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August 9, 2004

KL sojourn

The past weekend has been a long weekend in Singapore, due to the Singaporean National Day (9 August) falling on a Monday. In view of this, a number of Singaporean tangueros and tangueras decided to go up to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, which is a mere 330 km away, to sample the milonga held on Saturday night, 7 August.

Now, while some of more organised of the group had booked coaches and accommodation in advance, sadly I was not as disciplined. I (and three other friends) made the decision to go to the milonga on Tuesday, and after some searches on the internet and quite a few unsuccessful phone calls, finally managed to secure accommodation and return transportation. And so, the trip was on!

The milonga was held on the second floor of a cosy bar called Little Havana, which is in fact nestled in the back streets in the Bukit Bintang shopping malls. The place definitely has a certain character! Our Malaysian friends were most friendly and welcoming. Unfortunately, the milonga was not well-attended. The contingent from Singapore actually made up the bulk of participants on the night.

Finally some words on the choice of music played during the night. While it is inevitable for different communities to have different tastes in music, I believe the Argentinian tradition of tandas is still a very valuable one. A certain mood/familiarity can only be brought about by playing a sequence of songs from the same orchestra or with very similar sounds. Secondly, for a new Tango community with many beginning dancers, perhaps a more rhythmic repertoire consisting mostly of Canaro, D’Arienzo, Tanturi and Di Sarli, etc. will be more helpful in improving the overall standard? Frankly, I myself found it challenging to dance to a number of the concert-style tunes played that night.

Well, it’s encouraging to see our Malaysian neighbours putting in the efforts to build up a Tango community. This is definitely something to look forward to on the next trip.

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