I wanted to post this before the end of 2021 as it is usually a time of retrospective. We usually look back on the year that is leaving and think about what went well and what was bad… what made us happy and what was sad. However, I wasn’t sure which song to attach to it. It was only a couple of days ago that I was watching on Youtube one of the performances I saw live this past year and I realized that the song fits perfectly to 2021.
So here is my personal tango story for 2021. It all started with hope. The vaccine that will set us free from the lockdowns. Thankfully, the end of 2021 found us a bit freer than the end of 2020. However, even in the hard lockdown period of 2020, good things in the tango world were still happening.
Starting from the beginning, one of the most important events that came with a lot of momentum from 2020 was the weekly and bi-weekly “Tango by year” meetings. An opportunity to learn more about the history and the stories behind our beloved music. An opportunity to connect and co-experience music in a totally different way, that really helped me mature in many ways.
Next, during spring and summer, finally, some open-air milongas started happening again and thanks to some brave guys and girls here in Frankfurt (you know who you are) we got the opportunity to meet and embrace each other again.
In parallel, during May and June, the online seminar “How to become musicians with your body” was one of the top three highlights of the year! I had my doubts about how a tango class can work online… but it did… and very much so… thanks to the love, care, and passion of Natalia and Augustin for tango.
The year was just in its middle and things were only going to go better. October came and I had the luck to meet in person and absorb as much as I could from one of my favorite couples Horacio Godoy and Cecilia Berra. I will summarize what can only be described as a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the following key takeaways: listen, enjoy and play with the music! Together with that, came the first post-covid event… a tango marathon in Mannheim and some new warm embraces and experiences.
Finally, the third and final highlight came just a month before the end of the year… in my hometown, Thessaloniki. I had the opportunity to experience a live performance and take a couple of classes from another of my top favorite leaders Carlos Espinoza and his new partner Augustina Piaggio. I could write a whole page about it… but there are two keywords kept and treasured: silence and dirtiness!
For me… as a leader… Godoy and Carlitos are two of the most important dancers in the scene today with really unique styles that I both love so much. In general, I am a person who is easily satisfied with less rather than more. From the time I started studying Tango my top dreams were to meet and listen to a few specific persons. All I can say now is that most of my dreams came true during this past year!!! In contrast with 2020, 2021 paid me back in full and even more for what I missed the previous year. I know that more nice things are about to come… I am looking forward to them… but right now… I just know that I left 2021 behind with the best of tango memories so far!
Last but not least, the most important part left behind from 2021 is something that I never expected as an outcome of such an adventure as covid. It is the stronger and warmer tango friendships that came from all these experiences and from your comments and discussions that these Goodnight Tango posts have started.
So here’s “Balada para un loco”… because yes… 2021 was crazy in many different ways!