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Ode to La Marshall

posted Aug 9, 2014, 12:59 AM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Aug 9, 2014, 1:11 AM ]
Today (Saturday August 9, 2014) is the 11th anniversary of La Marshall. Terpsichoral Tangoaddict sings here it's praises, in her usual eloquent fashion.

By the way, if you are looking for a great tango teacher and tango guide in Buenos Aires I highly recommend Terpsi (a.k.a Iona Italia) who can be contacted through her Facebook Page.

Dancers at La Marshall. Source: http://lamarshallmilonga.com.ar

"It's the most relaxed, most informal milonga in Buenos Aires: a place where mirada/cabeceo can work well but where it's also fine to just go up to someone at their table and ask "bailás?" (and have a good chance of being accepted -- not because of the other person's embarrassment, feeling of obligation or because they feel pressured into accepting but because of the ethos of the place).

It's a place where you'll see professional salony boys who spend all week practising with their female partners finally able to embrace their boyfriends and camp up those dramatic Puglieses together (people there dance to the Poogmeister like they *really* mean it).

It's a place where you'll find the slickest, most skilful professionals dancing with charmingly clumsy, stumbling, open-mouthed beginners; where you'll find straight men holding other men tenderly in their arms in a close embrace and not just practising moves but dancing, really dancing with them; where gay boys will dance with me with an embrace so loving and so sensual that surely many straight men could take lessons from them in how to hold a woman; a place where it feels natural and right to raise my left arm and lead my female friends.

It's the place where you need not feel self-conscious because it doesn't matter what your level of dance, what your sex, what your preferred role. This was a place conceived in a spirit of openness, kindness and civil courage as a safe milonga where men could dance with men, women with women and anyone with anyone, without fear of criticism or scorn. As someone said tonight, the dance has no sex, the music has no sex: life is too short to care about what other people think, life is just long enough to express our feelings about the music and each other, in whatever sexual combinations we choose.

It's their eleventh anniversary today. A very happy birthday to one of my favourite milongas in the world. Let's raise our glasses to La Marshàll, the Buenos Aires gay milonga -- and all who sail in her!"