Thursday, 24 May 2007

Fired up by Tango

My birthday celebrations began super early this year thanks to Surabhi – she told me quite a while ago to block the 16th of May to receive my gift and refused to offer any other information, abandoning me to feed on the voices in my head (which is never a good thing!).
The long-awaited date finally arrived and we rendezvous-ed (is that even a word?) at the agreed location at the predetermined time and voila! She handed me my birthday present: tickets to watch Tango Fire – a tango show by a troupe coming from Buenos Aires.


Maybe I should backtrack a little to explain why this was the perfect gift: Surabhi and I go back a looooooooooong way, since we were 7 (oh my god how many times have we told this story already!?!). Somehow our paths kept crossing and we both ended up studying in London and even lived in the same house for 2 years. The Victoria League House rocks! (Sorry, I had a flashback moment there :p). We have always been very close but London was different – living, laughing, backpacking, crying, turning suicidal before exams and starving together took us from friends to family.
One of the delights we both share, besides our priceless books, Mr. Darcy (only when he’s played by Colin Firth) and Johnny Depp (or is it George Clooney? – I always lose track) is our mutual love for the theatre. While in London we went for a musical as often as we could afford to and have seen almost every musical worth saying anything about – in addition to concerts, plays, comedies and a circus (Cirque Du Soleil - animal-free of course!). And as we traveled we went on to gather under our belts a flamenco performance, a marionette show, a ballet and the opera. In fact, in Romania we even had the opportunity to BE the show but I’ll spare us the embarrassment and not elaborate further :)

waiting for the flamenco in Sevilla

So it was only a matter of time before tango came our way – I just never expected it to be in Malaysia! It was also symbolic because Buenos Aires (where the troupe was from) is one of my favourite cities in the world (from the few that I’ve had the chance to visit) and we both dabbled in a bit of Spanish while in London. Then there was the time that I was hopelessly addicted to Mexican/ Venezuelan soap operas (don’t ask me how they became popular in Malaysia – we have no connection to the Spanish world at all but they were a hit).

So you see there are a lot of connections to be made!

Anyway, the point of all this is to say that the show was awesome :)

I admit to be a tango-ignoramus, and my naïve perception of tango being hands-clasped-rose-between-the-teeth-marching-up-and-down was shattered – here I saw a stunning display of legs, legs, and then more legs flicking as though they were a butterfly’s fluttery wings. Their movements were swift and glamorous; sometimes tentative and uncertain, yet other times so very dramatic and forceful. I spent most of my time holding my breath, thinking that at any moment now they are all going to get horribly entangled and make a mess of themselves. My worry proved to be unfounded because it was all one: the dancers, the music, the lights. They were not separate pieces of the puzzle being put together; there was no puzzle! A spot light followed the dancers and I kept looking back and forth between the dancers and their reflection trying to decide which one I was more captivated by. The dancers were a wow - the men, fantastic though they were, I don’t think got much of the glory; they were more like a part of the furniture while the women stole the show – after all it was the women got to strut up and down the stage, full to the brim with Latina attitude, in those gorgeous dresses and exaggerated stilettos.

It was so typically Spanish – all they did was dance and fight, or sit at a table to watch others dance and fight (pardon the stereotyping, but remember that my experience comes from watching Venezuelan soaps! :p).

I think I would still prefer to take my taste of tango in a lovely restaurante, amidst a gregarious crowd enjoying their dinner, from which a dark-haired beauty suddenly slips out of her chair to command the floor. On the spur of the moment and unpredictable – exactly how it should be. Still, seeing that this is an unlikely reality for me at this point in time, Tango Fire was a good enough substitute! ...

Surabhi, thank you so much for this. I know I’ve already said that I loved it a thousand times, but now you have it in black and white :) ...

Oh, and what are you thinking for next year? You do know that I haven’t seen Riverdance, right?? :p ...

(And no, Irish dancing bus drivers will NOT do – even if they come from Birmingham!)


Resh said...

Hey Harkiren, Love your style of writing, I find it amusing + entertaining and sweet. Overall a 11 out of 10. keep up the goos work and Happy belated birth day by the way.


P/S: Don't crack your head if you dont remember who I am. :)

Surabhi said...


Am so glad you louwed it. Figured it'd be the best present for ya! And thanks for this write up, it means all of the (wonderful!) world to me!

Love you.

Harkiren Kaur said...

Suresh: this time i do remember :)
n like i said it was a super early bday present; my bday is only in july :)

Subi: Remember that time, when we were in Russia... :p