Monday, March 29, 2010

My Treasure Hunt

When I fall head over heels, as I have with tango, I immerse myself with everything I've got. So with tango, I have taken on the manner of dress [and the shoes!!!] and actually practice my exercises anywhere, even while waiting for the car outside a mall.

From flowing, balloon skirts that rose to the occasion during twists and turns of swing and salsa, I now wear cropped fitted pants and the naughty slitted babuchas. All the better to execute the kicks and lifts, the boleos and the ganchos, without having to worry about showing more than necessary.

And just a few hours ago, as I waited for the car to come around, I practiced my balance and footwork exercise: amague to the front, amague to the back, lock, shift weight, no settling. amague to the back, amague to the front, shift weight, no settling. I could sense some other folks staring at me, probably wondering why I was moving back and forth in place in that weird sequence of steps. Because of exercises like those my balance has improved and my footwork has speeded up.

With the growing enchantment with tango, I resolved to read up and stock my library with tango books.

I also wanted to widen my tango music list and add to the CD shelf more Astor Piazzolla, Carlos Gardel and other tango classics.

But if I had hoped to do enrich my tango world with local purchases of books and music, my weekend treasure hunt proved otherwise.

After the wonderful discovery of Maria Finn's memoir on tango, there are no other books on the subject, whether instructional, historical or biographical. The one book I found, a collection of dance exercises, focused on the American tango, not the Argentine tango. A quick search on the internet showed that some titles could be had from Singapore or Hong Kong, but at a price that even this bookworm would not shell out.

The music hunt was a little more encouraging. The music section of Fully Booked at The Fort, occupying a whole section on the top floor of their haven of a bookstore, was a treasure trove of tango CDs. I scored 2 Piazzolas, and 4 other albums, including a two-disc set of Live Tango. The music went straight into my iPod Touch and was good company during Earth Hour.

But the music bounty stopped at that one store. The 3 other music shops I trooped to had no offerings, no tango for the hunter.

There is more to find on the internet, if one is really persevering, and is versed enough on the artists and songs worth downloading. I guess my music treasure hunt will be done online over the summer.

The book dilemma is harder to resolve, as shipping across the oceans is costly and takes too long. I will have to rely on the bookmooch well of goodies for more tango books, as well as the bookstores around Asia if I do get to travel again this year.

So my hunt for tango treasure will go on. I still have some book haunts I have to check out, although they are farther south, and I will continue to hope that tango titles find their way to my favorite stores, and soon.

Meanwhile, the tango memoir and the music on my iPod are more than enough for my tango life right now.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm... Interesting that your search for tango books did not return mine: The Tao of Tango. It's a thin little book. You might enjoy it :-)