Saturday, January 28, 2012

Milonga al Fresco - La Paz, Bolivia

I speak to el Maestro of Milonga each & everytime I have the good fortune to find him. You see we have much in common. We are both fans of los grandes of Milonga like Aníbal Troilo, Lucio Demare, Angel Vargas and so many others. We both love it and he plays it well. Milonga is a music form which preceded the Tango. It originated in South America around the Río de la Plata area of Argentina and Uruguay. Interestingly, the Milonga uses the same basic elements as Tango and requires a greater relaxation of legs and body. Movement is normally faster, being a kind of rhythmic walking without complicated figures, with a more "rustic" style than Tango. Milonga pulls at the heart.

Each rendezvous I place a few coins in the box that is tied with a cord to his ankle to dissuade snatch thieves who might think robbing the blind is easy-pickings. I've never known his name, I simply call him Maestro. He calls me caballero (gentleman). The titles we have conferred on one another seem to be enough to foster our respectful friendship. Recently returned to La Paz I've kept an eye out, looking in all the customary spots. But no where to be found. And then today in the market, I heard strains of his Bandoneon. I made my way through the swarm of shoppers to see his hands, enjoy his phrasing (accents on the 1st, (sometimes also 2nd) 4th, 5th, and 7th beats) and watch the crowd respond to Milonga al Fresco! Because no matter where el Maestro plays the world changes for the better... an inspired young man took a long-legged girl into his arms, looked deeply into her eyes and they danced a few pasos - at first impassioned, then laughingly and clearly much taken with one another. It didn't matter they hadn't a clue. The crowd applauded their youth, their lack of inhibition and the fact they were in love. BRAVO! MILONGA AL FRESCO! BRAVO MAESTRO!

Copyright © Mick Huerta 2012. All Rights Reserved.
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