Tango Cherries – Otoño en Paris Marathon 2014, France
I heard as many “things” about tango in Paris as I heard about Moscow, more or less. Leaders from Paris are posh and arrogant, followers as well, followers never dance what they are expected to dance, but something different, and both sides lack using proper deodorant … My first visit for tango in Paris has been a very curious one, though.
The marathon itself did not take place in the center of Paris, but in an outside area, called Montreuille. You can get there easily by metro, but without speaking any word of French it’s kind of hard to navigate, so I have taken a private collective taxi from and to the airport, booked via web with a fixed price, so that the traffic jam did not have any impact on the costs. Good decision, on my way it took us 45 minutes more than expected …
The pre-party was a local milonga, just around the corner from the marathon venue, very convenient to walk. A nice room with big wooden floor, and at least on Thursday with the right amount of people. I came with a friend and danced a bit, followed by an hour of watching the crowd. Dancing was mixed level, but good ronda, and after a bulk of Turkish dancers – who came for the marathon as well – entered the place I really got lots of nice tandas. I danced with beginners and teachers, locals and foreigners, and I felt very much like home after a short time.
The marathon itself is a rather small one, in a place with a kind of rough charm. It is a former movie studio, so it has all this industrial steel beams, but candelabras as well, they put in a wooden floor, and there are old sofas and chairs of any age and condition. The dinner and brunch area is not heated, which makes eating a bit less comfy, but people move into the dance area right after finishing their meal, and don’t sit there for ages. The helper’s team seemed to be very amateur in the beginning, when I tried to get a tea and found hot water, loose tea leaves and a tea ball (one!) at the bar. Later they speeded up and most of the time we had everything we needed.
Dance wise the level was widely spread, I met local people who never tried a marathon before, some others came the second time, and there have been international experienced dancers as well. The Turkish crowd gave the event some extra spice and extraordinary dancing, it has been a delight to dance with these folks as well as to watch them dancing. The atmosphere was friendly and warm, the ronda mostly good, it has been very crowded on the dance floor only very few times.
On Saturday I sneaked out at 23 h to the local milonga place again, which was super crowded this time. I expected somehow the French leaders from Thursday to dance with me again (especially those who could not get enough tandas with me on Thursday), but surprisingly they almost did not even recognize me. Strange! I went back after 2 hours and enjoyed the Saturday night at the marathon.
Coming for the after party on Sunday night I had an unpleasant sensation: entering the room, now filled with local people, made me feel struck by a strange odour – it never happened the days before, but for some French people a bad body odour seem to be something ok-ish.
Fortunately I did not have dancers of this kind, and I felt very happy that the organizing team selected other dancers for the marathon.
All in all the marathon is a hidden pearl, with a warm-hearted organization, best food from AG (ohhhh the omelette !!!!!), a unique location, good DJ’s and nice mixture of dancers.