EleganceSunday, April 12, 2020
It seems almost impossible for me to accept that 22 years ago I decided to finally learn the Argentine tango that my parents had mastered. I learned to dance efficiently (no more than that) with an Argentine tango instructor Carlos Loyola.
Part of the fun of dancing the Argentine version of the tango is that the man is in charge. As far as I reckon, the only other amusement in which man may not have any competition is fly fishing.
In tango the man leads and the woman has to be ready to anticipate but still lag behind. She is almost in a constant stage of unbalance.
Besides having to dance very close to the woman (an absolute must or you are not dancing it correctly) I had the pleasure of sharing tango with women who dressed to the teeth in elegance that you would not find in line dancing. I remember three women in particular. When I danced with them nobody noticed my humdrum efficiency. They were much too busy watching my partners (two were very tall) who wore tight dresses with slits on the side. While those two had elegance in spades, Zanna Downes had it in all suits.
Downes had a stare that could almost make you uncomfortable. At that point you would look down and admire the most beautiful legs I have ever seen (I will include my mother and my Rosemary’s legs!).
I made sure to arrive early at the Polish Hall on Fraser Street as one of the highlights of the evening was to watch Downes arrive and change to her tango shoes. In her usual fishnets she was a sight to give me a possible cardiac arrest.
After getting to know this English woman well enough I took my chances and asked her to pose for me. This she did. In my imagination I saw her as the perfect James Bond incarnation of Miss Moneypenny.
In the next few days I will do my best to find her again and tell her how glad I am for the memory I have of her and of those legs.
Soy un alma desnuda en estos versos…
Soy un alma desnuda en estos versos,
Alma desnuda que angustiada y sola
Va dejando sus pétalos dispersos.
Alma que puede ser una amapola,
Que puede ser un lirio, una violeta,
Un peñasco, una selva y una ola.
Alma que como el viento vaga inquieta
Y ruge cuando está sobre los mares,
Y duerme dulcemente en una grieta.
Alma que adora sobre sus altares,
Dioses que no se bajan a cegarla;
Alma que no conoce valladares.
Alma que fuera fácil dominarla
Con sólo un corazón que se partiera
Para en su sangre cálida regarla.
Alma que cuando está en la primavera
Dice al invierno que demora: vuelve,
Caiga tu nieve sobre la pradera.
Alma que cuando nieva se disuelve
En tristezas, clamando por las rosas
con que la primavera nos envuelve.
Alma que a ratos suelta mariposas
A campo abierto, sin fijar distancia,
Y les dice: libad sobre las cosas.
Alma que ha de morir de una fragancia
De un suspiro, de un verso en que se ruega,
Sin perder, a poderlo, su elegancia.
Alma que nada sabe y todo niega
Y negando lo bueno el bien propicia
Porque es negando como más se entrega.
Alma que suele haber como delicia
Palpar las almas, despreciar la huella,
Y sentir en la mano una caricia.
Alma que siempre disconforme de ella,
Como los vientos vaga, corre y gira;
Alma que sangra y sin cesar delira
Por ser el buque en marcha de la estrella.