in front of Richter's wild piece, Strontium (seen in the photo above).

Strontium, by the way, is a chemical element that can be combustible. Pretty much sums up Friday's milonga at the De Young.


tangobaby said...

Ms. Wellspring and I couldn't even get near the dance floor by the time we got there and so we ended up at the Chihuly exhibit instead.

Glad to hear you had a fun time!

studio wellspring said...

i'm so glad you enjoyed dancing there. i didn't come with a partner and didn't see anyone i knew and it was so crowded i didn't think i'd ever get asked to dance {who were spectators and who were participators?}, so i decided to melt into chihuly instead. but oh my tango in that museum was a lovely sight to see! i got some great shots of it too. i am so behind on my photo uploading and resulting blog posting....