Reading about Pugliese
Yesterday, I finished reading the book about Pugliese by Michael Lavocah. I strongly recommend the whole series of books from Michael as he manages to transfer you back in time, while also analyzing musical details of songs and all this in a way that actually transforms your perception of music, orchestras, and dancing. I enjoyed this book even more than others because it’s also deeply connected with the history of Argentina. It’s almost like a parallel history lesson.
In a post, a long time ago, I was writing that I was finding Pugliese’s music very complex, dramatic, and full of emotions that I thought it is quite difficult for me to convey fully while dancing. I am not going to say that his music became less complex after reading the book, but at least it became quite a lot more understandable.
From the moment I read that he operated the orchestra as a collective allowing and rewarding every member based on their contributions, I realized why it is so complex. It’s like a discussion where you merge opinions on a subject from all different sides of the spectrum. That is why his pieces can sound so dramatic, powerful, even angry at times, and at the same time extremely soft, caressing, and soothing. It is because he allows space for everyone to express their opinion and manages to combine all of them in one complete summary!
Now, the other characteristic that goes hand in hand with his democratic behavior is the fairness and justness of his character. If you want to allow different opinions to merge under one umbrella without fights erupting, you need to be a true leader… a leader by example… and that he was to the fullest. A fair and just character to his orchestra members treating them as equals and not as the authority or the patronizing figure.
Finally, I now understand much better the love and respect he has gained through the years from the public. If there is a person who has been faced with challenges… provoked and intimidated by authorities… even imprisoned and tortured for his beliefs, this is Pugliese. However, he never gave up… never submitted… he continued fighting to the end… having deep in his soul a clear consciousness that whatever he did was for peoples’ rights and justice. His passion for his music shows in stories like that he was practicing playing the piano by air-playing when he was in prison and that he was playing the piano on a boat where he was imprisoned with other communists to keep spirits up while the boat was planned to be sunk! A person with this kind of character is definitely a figure to love, respect, and admire.
Tonight’s Goodnight Tango
His open-mindedness… fairness… justice… passion… fire… and most of all, love for life and people, all show up in his music. There are so many pieces that demonstrate this but for me, one of the revelations that I rediscovered because of the book and loved is tonight’s Goodnight Tango… Negracha!
How about you? Do you like Pugliese? Do you know about his life? do you know about his character? Did this affect how you dance to him? Let me know with a comment below, an email, or a PM on Facebook… oh… and if you liked it… don’t forget to share it with your friends.
PS. Yes… I have now become a huge Pugliese fan too! Maybe my dancing to Pugliese has not changed much… but at least I can now say that I enjoy it so much more than in the past.
PS2. Read the book… it’s an ABSOLUTE MUST for tango lovers!