still here

•May 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

This period I don’t feel like blogging much, I feel more like a ‘we talk to each other’ mode, so I’ve been quite busy in my free time corresponding with various very nice people and talking, here in Genoa, with my friends. I feel like now is the moment to discuss and to decide, I feel this way, surely, because I feel my country slipping beneath decency, I feel a stranger here, like many other young people and this is making me live (and see things) like I’m in a sort of daze, an induced stupor.

So I take refuge in discussions, whichever the subject, and in tango videos. Only videos, because even tango here in Genoa is somehow ‘betraing’ me and it’s going slow and sleepy toward a sleepier summer.

Coming now, instead, the new tango video I fell in love with, to keep the moral high!

La Bruja talkative mode:on

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Argentina…here I come

•April 29, 2008 • 9 Comments

I bought the tickets…THE tickets to go to Buenos Aires and Peru this coming August! I’m so happy and I can’t quite believe it actually, but I got the confirmation e-mail of the flight if my doubts increase too much. I’m going in August and I know it’ll be crowded with tourists, but hey, I’m a tourist too, so I’ll just have too bear with the queues and all other drawbacks of the touristic season, but who cares? I’m going!!!

And we’re going too Peru too, to see all the historical sites, Titicaca lake and, if we can manage, an area on the coast which, we are told, is wonderful from a naturalistic point of view (and my boyfriend would be delighted to go, so he can take all the pictures he wants of penguins, sea lions and seals).

I don’t have other info about my trip as yet, but I’ll post again about it if there’s something particular, I must not think about it too much, otherwise I’ll trouble sleeping :).

If any of you want to share some advice for Peru or Argentina I’ll be grateful, otherwise just wish me luck 🙂

La Bruja_excited mode:on

Well, let’s hope the third republic isn’t the last.

•April 18, 2008 • 1 Comment

I decided to stray from the usual path of Tango I chose for my blog (which I abandoned on only two or three occasions, either for something really silly or something really serious…meaning that only extreme situations can deflate my attention on the Obsession).

As you have read in the miserable post scriptum I wrote at bottom of last post Italy in now once again to be ruled by the right coalition guided by Silvio Berlusconi [or the psiconano (psycho-dwarf) or il nano di Arcore (dwarf from Arcore) or the principal esponent of the other alliance, as Veltroni kept calling him during the election campaign to general amusement except for the piqued replies of none others than Berlusconi himself]. You can also gather from the tone of these few lines that I’m not very happy with the outcome of the elections, but before labelling me as one more nostalgic communist, deluded left-wing supporter or something of the sort let me clear the fact that I have no problems with a right coalition being in power (well, I would prefer the left one, by a long shot, but that’s not the point of democracy, is it? The alternate government is something I’m perfectly comfortable with), I have serious problems with this sort of right coalition being in power, with Berlusconi being in power, with self-declared fascists being proposed as candidates (and automatically elected due to the idiotic voting system created during the Berlusconi legislature in 2005 and defined an obscenity by its creator, see the link to the wikipedia page dedicated to Italian Parliament and, particularly, to its electoral system). I have big problems with people who burned the Italian flag in the past being in the government and with members of the Mafia (already condemned by Italian courts) being called heroes by Berlusconi himself (here the video).

I have problems, in short, with a coalition that calls itself a ‘moderate right’ coalition but is, in fact, a rather disorderly mass of weak people seeking protection from the law, of greedy citizens who don’t care how many times they have to commit crimes in order to get rich, of the sad image of the average Italian who admires Berlusconi because he’s a self-made man, ignoring (sometime willingly and knowingly) that he became so consorting with the worst kind, avoiding trials by mere technicalities (or, in the last years, thanks to laws his own government approved), making connections with important and often dishonest people thanks to his membership in the Masonic lodge P2, who counted among its members also members of the Argentina military junta of the ’70s and ’80s and whose Italian members tried a coup d’état in 1970 (among other various misdeeds).

The left coalition has always been weak in Italy ever since it has been possible for it to gain power, the only exception being the happy, though economically difficult, season that saw Italy enter Eurolandia (as we, in Italy, call the group of European nations that abandoned their currencies in favour of the Euro). It has been weak for many reasons and while some can be attributed to the critical geopolitical position Italy held during the Cold War and the years immediately following the disappearance of the Warsaw pact, now those reason can’t be considered valid anymore. It has been almost 20 years and the Italian left should have been able to become a cohesive political force fit to rule a country. However it has not and this last is the nth demonstration of the power of misinformation over the political immaturity of a population that was not allowed to create a critical view over the events (political or not) of its own country for almost 4 decades and then became of a lazy mind losing all inquisitiveness.

These are, of course, only overall bitter thoughts over an event that seriously threatens to throw Italy head first in the solid wall of insane protectionism and improbable economic measures that marked the last Berlusconi legislature, but..

I think I can consider myself in good company.

please see the various links inserted inthe text for further information, I chose the most neutral sources I could find.

