Red, White, and Tango – Hats off and bottoms up to award-winning Pondera Winery in Woodinville, Washington (just northeast of Seattle). They have a lovely red wine called Pasión with dramatic tango dancers on the label. $38. As a graphic designer, I confess that my eye is much better at discerning quality art than my tongue is at discerning quality wine (if I can differentiate red from white I am doing well), so I’d be all over this wine just for the label, but in fact, it tastes fab, not just to my uneducated palette, but to wine judges as well. And if you are more a Gaucho than a Porteño, check out the beautiful horse art on their Malbec (and Sangiovese) labels – both of which you can purchase as posh art posters.
Spring 2014: Classes: No, Private Lessons: Yes
WEEKLY CLASS HIATUS. Washington Dance Club, where we held our weekly classes for many years, has closed its doors and even the doors are gone now; the building has been demolished to make way for relentless development. We hated to say goodbye to the last big dance hall in downtown Seattle (the Avalon Ballroom). Until we can find a reasonably priced in-city class venue for classes, we're focusing on private lessons, and quarterly workshops in 2014.
Read the new tango novel If You Love Me Still, Will You Love Me Moving by Robert (Everyhting I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergatern) Fulghum for FREE. It is available for download on his website. Also available for FREE download is his Argentine Tango Chronicles, a peek at his thoughts during his swan dive into tango. Both are illustrated (cover on the first, cover and more inside on the second) by his talented wife Willow Bader, whose encaustic paintings of tango scenes are (I think) the benchmark - no, the acme - of tango art. This link is to Robert's website. This link is to Willow's website.
I still have a few copies of the absolutely brilliant book "Tango: Let's Dance to the Music" by Joaquin Amenabar. He covers everything you need to know about the structure of the music and how best to move to it. The detail is phenomenal, and the writing clear. Absorb this info and you'll be on the fast track to finer footwork. $40 includes the book, DVD with audio and video demos, and a CD with MP3 clips. Go to his website to download a free chapter to check out. You won't be disappointed. Save on shipping: email me and we can arrange a time and place for you to pick up your very own copy. I will also always have a book with me at whatever milonga I go to. READ MORE
Dance Under the Rocket! Seattle tanguero Christopher Gronbeck hosts a milonga (tango dance) every other Sunday at his updated hangout The Barrel Thief , his wine and whiskey bar in the Fremont District of Seattle. (Until a few months ago it was Wine Tea Chocolate, but the Tea and Chocolate weren't paying their way. Breaks my heart because they made the best chai in the city.) The Barrel Thief is right across the street from the big rocket that is a Fremont landmark. A nice place to dance and drink fine wine (and now fine whiskey!). Great prices on flights.
Two New Books by Carole Gibb! Carole is a Seattle tanguera, formerly a journalist and now an author. (And now director of a museum in Juneau, Alaska - can't seem to keep her away from that state.) Her books are both are set in Alaska —
one a memoir, the other a mystery (the first of many). Get signed copies directly from her, or order them on Amazon.com or her website AlaskaPageturners.com (she gets a bigger cut that way). These books are great gifts, and the price is way right.
For suggestions on good tango dance music CDs to get you started and a great online store that lets you listen to snippets of each song before you buy, go to Tango Music.
Dancing Argentine tango feels great, and dancing in great shoes feels even better. See my shoe shopping criteria and sources in Tools of the Trade: Shoes and Tango Shoes. HEADS UP! Check out Ebay for Comme Il Fauts! They're out there. Just never in my size.