With Gunvor ' sa det click' as the Swedish king says. Immediately. She is like my older (sometimes younger) sister. And her sister became my other sister. And... there was a surprise waiting for us in our new WHITE HOUSE. Streight from the southermost point in Sweden, almost 2000 km, our friend and agent Inger( Queen Mother as we call her) arrived without having uttered a word! I am not the only one keeping secrets! Another part of the surprise was that SHE and Sven and Vile were to share our Pippi Langstrump's Villa with us! Actually, Sven and Vile had a separate guest house ( falu rött). How could we leave and go to give tango workhops right after such a beginning? Business is business. But there is always fun coming afterwards, specially in Norrland, in the land where SUN NEVER SETS....or sets for just a teasing while...
After the workshops- welcome back dinner at our White House. Gunvor, who also was one of the cooks, magically lenthened the table to squeeze our students and friends. Everything in the midnight sun... It was a MAGIC ' evening' with our Pitea family...chatting and eating and skåling...and I cannot even say untill the night beacause the night would not fall!
Next day ( days) were all packed. Whenever we refer to our agenda as " like in Piteå", we mean that you cannot possibly squeeze anything else in. No spare time. Perfectly planned and full of surprises. PERFECTLY ORGANISED TO THE LAST DETAIL. That's Swedish speciality.
Even though the misterious point at the end of a loooong day ( in all the senses) said " Tango at Storforsen" and we were said we 'd love the place. AND IT WAS BREATHTAKING!
In the middle of the wild, virgin, norrland's forest- the nature created this wander spot: cascades and rapids going down the hill. The biggest in Sweden! And besides the rapids a man created- a PERFECT SCENARIO, a stage. A communion of nature and technology. AND ART. FOR IT WAS OUR SCENERY FOR DANCING TANGO!
Obviously, everything STARTS WITH A SALMON. Raw, cooked, smoked in cold, in hot, grilled etc. The picknick in Storforsen, before tangoing, was also under the sign of SALMON. LAX. And everybody wanted to share their lax with us! My favourite was with the very Swedish dill sauce, which Inger left home. But somebody else had it. Complemented with rott vin. And a while after-blueberry or rabarbar pie with cream! THEY KNOW how to live, the Swedish! And then dancing and dancing and dancing... till the sun was teasing to set and never set..
Of course everybody got photograph taken with everybody else, and all together as well. I was completely sure it was Ronja's and Birk's forest, Mattisforsen. I have seen " Ronja Roverdotter' film in Buenos Aires, Swedish Institute. THAT WAS IT!
Together with Elisabeth I was practising Ronja Rövardotter's vargskriket. And " Det ar pa tiiiiiiideeeeen" . I asked Victor to try it, but he wouldn't. He cannot speak svenska!
We did not want to just leave such a place. So, Gunvor, Inger and me- the siters, decided to have a walk along the rapids, through the forest down to the hotel situated a couple of miles from our dance spot. Brith was to wait there for us with a car.
It was a fairy tale walk in a fairy tale forest. Mattisforsen. We were little girls again. And the midnightsun painted the sky in all the dramatic colours. Specially for us, the brave.
I am not here to write about our tango, even though the workshops were smashingly succesful, and there were various shows and milongas in different locations. I am writing about the locations self or the people or a different aspects which I find unusual. We are having workshops and shows everywhere. What differenciates Pitea, a town by the Northern Polar Circle, is that they organize an intensive week with tango and invent the most charming settings for dancing!
Once was by the above described Storforsen ( WE HAVE NEVER DANCED BY THE WATERFALLS OR THE RAPIDS IN OUR ENTIRE LIVES!). Another was a Graveri ( Curtiembre, sorry for lack of the word in English), another was a beautiful Pippi Langstrumpf kind of house ( falu rott though), still another, and the most universaly posh and classic was a Community Center ( thus, the most boring pictures taken there).
Graveri ( needs a separate chapter), our last' year's residence, is a place we are very sentimental about. Located by the River Pitea, it has it's adjuscent sauna and ' reunion' conservatory, which, as we learnt, is removed from the river to innerland before every winter, for the danger of being destroyed by floating ice! That's the view of it before the human invasion on Sunday evening... ... and that's the beginning of invasion. Salmon, sauna & sunset ( 3S) = BLISS!
And that's crazy tangueros enjoying the sauna and a jump into the river by the midnightsun... After bastu ( sauna) a jumpo to the cold river..
It's as dark as it gets then... Simulation of the sunset. And UP with the sun again!
When Gunvor and Brith mentioned tunnbrodbaking course for me, to complete with my Swedish education, I could sacrifice almost anything. So, we went to the heart of Svensby... Probably most charming prototipical village in Sweden. Gunvor and her sister were lucky enough to spent their childhood here.
