TWO INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL LOVES THAT CHANGED MY LIFE:
Part 2: THE ARGENTINE TANGO
Readers of some of my previous newsletters will be aware that I have developed a deep fondness for the Argentine tango (see February 2014 Newsletter
, and, as things developed, for one of its practitioners in particular, Daniel Dillon, whom I married on Valentine's Day in 2015 (see newsletter for February 2015
Now, however, I want to focus on how else the tango has changed me -- specifically, its role in my life, as the Santiago pilgrimage was at an earlier stage (see essay in Argentina) transmit from "generation to generation," and give "communities and groups a feeling of identity." It added that the dance "embodies and encourages diversity and cultural dialogue."
And that it does. Here in New York where I live, I have met hundreds of people whose paths I would not otherwise have crossed, danced with dozens of them, chatted with others, been inspired by musicians from near and far. Traveling, I've been able to step into lessons and milongas in San Francisco, Santa Fe, Northampton, Berlin, Prague and Budapest. We don't always even learn one another's last names, much less our professions or passions other than the dances we do together. But that can be quite enough connection for most of us.
In pursuit of the Compostela pilgrimage, I made use of my traditional linguistic training in order to do research, travel, eat (and drink), proofread, and, in my postings at the pilgrims' hostel at Rabanal del Camino, offer basic hospitality and first aid to many travelers. Similarly, the language of tango has proved to handy as well, an entree to many places I have wanted to go. Knowledge of the music, the dance, its execution and etiquette, its dress codes (well, sort of, depending on time and location...) are truly a lingua franca for anyone traveling away from home who wants to discover tango in an unfamiliar locale.
Other gifts of the tango to me: motivation to become and remain as physically fit as possible, especially as I began dancing so late in life, and subject matter for works of art. Here's a post-milonga selfie that I plan to turn into a painting. Stay tuned for its transformation into paint in the next newsletter.
After the Ball, photograph, 2016
And, in the meantime, if you'd like to meet us and enjoy tango at the Salmagundi Club, the next Salmagundi tango evenings are April 8 and May 6; lesson 6-7, dancing until 9:45. Located at 47 5th Avenue, at 12th street. Call (212) 255-7740; salmagundi.org
, or see www.salmagundimilonga.com
BIDWELL HOUSE PROJECT
Bidwell House Suite
Part of my studio time this past winter went into creation of a suite of four paintings depicting aspects of the Bidwell House Museum, a 1750 Georgian saltbox built by the Reverend Adonijah Bidwell as his parsonage in what is now Monterey, Massachusetts. This is a historic treasure of the Western Berkshires, definitely worth visiting (www.bidwellhousemuseum.org). More about this in my next newsletter.
Bidwell House and Garden, acrylic, 18" x 24," 2015
Horse Barn, Bidwell House, acrylic, 18" x 24," 2015
Master Bedroom, Bidwell House, acrylic, 20" x 20," 2015
Table for Four, Bidwell House, acrylic, 20" x 20," 2016
RECENT SALE AND AWARDS
Yew Hedge and Purple Salvia,
1/2, 6" x 7 3/4," 2015;
winner of Martin Hannon Memorial Award,
SCNY Spring 2016 Auction Exhibition
(and sold at Auction)
Another recent sale
oil, 16" x 20," 2014