Tuesday, July 17, 2007

TANGO IN PRAGUE AGAIN! by Aisha

You air that serves me with breath to speak!
You objects that call from diffusion my meanings, and give them shape!
You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!
You paths worn in the irregular hollows by the roadsides!
I think you are latent with unseen existences—you are so dear to me.

You flagg’d walks of the cities! you strong curbs at the edges!
You ferries! you planks and posts of wharves! you timber-lined sides! you distant ships!
You rows of houses! you window-pierc’d façades! you roofs!
You porches and entrances! you copings and iron guards!
You windows whose transparent shells might expose so much!
You doors and ascending steps! you arches!
You gray stones of interminable pavements! you trodden crossings!
From all that has been near you, I believe you have imparted to yourselves, and now would impart the same secretly to me;
From the living and the dead I think you have peopled your impassive surfaces, and the spirits
thereof would be evident and amicable with me.

Change of country, change of climate, change of food, change of bed, change of tango family...
We have arrived to Europe! As we have discussed on our good bye barbecue party, Sweden is not Europe for us, it is a separate continent, with its own way of life. SWEDES- IT IS A COMPLEMENT!!!

Only now we got to Europe. Not without some adrenaline at the airport, as the Danish assistant dispatching our luggage was not lenient on our 15 kg overweight and we were not flexible to pay for that. The result: 3 times unpacking and putting more and more kg to our anyway overweight hand luggage.. Normally I use my persuasion smile nr 5, but Danish are specially trained NOT to fall for it. Finally, we got it our way and dispatched the very thin suitcases , taking away and camouflaging our oversized hand luggage. Conclusions: Airlines got crazy: some of them allow ONLY 15 kg of luggage! Can you travel 6 months in Europe carrying 15 kg of your personal stuff, including tango shoes and cloth- we can by all means! But this means the end to Aisha Tango Fashion Shows and bringing tango shoes for our students. We are encouraged to travel light!

Our new house for PRAGA TANGO WEEK is HOTEL MAJESTIC PLAZA , recently inaugurated, situated in the very heart of the Old Town by Vaclavské Namesti. Moreover, we are contracted with our tango for a Inauguration Gala Show, opening a Havana Club, on Friday. What Havana has to do with Argentinean tango, we do not now. And we do not care either: they will get a tango show, for we are already inspired by the interior design of the hotel and by being back in Prague!


The hotel is newly restored and apart from very modern looks has a romantic touch: old wooden beams and skylights in its attic rooms. We always appreciate the charming details in our temporary European houses...

We like the business centre too, with its super fast computers- very important for the tango dancers! As important as a rehearsal room, with a perfect dance floor, available for us any time. As for Victor, he will indulge in his favourite Czech breakfast menu we know from last year s stay in Elite Hotel: scrambled eggs! Yes, he is a very unpretentious dancer...
Today, Tuesday,after being brought up from the airport by our friend and organiser Achim, we can FINALLY GIVE IN TO OUR FAVOURITE HABIT: A SIESTA! Achim means GERMAN ORGANISATION, so we are quite relaxed, everything will be taken care of in a professional kind of way. In case of doubts: Achim is German and a lawyer!





The windows and skylights were closed and we put NO DISTURB sign on our room. 430 for those who want to surprise us- not in siesta time though...
We have to be fit and ready at 8 30 pm for the WELCOME BACK DINNER party in a traditional Czek restaurant, followed by a MILONGA, ZLATA LYRA.

The change of climate signifies that from the Swedish Summer, which has finished today with our departure, we fell into a Prague Summer, 31 degrees! It is more Argentinean than Prague Summer, Achim said! He explained that yesterday a record was beaten: 37 degrees, a temperature not felt for the last half a century!
Now, our organisers are preoccupied HOW WOULD WE DANCE IN SUCH A SAUNA... We are not worried though, we know about Swedish Saunas, Russian Saunas and Argentinean Sauna in January...But we will miss a gentle breeze of the Swedish Summer...

