Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Profoundly civilized- La milonga MuSaCa in Geneva

Anybody would expect a Greek guy to be very interested in a milonga with the name of the most worldwide know Greek dish! So when people told me that it is also a nice place to dance, I took instantly the decision to catch a train and meet the MuSaCa tango tribe! Even though I had been in Geneva before…. And then I realized several things… Firstly the milonga is more of my taste rather than the dish! Secondly, even though I’ve spent 5 days in the city 3 years ago, I haven’t quite known it, a fact that highlights the great advantages of tango tourism. And last but not least, I loved the Swiss people, the way they are and they live.
When I visited the city as a non-French speaker and non-tango dancer, I found it too low key... Especially comparing with the vivid nightlife of Greece where I was living at that time, Geneva gave me a feeling of ‘vacuum’. Of course the politeness and simplicity (in a positive sense) of the Swiss cannot be overlooked, neither the human-friendly, clean and nicely organized city. But unfortunately I didn’t have the possibility to make contact or even chat to the local people. But this time, my tango visit was totally different!
Switzerland and Geneva in particular is extremely (and honestly) international. Apart from the mixing of 4 different language population groups the city is overwhelmed by the thousands of international organizations employees, as well as the tourists and the business visitors, from all over the world. As a result, it is a genuinely international society and what is most impressive is how simply and easily all this is taking place. The Swiss people live smooth and undisturbed lives in a well organized and wealthy country and as a result, their character has developed accordingly; being calm, polite, simple and honest And most important, their perception of the world and the others is similar, good-willed and trustful, an attitude that ‘purifies’ any interaction.

Contact with somebody who is honest and believes that you are honest as well, brings the best of you and this is an amazing feeling. It makes you relax, enjoy the moment in the first place and following generates the desire to ‘pay back’ the ‘treat’. It brings human interaction in a higher lever of quality. As far as tango is concerned, it is obvious that you dance better with somebody you feel well and you are familiar to. Of course an excellent tango can be more ‘aggressive’ or ‘esoterical’ driven either by seduction, or the coincidence of the special moment; but the most enjoyable dance (at least from my point of view) is when you are possessed by positive feelings, familiarity and respect for your partner. When you want to share with him another step, another tango, another tanta, when you want to stay in the abrazo and try to overwhelm him with all your positive energy and feelings. This is the magic of tango…. (or at least some of it!)
And in Milonga MuSaCa this happened to me several times. Almost all the people I’ve met were brilliant and after the first day the feeling was that I participated in a family celebration. Of a big family! And it is true that people who’ve been to MuSaCa will not miss it next time, they are so happy to meet and all this positive energy is in the air, adding something that it is impossible for a big festival to beat. Tango in Switzerland doesn’t have the scale or the dynamism of the Italian tango for example. But I have never been to a milonga with so many people that I was really pleased to meet and I would love to meet again. For that reason the MuSaCa family has now a new member!!
Just before finishing this blog I have to make two remarks… One is about the beautiful ‘Parfumerie’ space where the milonga takes place, with an elegant and simple ambience which I found very much in agreement with the one of the city. Second, about the perfect organization, including hospitality for the foreign tangeros like me, especially considering that this year it was an ‘one man show’ (Sarah’s show!)… A bientot a tous!

PS. Just some additional ‘technical’ details for those who may be interested. For people who haven’t danced to places with very good tango (for me Italy from Rome and to the north is the reference in Europe) the level of the dancers and the quality of the ‘circle of dance’ will be more than satisfactory. Some criticism is that many people dance more open embrace, a style not so of my taste, which also makes couples occupy more space, a disadvantage for the crowded hours of the milonga. Also some dancers (among them several high level ones indeed), weren’t so respectful for the rest and moved in a rather ‘chaotic’ way, making co-existence quite difficult. But in general nothing reaches really disturbing levels and the milonga flows all the time…


Shawn said...

Heh! Thanks for writing up a story,.. it just makes the muSAca experience live on a little longer (until next time!) :-) See you 'round.

claire said...

who are you??? Did we dance together in the parfumerie? I was ther too, and I also had a wunderfull time. I am from Geneva. it's quite funny and interesting reading your impression of Geneva's mentality. Some of your thougts are true, others a bit cliché, but the result is obviously this familiar sensation..
Hope to see you in Geneva soon..maybe in Freinburg in 3 weeks?
see you,

Musaca said...

I just sent you a mail, but the address I have is not available anymore.
Just have a look on the site of Musaca, there will be a new milonga mnusaca in March. :)
See you!