Homenaje a los milongueros

2009 July 15
Bienvenidos al Club Sin Rumbo by Simba tango, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License by  Simba tango

As you enter the cathedral of tango, the milonga Sin Rumbo, among the things hanging on the wall is this piece written by Marisa Galindo as a homage to the milongueros. It may serve as guiding principles or ideals for all tango dancers:

Los milongueros…

  • son quienes saben hacer la ronda
  • son quienes un oido musical increible
  • son los que conocen cada orquesta y a sus cantores y a veces cantan despacito al oído.
  • son quienes con poco despliegue coreográfico producen un fuerte intercambio de emociones y de placer, que a veces se transforma en éxtasis, cuando desde el rol femenino, podés cerrar los ojos en una entrega total.
  • son suaves y precisos en la marcación, marcan con todo cuerpo.
  • cuidan a los mujeres para no sean golpeados
  • bailan para él y para ella, no para el público
  • respetan al grupo evitando las figuras que son peligrosas en la pista: ganchos, boleadas, etc.
  • su rítmo, las variaciones rítmicas y sus pausas están en contacto con la música, con la mujer y con los otros bailarines.

A rough translation would be:

The milongueros…

  • know how to make the dance flow well on the floor
  • have amazing ears for music
  • know each orchestra and singer and will somtimes sing quietly in your ear
  • create great emotional variations and pleasure by using simple coreographic elements, that sometimes transforms into ecstasy, when the woman can close her eyes in total surrender
  • are soft and precise in their lead, using their entire body to lead
  • protect the women so they are not pushed or kicked
  • dance for him and for her, not for the crowd watching
  • respect the other dancers by avoiding dangerous figures like ganchos and boleos (kicks) on the dance floor
  • their rhythm, rhytmical variations and pauses are connected with the music, with the woman and with the other dancers.

Venturing once more into the perilous landscape of translations.. I tried being a bit less literal in my translation this time. I took the liberty of substituting rol feminino with woman, as I had trouble avoiding awkward constructs. I think this is the first time I’ve seen this expression used in castellano, usually the teachers will stick to the terms man (hombre) and woman (mujer).

When I studied foreign languages in high school, we  would invariably translate short texts, so in a way this crazy project makes some sense. (Hopefully improving my castellano.) Maybe I will dare try translating the Gavito dixit sometime…

10 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 July 16

    This is possibly why so many people don’t “get” tango, and never will. It is a very gender-specific activity, and even though the lead and follow roles have become interchangeable, it is, in the end, “machista”. And that’s part of why I love it.

  2. 2009 July 16
    Anquises permalink

    Coincido absolutamente con Johanna. La traducción de Simba es fiel al espíritu del tango. En el lenguaje del tango, “follower” sólo tiene una traducción al español: “mujer”. Si no lo interpretáramos así en este caso, la descripción del milonguero que hace Marisa perdería gran parte de su significado. Y el machismo que resulta es el de Don Quijote, que impone al hombre el deber de servir a su dama y morir por ella.

  3. 2009 July 16

    Thanks for the translation! I think you did a pretty good job …

  4. 2009 July 16

    @Johanna Yes, possibly. I mostly think it is inseparable from tango, and I love that part of it, too. A little courtesy never hurt anyone?

    @Anquises Muchas gracias por su comentario! Me encanta el parte de Don Quijote!

    @Henry Thanks! And you are most welcome 🙂

  5. 2009 July 22

    Since ‘La traducción de Simba es fiel al espíritu del tango’, I propose we should each print out a lot of copies, with an attractive picture, perhaps that of the entrance to Sin Rumba, so that it looks like a regular leaflet, to leave on the table at the entry of every milonga we go to…

  6. 2009 July 22

    Good idea, any volunteers for making a pdf version, I’ll be happy to host it.

  7. 2009 July 25

    I’ve made a pdf version (5mb). I’ll email it to you if you send your address.

  8. 2009 July 25

    Thank you, that’s great! I just posted the pdf in a new post.

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