Guillermina Van Der Linden - Elegance in Buenos AiresTuesday, January 21, 2020
Tango en Carmesí
Diós apenas toca el arpa
Tango en Carmesí
Diós apenas toca el arpa
In many respects it is good to live in a third-world country. Consider my native Argentina and its cosmopolitan Buenos Aires.
In the 60s when I was living there I would tell my friends from Mexico and the United States that Argentina was one of the first countries in Latin America where women were using the brand new contraceptive pill in spite of their, in some cases, extreme allegiance to the Roman Catholic church.
It was Juan Domingo Perón in the early 50s who ushered in the idea that Industria Argentina could compete with imported products. I remember avoiding anything with that on the label in those 50s, desiring always to secure a bootleg pair of Levis and Double Bubble chewing gum to go with them.
Eventually Argentine manufacturers saw the light and produced wonderful leather and wool products. The wine industry became important. Perón attempted (a futile gesture) to build an Argentine car and fighter jet. But their atomic power research did in the end produce viable reactors. If they wanted my Argentina could build an atom bomb.
|Photography - José Carlos Romero Vedia 2019|
It is this kind of protectionism that is now so much in vogue in the rest of the world.
Argentina is still a third-world country with massive problems in the national debt and a political polarization the rivals that of the United States.
But in our last trip to Argentina last September I did note some of the advantages. In any evening there are hundreds of bookstores open. The newspapers are still relevant, although newsstands now carry toys, lapel pins and football club T-shirts.
The transport system in Buenos Aires is first class. Only my wealthy relatives, the O’Reilly’s boast that they have not been on a train, bus or subway in more than 30 years.
But there is one item, a throwback to that last century that keeps me smiling when I visit my native city. This is that while Argentine women are as feminist as any in other countries (they have their own Me-too movement and a woman vice president who at one time was president) they have not lost their sense of elegance which their sex represents (I am reluctant to use the word I wanted to use, femininity).
The Argentine tango is perhaps the last remnant (besides fly fishing) where a man can boast that he is in control. There is an active movement in the Argentine tango society trying to change that. Anybody who has danced the tango knows the man leads and that the woman (her job is much more difficult) has to be in a constant moment of unbalance where she must anticipate what the man will do but not entirely as she cannot lead. There is a tradition of men and women across a dance floor and how it is the man who indicates he may want to dance with her.
My proof of all of this is my new friend Guillermina Van Der Linden, who taught in an Amsterdam university until she visited Buenos Aires, fell in love with tango and stayed. She speaks several languages and dresses elegantly at all times. She has the presence of a woman who in other countries might make a successful entry into acting. Her partner José Carlos Romero Vedía makes a quiet foil for Van Der Linden’s sensual elegance. They dance and fit perfectly.
Imagine this man being able to easily lure the couple to pose for me in one of the ballrooms of our Hotel Claridge, a block away from where Van Der Linden and Romero Vedía dance every day on the corner of Florida and Lavalle. Rosemary skillfully assisted me in the session.
My photographs were successful. But there was more. Romero Vedía offered to take some pictures of Van Der Linden with this photographer. I was thrilled!
I wonder how the folks in my now first world country of Canada and my city Vancouver opine of these Galaxy 5 photographs?
There is this curious fact. Vancouver might have E-scooters soon. They have been available in downtown Buenos Aires since last July.