Thursday, 4 August 2011

Milongas: The Seduction of Tango

I'm pleased to feature an audio slideshow titled "Milongas! The Seduction of Tango" of my still black & white photographs made in various tango halls and milongas of Buenos Aires during the week I spent there  teaching with the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop.

Note: You have two viewing options: either to view it as a Vimeo movie (above) or as a SoundSlides, which has better resolution images.

I am equally pleased in having broken many of my self-imposed rules which I religiously followed when producing such multimedia pieces. For this piece, I applied panning (Ken Burns effect) on a few occasions to give the semblance of motion, and to bring the eyes of the viewers to a specific part of the still. Rules are made to be broken, and I hope the photographers who attended my class do not take me too much to task for that.

"the silent and imperceptible gesture by men inviting women to dance..."

I chose to photograph the milongas and the tango at these venues for many reasons. Perhaps it was mainly because of my appreciation for international music, but as I observed the people who were at the milongas...I call them 'actors' because they were, wittingly or unwittingly, acting a part in a pre-ordained old fashioned ritual of almost courtship...the silent and imperceptible gesture by men inviting women to dance...I was reminded that their actions mirrored what occurs between men and women in their quotidian life.

I've also used only two audio is by the legendary Carlos Gardel singing the beautiful A Media Luz, and a short poetic narration by Paula Acunzo, a Buenos Aires based photographer who attended my class, and is also a terrific tango dancer. She deserves much credit, not only for writing this evocative poem, but also for suffering some of us at the tango halls and milongas.

But back to A Media Luz....which means 'half-light'. I decided I'd use it as main soundtrack for the slideshow because I was humming it in Buenos Aires almost all the time...and because I photographed these images in the penumbra of the tango halls, and accentuated their darkness even further by vignetting it seemed eminently appropriate.

So turn your speakers on...full volume...and enjoy the seduction of tango.