And to learn tunnbrodbaking! Unfortunately, this very Tuesday there was not baking, but I learnt theoretically. Inger & Gunvor inspected the tunnbrod's oven. Neither of them looked like ready to prepare the dough.. More, like a summer fairies ( esp. Inger in her new hat)..And we visited this fairy tale Swedish village. .... and met a Swedish folk fairy! Brith was guiding a group of the Americans to the tipical Swedish village.
When I sent my happy greetings from the Northern Polar Circle, happy to be there for the midnightsun tango and speaking Swedish, my brother responded: " WHO ARE THEY FOR WHOM YOU LEARNT SWEDISH?"
Thus, the GALLERY OF NORRLAND's CHARACTERS. Most of them on the photo below, gathered by Pitea River:
Jan. The first Swedish name I learnt to pronounce correctly. Big latin potencial. In tango too:
Ni finns också i mitt och vårt minne! Nu blir det inte 2 år till nästa gång!Och för min del, och jag tror även för Elisabets del, tyckte jag att den andra privatlektionen var väldigt bra, gav mig en del uppenbarelser! Hoppas att det märktes när jag dansade med dig på måndagkvällen. Jag märkte också att jag släpper loss mera i milongan än i tangon, det är mindre huvud i milongan, tänker ännu för mycket på stegen i tangon, kanske för att jag har för liten repertoar för att kunna improvisera obehindrat. Det ni säger om att lämna huvet hemma och dansa med hjärtat är helt rätt. Som tur är har jag möjlighet att träna vidare med Elisabeth! Härlig att dansa med!That is your swedish lesson for today!
Jan has not only conquered our hearts being such a devoted tanguero ( till last year a president of Pitea Tango Ass), but having a very original job. One of the few remaining in Europe. GRAVERI. Sometimes it's also TANGUERI.
Catrine is a new head of Pitea Tango.
A previous bailarina de Jan. A grandmother of 6 (!!!!!??)
A splendid organiser, who put all the effords to make us appear, for the second time, in Norrland. Great manner of dressing. Never dull cloth. She is really, a teenager.
A present tango partner of Jan.
Apart from tango- Ronja Rovardotter.
Good company to practise vargskriket in Mattisforsen.
Speaks Spanish and has been to Buenos Aires.Coming again, this October. Looks great in blue,matching her eyes. Tack för en trevlig och givande kurshelg i Piteå.
Skickar några bilder på ”Ronja och Birk” vid Mattisforsen. Hur går det med läsningen av Ronja Rövardotter?
Jag är säker på att du klarar det fint. Det är en underbar bok och eftersom du har sett filmen är det lättare att läsa boken. Själv försöker jag läsa Isabell Allende på spanska, men det är svårt! Trots att jag läst dem på svenska.
Jag hör av mej när jag kommer till BA, för det vore roligt att få träffa er där.
Our faithfull ( or faithfool) tango student. Comes from Lulea.
Has been to our tango courses all over northern Sweden ( we met in Solleftea, then in Harnosand, then twice in Pitea) and even followed us to... Riga!
Very applied- all the workshops, private classes. Has an ambition to surprise me in tango.
Thomas is German but it's fun to speak Swedish with him!Maybe therefore!
And of course, there is Siv ( our old student and the longest tango dancer in Norrland) coming from Gotenburg, how dare she exclaime this year" Aisha, you remember my name!"- of course I do, even though I am tehre only once a year..., there is Gun, a real Lappland woman from Kiruna- we remember her coming over to Pitea 2 years ago, driving from Kiruna and back for our classes and there is Goran from Stokholm..
Sven. Already mentioned. Alma mater of Solleftea tango. An ex mayor, present tanguero. An excelent cook ( salmon), chofeur, nubbar companion. Now, without splendid company of his dog Vile. I'm glad I have had the opportunity of having you as guests in my house, a part of our picknick and as travel company! Thanks to you I've met a lot of lovely people as well as giving me the opportunity of improving my vals and milonga. It's a pity I don't remember a thing!But I know the knowledge is there, it will pop up from my memory at a moment I don't expect. Hopefully sooner than later. (That's not only for my memory, that's also for our meeting again.)I will follow your tour through Europe on the internet!Vile gives you his common welcome bark!
Hej!Jo tack, jag mår ganska bra nu. Har börjat vänja mig att vara utan Vile, men fortfarande så händer det att jag av gammal vana pratar med honom när jag lämnar bilen. Jag brukade alltid säga "Jag kommer snart" när jag lämnade honom ensam.Men det är så det är här i livet.Tack för bilderna, jag tog mig friheten att lägga ut bilden av dig och Victor med frälsarkransen (livbojen) på Båthuset på nätet, då Österforse Byalag har bjudit in oss tangodansare till sommarcafé nu på söndag.Njut av semestern och hoppas att ni får bra väder. Här har det regnat nästan hela månaden, himlen har gråtit, jag vet inte om det är för Vile eller för att ni tog solen med till England.Ha det bra och vi hörs igen!/SvenE