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Tuesday night.It was almost a Buenos Aires night- everything except of humidity.
The Koga restaurant has a beautiful inner garden with platano trees, under which we hoped to be cooler. We wished there had been fans outside to relieve us from the stagnant sticky air. Achim s solution was immediate: Tanzberg WHITE CHARDONEY, with ice and more ice and more Chardonay, changing from Czech to Italian ones. Talking about Buenos Aires in December and January made us feel hotter.

The best, however, was a night walk through the Old Town of Prague, to Zlata Lyra milonga. The charm of this city does not need any publicity nor descriptions: those who have been here- know, those who have not visit Prague- have heard about its beauty. This beauty is magnified in the summer nights. All illuminated, like a MAGIC LANTERN!

Then, entering Zlata Lyra was like entering THE HELL! Abandon all those hope those who enter there... the sign at the doors was missing.

Zlota Lyra has a reputation of being a hot milonga, the air does not move there, air conditioning is absent or not sufficient. BUT THAT DAY it was a real hell! After one dance, not even a tanda, you were quite wet. The dance floor was sticky and enormous amounts of CZECH BEERS have to be drunk in order to appease the thirst.

But the good thing is, that our CZECH TANGO FAMILY WAS THERE! It is our FORTH time in Prague and our bonds with many of our students are profound. Achim and Jana accompanied us, but there was our good old Pepa, Bianca, Pavlik,Jan- our first organiser,Marek, Jaurosh Radka even Karel, came from Zurich, like every year, to participate in our tango event... All the familiar lovely faces!


On the foto: Aisha with her Prague fan club consisiting of the most faithful dancers and students there...Pepa missing!


And there is no encounter without tango- we DID GET WET, and we DID drink tons of BEER- which is very bad for the dancers, and we talked and talked and talked.... till the midnight, a right EUROPEAN DARK MIDNIGHT took us back to the hotel. Another lovely night walk through the MAGIC CITY OF PRAGUE.

Tomorrow we have the time to explore the city before the workshops and milonga.

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Wednesday. Temperature: 32 degrees.Our City Walk proved that we DO NOT WANT TO FEEL LIKE TOURISTS in our Prague.. Being a part of the tourist crowd in Staromeske Radnice, Town square, is irritating and tiresome trying to elbow our way throuh the crowd, traversing the Karlov Most, not seeing it even as it is covered by people is not our cup of tea, not finding a place to sit down over beer in Vaclavske Namesti ist a final straw.. After a couple of hours of recognition tour we have decided to visit the city only during the night ... We know Prague after our 3 previous visits and we are not doomed to the compulsory sightseeing...

Thursday.Another hot day.

Next day s idea was far more original. As the weather was summery Argentinean, still over 30 degrees, Jan has invited us to DIVOKA ŠARKA, a very special landscape, wild nature with canyons between high rocks and river running through it... with a place to have a swim, take the sun and ... a beer or two. We have immediately accepted! It mean travelling outside of Prague, where no tourists go and have some lazy, relax hours in the middle of the nature! But what we saw, was far more that expected! Jan confessed us, that he did not want to reveal the whole of a secret in order to surprise us! The landscape was idyllic, dramatic, the beer was cold and soothing, the water chilly, but the sun compensated for it, nice company....


We came back to Prague, nicely tired to have a late siesta.

And that evening we performed at Jam s Milonga. IT WAS LIKE DANCING IN A SOUP!!!
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Friday, Prague, the temperature 33 degrees...

It is not only our workshop day in a post-communist sport complex ballroom, of course without air conditioning... but also tango show in the newly opened Havana Club in our MAJESTIC PLAZA HOTEL. The underground club turned out to have the same deficiency as the workshop place: unsufficient air conditioning for a gathered crowd... To the soupy air in the romantic golden lit interior of the modern decor, we had to endure the asphalt-like dance floor and the space of less than 4 square meters- with people standing around! As the result I got a souvenir I still carry: a big blue bruise from a voleo which made my foot hit against the lamp post.... Anyway, the people were enthusiastic about our performance and we got a proposal to come back for the oficial opening of the hotel in October...

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Saturday,

Prague, te temperature ' has dropped down ' to 30 degrees. Feels cooler.

Not during yoga and tango classes though...

