Monday, May 17, 2010

My favorite couple of the month: Dante Sanchez and Angelica Avalos, and what they helped me understand about my myself

As my fellow contributor Jaimito knows, in addition to having a favorite tango and vals of the month, I have a favorite couple of month. Previously this used to be a favorite man-crush of the month. I am completely straight, but there is this sort of infatuation that sometimes sweeps over me when I watch certain leaders. Mostly it's of the sort "I wish I could dance like that", but a lot of times it's "I wish I was a girl so I could dance with him". It creeps some people out, especially when I say it out loud. But hey, tango was a dance that evolved in large part by men dancing with men to improve and invent, so I'm sticking to that one. So why am I declaring a favorite couple of the month?

Well, as some of you may know, Dante Sanchez won the 2007 World Championship in the category Tango Salon, with Inés Muzzopappa (source). Now if you look them up on youtube or elsewhere, their dancing is absolutely beautiful. But, for me, there was something missing. A little pizzazz. I don't know how to describe it. I just couldn't feel a man-crush on Dante watching him dance with Inés. I committed the heresy of telling myself "He's good, but he's no Pablo Rodriguez or Fernando Sanchez". But then I saw his dancing with his current partner, Angelica Avalos, and consider me in love!

This is where I realize that what I thought were man-crushes were more of couple-crushes. Tango threesome fantasies? It was not the leader that I was infatuated with. It was more than that. It was the intense connection that I saw and felt, the beautiful joint expression of the music, the graceful movements, that raw human emotion. I now realize it's not even the couple that I'm infatuated with. It's the tango...

For your viewing pleasure: Dante y Anshi dancing to D'Arienzo's "El Cencerro" ... a breathtakingly beautiful dance. Unpretentious and flawless. Enjoy.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Jamás retornarás - You'll never return

A few weeks ago, I promised El Ingeniero that I would make a meaningful post on the blog after the local festival was over. Indeed, I was very busy, being in charge of translating for Javier Rodriguez and Andrea Missé for their classes. Working close to my first tango idol was eye opening, and I have many things on my mind that I want to share... but at this point, if I were to just write everything down, it would be a mess, more chaotic than my usual unedited writing. If I'm not imagining things, I believe both El Ingeniero and Dr Agsol Le Rac are going to (or went to) a nearby festival where Ariadna Naveira and Fernando Sánchez will be (or were). I hope they get some useful things to share on the blog. But anyway, while I organize my thoughts, I want to honour my promise with El Ingeniero and just write something on the blog. So here goes a translation to a great song:

Jamás retornarás (1942) Music and Lyrics by Osmar Mardena and Miguel Caló

Cuando dijo adiós quise llorar. Luego sin su amor quise gritar.
Todos los ensueños que albergó mi corazón, toda mi ilusión, cayeron a pedazos.
"Pronto volveré" dijo al partir. Loco, la esperé, pobre de mí.
Y hoy que tanto tiempo ha transcurrido sin volver siento que he perdido tu querer.

Jamás retornarás, lo dice el alma mía.
Y en esta soledad te nombro noche y día.
Por qué, por qué te fuiste de mi lado y tan cruel has destrozado mi corazón?
Jamás retornarás, lo dice el alma mía
y aunque muriendo está te espera sin cesar!

You'll never return

When she said goodbye I wanted to cry.
Later without her love, I wanted to yell.
All the dreams that I had in my heart, all the hopes, crumbled down to pieces.
"I'll be back soon" she said as she parted, and crazily I waited, poor me.
And now that so much time has passed without your return, I feel I've lost your love.

You'll never return; my soul says it.
And in this loneliness I summon you day and night.
Why, oh why did you leave my side and so cruelly destroy my heart?
You'll never return; my soul says it,
and even though it's dying it endlessly waits for you.

No crazy lunfardo slang in this song, so pretty straightforward compared to Chau Pinela. But still, as usual, pretty awkward wording with the translation. I wanted to stay as close to the original as possible, so a lot of the grammar is also weird. It's also worth noting that the first part of the song refers to the woman in third person, but later in second person (i.e. she, then you)... WTF?
Yeah, I realize I cannot fully express the poetry and emotion of this song through translation, especially due to my inexperience in translating songs, but at least I hope you non-Spanish speakers know how sad this song is while you dance it. Next time, dance it with more passion than ever!