Monday, November 3, 2008

Barcelona tango festival: Catalan pride?

There is no better place to write your blog than at the beach… So this is where I am! Citadella Olympica in Barcelona... I left yesterday France with tears in my eyes (indeed!) to start my road trip to Faro. So unfortunately, I had to say farewell to the country of the good life, delicious food and beautiful women, the land where holidays never stop! The country where all the people carry an artistic touch and they act so unpredictably that makes every moment a possible surprise. Once again I had to tear up my roots and leave. Just like that….

First stop of the trip is Barcelona for the 6th tango festival here. Two things were very intense on my first moments in Spain. One is the contact with what I call ‘normal people’ the facility to communicate and understand each other that exists between Spanish, Greek and Italians, which is not shared with the always ‘bizarre’ French. The Mediterranean touch! But this time there was something missing in the contact. It’s due to the fact that I got used to the ‘French touch’ and I was looking for this magic ingredient, even though it often makes life and communication more difficult. Second is that Barcelona is an amazing city…

Arriving here, feeling a little bit ‘blue’ for my so recent departure and separation from the people close to me, I needed some thing to tone me up. And in Barcelona this is very easy. Just walking around can be enough, but at the same time, if you want to offer yourself ‘special gifts’ there are so many options. So I started with nice lunch by the sea for example, watching the waves listening to the swell, enjoying the energy that the sea transmits.

Back to tango, on the other hand the festival was not a great thing. The place (Casino) was magnificent, but the people were rather ‘irrelevant’ to tango and while there were some dancers good enough, there was something missing. After long time I felt a ‘closed’ mentality and I don’t know where to attribute it. Catalan people are known to be more reserved and less easy to contact… From the first moment I met people telling me how they like their city, how every time they visit other places, they appreciate Barcelona even more and in general there was this intense feeling of pride and introversion, which could explain also my tango experience.

Tango is connection but if you keep the door shut you are just moving in vacuum space. However my stay was short and I cannot be sure, judging only on the festival. I have the impression that this is not the level of the city, but most likely local people didn’t support the festival and I have to come back to find out how Barcelona tango is…. Nevertheless people are everywhere and I had some delightful tantas, as well as I met some very nice people. So I am going to try again in the future. No matter what the city deserves one or more ‘second chances’!!

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