How has the covid pandemic affected your tango life? What do you see as the future for tango? In particular, comment below on any of the following:
- Going (or not going) to milongas
- Providing lessons or taking lessons
- Being able to practice
- Organizing festivals and milongas
- Attending festivals (virtual and/or live)
- Listening to tango music
- Changes in your social life
- When and how will tango recover
Feel free to be specific and to relate personal stories of your experience(s) and feelings regarding tango during covid.
Teaching tango and organizing the Portland ValenTango and the McCloud BurningTango is (was?) my love, my passion, my mission and provided me a modest income, a social network and a sense of meaning. I was lucky in that last year’s ValenTango (Feb 12-17, 2020) took place just before the pandemic really kicked in. Thus there was relatively little fear at that time and the festival was a huge success.
But now… I’ve had to cancel/postpone both ValenTango and BurningTango for at least one year or possibly longer. (Although a Virtual ValenTango 2021 is in the planning. Go to: https://valentango.us/virtual-valentango-feb-11-14-2021/ for details.) Emotionally this has been difficult. An enormous amount time, energy, money and planning goes into each of these events and now, my time is spent on “un-doing” everything–not an easy task as it involves so many aspects, including venues, vendors, teachers, musicians, attendees, DJs, rentals, sound engineer, etc.
On top of all this is the uncertainty of the future. Many of the planning aspects take place a year or two in advance. But what is the future of tango? Will it dry up or will it come back stronger than before. As an organizer, theses are all the unknowns one has to deal with.
I thought this would be an uplifting Tango story. We were in Mazatlan Mx last winter and early spring. That was just when the virus was getting bad the last time. There had been no social dancing so we would go to the large patio of the Angela Peralta Teatro. It is a beautiful setting with marble floors and 12 foot tall doors and columns that are stunning. It was a public area with a widely traveled walking street in front of it. There we would go day by day 11am each morning. People would stop to watch, to video, to simply listen to the music and sometimes they would dance. Then things got bad enough that all the Canadians went home and the economy suffered greatly. The generally happy people of Mazatlan seemed a little gloomy. It was sad. We continued day after day. Then at almost the end of our stay a small camera crew came by and took some shots. The next day our landlord showed us that we were in the news. The reporters mission was to find something of joy in this time of pandemic. Tango was bringing a little joy to a time of gloom. It was a breath of fresh air for all involved.