La Bruja_really, too sad to have a mode on.

Ljubljana Tango Festival

•April 12, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I’m gonna miss it. I’ve known it for weeks, but now that the Festival is about to start it’s more bitter.

This weekend Italy holds the nth early elections of its history, I work at the polls and so I’m gonna be stuck here while in Ljubljana they dance, study and have fun in spite of me!!! (I’m just in a moment of extreme self-pity, I know they don’t do that on purpose)

For all this and much, much more I can personally thank this idiot.mastella al suo meglio

I’ve been ashamed for years to say that he was in the coalition I gave my vote to, but now the nightmare is over, he and nearly every top ranking personalities in his party are being (or have recently been) under inquiry for various crimes.

Thank God every other party in Italy refused to propose him as a candidate in these coming elections. He played so dirty that even the right coalition, which he favoured toppling the government, probably under the impression that they were going to be ‘grateful’ (to put it mildy) and that usually proposes as candidates (among the honest people) members of the Mafia and people on trial for various reason, refused him.

La Bruja_vindictive mode:on

p.s. I decided to reduce Mastella to the size of a stamp ’cause he was disfiguring the otherwise quite nice aspect of my blog and, what’s more, we lost. So not going to Ljubljana meant nothing except that I’m one of the 40% of Italians who thought Berlusconi and his fascist and xenophobe pals could not represent them and hoped (beyond hope) to get rid of him for good. Too much optimism, I suppose.

Muxing Tango

•April 7, 2008 • 4 Comments

the old times

In the last weeks there has been a lot of movement on the web for the newest 2.0 sensation: muxtape.

I think everybody remembers the time lost and the difficult choices involved when creating the infamous mixtapes for friends, relatives and so on..well..the concept behind muxtape is the same, creating a compilation, song by song, and then sharing it on the net. Every user can create only one muxtape and then everybody can hear it and save it in their favourites if they like it.

I think that the philosophy of the mixtape is still a very popular one in the tango world, expecially when far from BsAs and the rich and wonderful CD stores there, only we upgraded it at least to the CD compilation level if not to a mp3 level. But the choice of the tangos, milongas and vals are just as long and careful as they were when creating a mixtape, because if it’s true that our musical tastes define a bit of what we are, this is also true in tango, if not even more so, since the music influences the dance style and so on..

For this reason I thought it would be great to create a network of tango muxtapes..I have made mine here, I didn’t put only tango music in it, after all I’m not ‘only tango’ myself, but it has more than its fair share of visibility.

I’m lauching this challenge, would we care to surprise others with our choices and to make others discover new tango music that they don’t know? I already discovered two new groups I like on different muxtapes, so it would be great to have the same possibility with tango.

La Bruja_2.0 mode:on

Oh, the shoes!

•April 5, 2008 • 9 Comments

For sometime now I’ve noticed, looking in my wordpress dashboard, that many people find my blog while looking for tango shoes. I remember the early days of my tango when I bought my first pairs and the now never ending research for a good combination of style and comfort for the benefit of my feet. 🙂
So I’ve decided to add a list of the brands I like and the brands I’d like to try out, also in spite of the broken computer who kept inside the hd the larger collection of tango shoes links I had managed to gather. 😦

Comme il Faut

they really are the best, it’s not a question of having the best looking shoes and the greatest variety of styles (which is also true, anyway), but, even more important for dancers, they have the best-centered heels and the most comfortable fit you can find out there. There is a website selling directly for Comme il Faut called Lisadore, but there are also a wide number of local websites selling in almost every area of the world, certainly there are french, american, british, turkish, greek and italian websites. My advice is to look up the nearest one and to buy the shoes from them, they may have less variety (since Comme il Faut shoes are only made in a limited number of pairs per style, but in most cases the price is a little lower). Lisadore has, anyway, much information about the brand itself and its politics and history, so it’s definetly worth a visit.

Neotango

I put them a close second on my personal list because they both have some really good-looking models and their heels and forms fit most people. The downside of these brand is, for those who shop online (which is most of us) is the limited number of models they present on the website, in the BsAs shop on the contrary they have a greater variety on display, so I would advise a visit for those fortunate enough to be in the Mecca of tango. They have two websites, one (in flash) is always the same one presenting a selection of models and giving information about the shop and its history, the other one (html) is the online shop.

Victorio Tango Shoes

I discovered this brand about a year ago and I’ve been wanting to try it out since then. The shoes have a great variety (even though many models look a bit outdated) and it has a most wonderful collection of sandals that, even though not quite reaching the Comme il Faut state of the art, looks great. The website also has useful tips to choose the size (something that makes most people dubious when online purchases are concerned) and much info about the shop owners and their history as shoe-makers. They sell and send their shoes everywhere you want, I once wrote them an e-mail once requesting information and they answered easily and quickly..I did not finalize the purchase, in the end, because the new Comme il Faut collection arrived and..well..I AM quite obsessed with those in the end 🙂 , but otherwise the people at Victorio Tango Shoes seemed perfectly friendly and helpful.


