Tango Argentino > Milonga codes of Buenos Aires accepted in Hong Kong milonga

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by jantango, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    Three Chinese women in Hong Kong have established their milonga with the traditional codes of Buenos Aires. They explain the reasons they are followed.


    Notice the photo where the single women are seated on the left and the single men on the right -- perfect arrangement for the cabeceo with good lighting.
  2. Lui

    Lui Active Member

    My respect to those three women. I believe that tandas, cabeceo, organized dance flow, etc. really improve the fun at a milonga. At leased once you get used to it. It’s like a game and you have to have some rules to play. However, they seem to forget that the Argentinians made up this rules for convenience as much as for the joy of occasional cheating. To dance as much as you can at a milonga is a good idea. Keeping a strict separation between men and woman always, seems to be a little over the top. It’s a game and you should have fun, even when this means bending the rules slightly.
  3. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Another thing to keep in mind is that certain traits and traditions work better in some cultures than in others. Knowing what I know of Asian culture, it is not surprising that this would work well in "some" Asian areas.
  4. Madahlia

    Madahlia Member

    This was very interesting to read. I understand the reasons they give but absolutely don't agree with all of them! But they've clearly given it a lot of thought and are determined to create an event with its own special atmosphere.
    I don't think it would work everywhere, or be desirable to introduce such strict practices. I'm thinking especially of the segregation of the sexes and the cabeceo, although the rules concerning floorcraft are well-worth encouraging.
  5. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    I like the photo and the idea of it as a 'game'..complete with rules and limits...like any interesting game. Perhaps, we could have a "Milonguero Night" every so often, dress up and arrange a dance space like this photo..now, that would be fun!:tongue::p
  6. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    It will work there. I'm also from Asia (originally), so I get it. Not surprising at all for that Asian culture. It's a long story so I'll spare you the anthropological/sociological details for now. If I did, it would open up some socio-political issues that a lot of people in western cultures sometimes don't understand.
  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Do tell, Ampster. Taking a trip to Nepal (with a one day lay over in Hong Kong), and part of travel for me is learning and experiencing other cultures.
  8. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    I like the way Las Chinitas established the rules and gave their reasons. Dancers know what to expect if they attend their milonga. They gave it serious thought. Their dance space lends itself well to what they want to provide.

    Imagine the front row with men, and the second row with women. When you know that a man won't turn around to invite a woman behind him (where is the subtlety in that?), this limits his options. However, with all the women on the opposite side, the men have the opportunity to invite more dancers.

    Segregating the sexes allows for private conversations to go unheard by the opposite sex. We talk about the men, just as they talk about the women. "Is she/he a good dancer?" "He broke my back with his embrace."

    The cabeceo, when done correctly, goes unnoticed and avoids public embarrassment. It takes seconds and never requires us to give an excuse.
  9. Lui

    Lui Active Member

    Jan your right, this are good rules, but article gives them a rather strict apearance.

    You stand up, walk around half the dance floor, chat with a buddy on that side. If there is no one you know, talk to the staff, read leaflet, what ever. Return nonchalantly to your seat, cabeceo when in sight. She agrees, you dance. She disagrees, take your seat as if this was your real intention all the time. This action needs to be planned a few tandas ahead. If you have a multiply point strategy for a row of cabeceos, it gets really sneaky.

    Well, Lady’s restrooms are rather small and uncomfortable in Argentina – I’ve been told. Especially in Confiteria Ideal and La Catedral. But they might have fixed that.

    For me the the cabeceo is without any doubt the best way to invited a lady, but I hate really dim light and foggy glases.
  10. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    For me the cabaceo seems a problem; trying to get the attention of a woman who is talking to her friend is like, well like the proverbial and another problem i have found is: is she looking at me or the person sitting beside me?
  11. Lui

    Lui Active Member

    [quot] ... trying to get the attention of a woman who is talking to her friend is like ...[/quote]
    When she is taklking, she might not want to dance.
  12. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    When she is taklking, she might not want to dance.[/QUOTE]

    doesnt make any difference though what she wants if she doesnt notice your cabaceo
  13. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    To be fair, I suspect that most girls are very aware of the attention that's being paid to them.

    Unfortunately, if you don't know that the cabaceo codes mean you're then supposed to acknowledge this attention, it's a stalemate, you can keep on staring across the room at each other, a bit like those warrior guys in kung fu movies...
  14. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Oh, and as for the OP.... Good.

    I'm glad this is being done, and that it's being spelt out so clearly as to what's happening and why it's happening.

    Yes, maybe it's a bit too prescriptive, but sometimes you do need to simply lay down the law like that, otherwise people won't do it.

    I'd very much like it if someone were to set up a venue in London along those lines.
  15. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    I still fail to see how segregation of the sexes facilitates cabaceo. You still don't know if the dude is trying to catch your eye or the eye of the ladies next to you. At least if you're chatting with another gent and a guy looks at you, you can be pretty sure he's not asking your conversation partner to dance.
  16. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    It forces you to use it, rather than leaning over to your friend and tapping her on the shoulder or whatever.

    Firstly, that's where the acknowledgement whatsit comes into play - the lady has to acknowledge the attention; a nod is the normal answer.

    Secondly, that's why the distance between sexes is relatively small, and the venue is relatively well-lit.

    Thirdly, they've clearly solved this problem in BsAs - it works - so I imagine it's not impossible elsewhere.
  17. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    This could be easily solved with laser sights and mirrors; when the laser catches your eye; you reflect it back to the signaller with your mirror to affirm you would like dance.

    I suspect there might be a H&S issue.
  18. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Sounds like a well-thought-out plan to me.

    Blast, there's always one tiny flaw, isn't there?
  19. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    When she is taklking, she might not want to dance.[/quote]
    A female friend often complains of not being asked to dance by certain men and also of the infrequency of being asked at times. Last night, I noticed that one of the men who she wants to dance with was walking towards her area and ended up asking a less proficient woman to dance because my friend was giving all her attention to another woman in conversation... I mentioned this to her and suggested that she don't completely focus on her conversations but keep her eyes looking out for
    glances from men..it is common sense if you are there mainly to dance.
  20. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Yes - women need to be open to invitation, and they can signal this openness in any number of ways (some of which don't involved mirrors and lasers, even).

    Again, yes, it's common sense, the cabaceo is simply an extension and formalisation of body language in some ways.

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