Just got back from Chicago Tango Week, all in all I had a pretty good time. Although the hotel is bit far in the suburb, I guess that it kept the cost down. One note for future reference, to save 28 bucks from the airport, take the Blue line to loop (stop Jackson) and transfer to Red line (Howard), at the end of Red line, take Yellow line and call the hotel for a shuttle pick up at the end of Yellow line. The whole trip takes about hour and half to two hours and the cost is only $2.50.
The lineup of teachers was great, good balance of traditional and nuevo. I took two classes of Julio y Corina: milonga and vals. Their classes were fun to be in. I thought I learned more from the milonga class than the vals class. Maybe it was because I loved milonga but didn't like vals in general. In the milonga class, Julio y Corina had explained the principle of dancing milonga and then worked on a sequence excercise which later was demoed with different flavors and varieties. In vals, we mainly worked on two sequence, that required adjusting my embrace. I sat most of time just listening and watching.
The Friday night milonga included live music by Otra Aires. The first part of the night was held up on the top floor. The ambiance was very nice and classy. I would have enjoyed it if it weren't because:
- I started my dance with an almost beginner who was uncomfortable with embrace.
- It got very crowded later when Otra Aires started playing and it was impossible to enjoy dancing on the floor. Besides, most of the pieces they played were probably more suitable for listening than dancing.
- I was tired and cranky and didn't get into the rhythm.
The second part of the night was moved down to a big ballroom at the bottom floor. It was a nicer space for dancing. It was around 3:00am in the morning. I left soon after I had a nice tanda with an acquaintance. For Friday night, I had three tandas, went from bad ,to decent, to good.
Saturday night was a night of great dances. I had a very good time at the afternoon practilonga and continued the good fortunate into the night. Every single tanda I had danced was very good, except one being just decent (from someone I met in the practilonga who asked me for a dance).
Sunday night was slow, while a lot of people had gone home. I should have saved a night of hotel and left on Sunday. I enjoyed more watching all the masetros dancing socially. I had a few decent tandas and went upstairs packing for the early AM flight back home.
DJI thought all DJs had gone a very good job. Friday night, Adam was consistently good. Saturday night, Horacio was bit funky, just like the way I had experienced at La Viruta. He played 5 tangos and 4 milongas very often. The selection of songs was sometimes surprisingly good. The mixing of alternative, traditional and modern orchestras was smooth. And it was a good party all night long. Sunday night, Pablo Inza played cortina only occasionally, and within hour and half I had heard Pugliese played twice. But there wasn't a moment that I felt disliking the music. The energy was well controlled throughout the time I was at the milonga.
Next one on the agenda: Tango element in Baltimore and then Moscow Tango Festival in Moscow Russia.