Darcos Tango

It’s a brand I wouldn’t have recommended until sometime ago, because their styles were so old fashioned that I really couldn’t believe the difference in price would justify the choice, please, don’t think I’m snobbish, I’m Italian, its perfectly normal for us to be picky with shoes 🙂 . There have always been good models, but the majority of the pairs lacked, in my opinion, the class and the style you could find elsewhere (or even have done for yourself in BsAs, if you are one of the fortunate lot). BUT..I’ve discovered that they renewed their collection and there are now some really good model and a great variety as ever even online (this has always been a positive side of the brand), so chek it out, because they are supposed to be really comfortable.

Madreselva

This brand I never tried nor I have information on their comfort through reliable sources, but I am putting it on the list nevertheless because it has some great models and if some of you out there have tried/try them please let me know.

Tango Brujo

This is the first suggestion for the men…poor them! 🙂 This shop is, in fact, not only a shoe-shop, but it has clothing, accessories and a tango school in it (directed by Gaston Torelli). They have a new website and its online tienda is not ready yet, but check it out since they have very nice looking models both for women and men.

DNI

Have a look around for the shoes designed and produced by Estudio DNI Tango, which is Pablo Villaraza and Dana Frigoli tango school in BsAs. The women’s shoes are mainly for practice, they are the feminine version of the zapatillas de practica that so many men wear also when dancing in the milongas (since they are sooo confortable), these zapatillas for women are not meant to be worn in the milongas, they just aren’t stylish enough 🙂 , but are good for practising and taking lessons. DNI is also the only brand I know of that has more model-choice for men than for women, they have both zapatillas and proper shoes for men and my boyfriend and my friends tell me that even the ‘proper shoes’ are very confortable and that they have an innovative sole: a kind of rubber in the center in order to help the balance and suede around to facilitate rotations.

Madam Pivot

This new brand is produced and sold in Italy, I just obtained my first pair from them and tried it out on Thursday and I must say that I rarely felt so confortable on the first day 🙂 So I’ll recommend to have a look around their website and see if any of the models, which are quite plain, but nice nontheless, suits you.

This is the end of this longest ever post…pfiuuuuuui…La Bruja is really tired and sure to have forgotten something along the way, oh no! Fabio Shoes for instance..but now you know the name anyway!

I hope this results useful to anybody wishing to purchase a pair of tango shoes and, of course, that it results easier to find them than it was to me.

La Bruja_helpful mode:on

absence

•March 28, 2008 • 4 Comments

Hello everybody, my computer (7-month old) died two days ago with no hope of resurrection, despite it being the season for it. Sony promised to give it back to me in 10 days and I hope it will, for the time being instead I lost all the work I was doing on translating a guide (sigh) and the already quite long post I was writing about Turin Tango Festival.
Before going back to translating again what I already translated (but it’s lost in the hd of the deader than dead computer) I wanted to say two things:

1) I’m saaaaaaaaaad that Turin Tango Festival is already gone, it’s been wonderful and I enjoyed it very much, made a lot of friends, danced, studied and, finally, I got to meet Daikil and Emma from Tanguear, after months of writing to each other on the web (only thanks to Emma who was sensible enough to put a photo on her profile, a photo where you can actually discern her face, not like mine 🙂 )

2) I don’t know when I’ll be able to write again, seeing that I’m using my parent’s pc and it’s ancient and, of course, shared, but before I slip into the land of over-long silence I wanted to take a load off my chest about the ‘tango situation’ in Genoa, as I like to call it.

It’s becoming ridiculously unbearable to dance here, not because of the events/dancers/milongas themselves, which are as good as ever, even better sometimes, but because of the actions of one of the teachers here in Genoa, who has begun a campaign against everybody whom he doesn’t like or he doesn’t think is behaving ‘properly’. Him being the sole and uncontested judge. I have become one of his many targets I really want to say something about this situation, because even if I can’t confront him (this according to my boyfriend who thinks it would be unwise to boost the strife even further) I want to have the possibility to say my take on the matter.

He is ‘accusing’ me of having opened a tango school (which is not true, but which is not even a crime, as far as I know), he is ‘accusing’ me of being a bad dancer, which really is his opinion, I don’t want to confute it and (really) I don’t care, he’s telling all sorts of lies about me and my boyfriend, about how we’re very cocky and full of ourselves, how we’re steadily working against him (??), he is spreading these news with every bit of Constance and malice he is capable of.

This is what he’s doing to me, he’s doing similar things to other selected people and spreading the bad news about us all everywhere he goes.

I think my fault, since I do have a fault in this whole mess, has been to trust him two years ago at the beginning of my tango, but I really couldn’t have known that he would become THIS obsessed, I really couldn’t have known that, good teacher though he is, I would have had to pay in anger, irritation and indignation all the things he taught me.

Anyway now the situation in Genoa is one of mounting anger and edginess both for and against him.

I think there will be blood.

La Bruja_schizophrenic mode:on