Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dancing through the panic

It's been over a year now that I've been living in Buenos Aires. In some ways it feels like much more than that, but in other ways, I still feel like a shiny new tourist gawking at the chaos around me.

Coming from North America, I'm aware that I tend to seem more...uptight to the Argentines in general, despite my ongoing and arduous attempt at trying to be more more like a porteƱa (For the record, I just bought Fernet for the first time, which, for those of you who don't know it, is a VERY Argentine thing to drink. Truthfully, I still find it all kinds of awful in just one sip, but when in Rome...).

This tendency to seem uptight comes, I think, from being from a Northern country. We are without a doubt a little more reserved in our actions. Just the other day at a party, an exasperated Argeninian cranked up the music and looked at a bunch of us expats and begged us, "OK, we've talked, now can we please DANCE? We are Argeninians and we DANCE at our parties."

It's true, I've been at many parties here, where people simply spontaneously break out in dance...be it a big or small group. People here like to boogie.

So I was not surprised by this past weekend's Festival Buenos Aires Danza Contempranea, or Festival of Contemporary Dance, but I was particularly delighted by one of the events that took place at Galeria Patio del Liceo, where I've been doing some freelance work at Ups! art gallery.

Patio del Liceo is a new and hip place for independent creative spaces-galleries, jewelry shops, book stores, etc-and on Saturday it became a contemporary dance free-for-all. As my friend Gaby, the owner of Greens, said to me upon my arrival, "There are a lot of crazy ballerinas in this place!" An effective way to describe it.

In and amongst the shops of the patio were all kinds of dancers that were, well, dancing and climbing and painting, and being painted and hanging from the rafters. Each dancer was adapting to its own particular space. In one corner a pair of dancers tied together shared a chair for a prop. Above them on the second floor, raunchy tunes could be heard from a sex shop where a crowd gathered around some burlesque-clad dancers (Sorry, I couldn't fight my way through the crowd to get a picture!). Using the spaces for inspiration and baskets of lemons for props (I never did get that...the lemons just kept circulating), the space as a whole twirled and swirled with the movement of all types of dancers.

Fighting my way through the crowds amidst onlookers and the odd break dancer, it occurred to me that the scene was a bit like a microcosm of Buenos Aires: complete chaos, yet beautiful in a way that you had to be there to understand it. Now if only I could say the same thing about the traffic!

No comments:

Post a Comment