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December 24, 2008

Creatures of habit

During a recent milonga where I DJ’ed, I was a little amused when someone – the owner of the establishment as a matter of fact – was surprised that everyone on the dance floor knew it was the end of the milonga when the La Cumparsita came on. Incidentally it was not my usual “finishing” tanda although I did play the same version of La Cumparsita (30’s D’Arienzo)

However, I have to admit that the process of giving people the message that it was the end of the night was not always so straightforward.

Many years ago, it was common practice for us to verbally announce the end of the milonga. In fact, for me, knowing that people in some faraway lands mysteriously used La Cumparsita to signal the end of a milonga didn’t help too much. I mean, should I play one – at beginning or at the end of the tanda – or two La Cumparsita’s – one at the either end of the last tanda? In other words, how could I gently tell people that it was the end??

Suffice it to say, most of the confusion was eliminated after Royce, who had by then experienced the milongas in Buenos Aires, started her milongas in around 2005. With a similar tradition continuing for two more years at IXI Danza’s milongas, it is fair to say that dancers frequenting the traditional milongas in Singapore are now quite well trained… 🙂

What can I say, we are all creatures of habit in one way or other, huh?

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