Taken by Achim & Jana for the afternoon short siesta had a pleasure to swimm in their splendid swimming pool!

The marathon continued after half an hour siesta: back to Prague, for the peak point of our stay: Grebovka milonga show.















Grebovka is a winery and restaurant, a wanderful structure of wooden embroidery situated on the hill covered by grapes. The view from the dance floor is breathtaking: you have Prague at your feet! The best kind of Prague, magicaly nocturnaly illuminated. This is our stage and background for tonight. The air seems cooler, really a perfect night!

Our faithful students and friends are there,as well as many foreigners seduced by the magic of Prague and the fame of Grebovka. It is just perfect! The magic ambience inspires us and we dance for us and for them...
Martin & Ivanka came from Austria to share those moments with us, too. They will take us with them to Austria next day. We have congratulations and kisses and requests for private classes. Alwas a post-effect of the show. No way. Next day, Sunday, is a social day in Achim and Jana' s residence, with czech asado, wine and good company....

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Nice to come back to the beautiful, comfortable residence after a long, busy and hot day. It was a hard day' s night.. And there, together with Achim and Jana and our students from Berlin and Venice, Italy, we can make a toast with a tradicional vodka: slivovice! Jana is prepared for other varieties of vodka and ice-cream accompanying.. Chatting till the voice of reason sends us to bed... Agreeable tiredness of a well completed mission.















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A 250 km separating Prague from Linz, Austria, by land, is for us conclusion and reflexion time. Revision and summary. What is happening to tango in Prague?

Is it a poppy syndrom I have studied as a phenomena in Australia, affecting Prague dancers? Poppy syndrom means ALL EQUAL, ALL THE SAME. The poppies which grow higher, will be cut , to equalize down. This is what is happening to the post-communist czech community. Being different, or being OUTSTANDING is NOT DESIRABLE. All were ment to be the same. And they still follow the pattern. This opinion was confirmed to us by one of the Prague inhabitants and we can observe it in a tango world. NO progress visible. Stagnation and the equalization down. Do not want to dress different, dance different/better, progress is a sin. You want to hide in the mass. Very sad and discouraging.

PRAGUE, therefore, in Aisha & Victor TANGO GUINNESS BOOK, is nr 1 in NO PROGRESS DURING OUR 4 consecutive visits, or THE LEAST PROGRESS in EUROPE! Majority managed to stay at the same level they were 4 years ago... It is a kind of achievement, not easy at all!

Why? Tango dancers in Prague like the SOCIAL PART of tango: it brings people together to have a good time, chat and drink beer. We like the social part of it too, and we have good time socializing with our czech students, but our funcion of tango maestros is therefore unfulfilled...

We place Prague, anyway, as ONE OF OUR FAVOURITE EUROPEAN FAMILIES, they get high points for TANGO FAMILY BONDS. Not only we feel at home and receive the warmest welcome every time we come, but friendship and solidarity is a bond among themselves. If you are a not especially atractive older woman you go to Prague and the young dancers will definitely ask you to dance. This is a high contrast to the tango community in Warsaw, for example.

It only proves, that our dear czech students do not have a passion for tango. The tango stricken people want to get more of it and best of it. They have a desire to progress to develop their tango skills. If you have touched the skies, that is, had a moment of extasy in tango, you would want to have more.Are czech people passionate people at all? I will not express my personal opinion, but send you to read Milan Kundera books for an answer ( " Unbearable lightness of being" ," The joke" " The immortality" etc).

2 comments:

Lili said...

I’ve been to Prague many times and I never get sick of it. I love the small streets and the mystic environment, its like magnet to me. Walking from street to street, even if alone always makes me feel so small but at the same time so well connected to the city. I found the city very safe, as you can check in this link form the government. I never had a problem for being out until late and alone or ever saw any incident.
What I also enjoy in this city is the night life, the Prague music clubs are all so cozy and have such a nice environment and decoration and make you want to stay long. If you or any of your friends want to go there again I leave you here a nice site with good clubs to go.

hotel in prague said...

Wow Prague is really like a paradise for me..Every time I'm in this place it's like heaven that I couldn't ask for more...