David goes to Edinburgh... Two: Friday Funtime

29th May 2010

After getting to Edinburgh, I'm ready to start this dancing thing...

"Villa Urquiza" style workshop

Villa Urquiza - pronounced "Visha Orkeeza", apparently. There has been much, much debate on what on Earth this Villa Urquiza style is. I don't anticipate being able to do anything beyond adding to any confusion, but I can describe the class.

I am partnered with La Dulce with this class, for my sins - although we all swap partners in an unusual way throughout the class.

La Dulce rests...

We start of with, literally, a geography lesson.

Horacio draws on a big piece of paper, the various neightbourhoods of Buenos Aires, and he explains the developments of particular styles within each neighbourhood - one neighbourhood would be fanatical (literally) about Di Sarli, whereas another neighbourhood would be crazy for D'Arienzo.

We then walk, individually, around the room - Horacio then gets us to walk as if we were walking on eggshells. Slooooowing right down, almost moving in slow motion.

We then continue this, but dance with partners; for 5-6 steps at a time, before moving on. It's tango Tai Chi, basically. Very interesting.

Horacio demonstrated the difference between smooth and sudden movements, with lowering compared to tipping a chair onto the floor.

We practiced constant speed dancing - everything at the same speed, keeping the movement energy at the same level.

We did fast then slow movements - starting a step quickly, then finishing it slowly.

We then worked on dancing to the violin, not to the bandoneon (the melody, not the beats). This tied well into the information from the start about different neighbourhoods and orchestras. It was further illustrated by Horacio giving a tale about Troio nearly getting lynched by a milonga crowd who wanted a bandoneon beat.

We finished off with a Giro - sacada sequence, which illustrated the Villa Urquiza style for giros - interesting, but it was a bit too challenging for me at that point, despite my lovely partner having the patience of an angel to work through it with me.

Overall, very interesting, very informative. A great start to the weekend.

Friday Milonga

This was in the main hall of Teviot Row House - a large-ish hall. It was a wee bit hot, and a wee bit crowded, but everyone seemed very friendly. The bar was lovely, with sofas to curl up in and relax in the company of friends.

I only spent a couple of hours there - just simply didn't have the energy. Jenny and Ricardo did a lovely performance dance together.

Coming next