Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Ajedrez de Tango Viviente

I saw something very nice on Sunday, but I never wrote about it at the time, because I had a slight cold, and then I was too engrossed in my books yesterday...

Ajedrez de Tango Viviente in Parque Lezama!

This was a superb event, and I may well return to the park on another one of the weekends that it's scheduled to take place. It always promised to be good: a combination of chess, dancing, and the park surely can't go too wrong. But as soon as the dancers came out to the board and started dancing, I realised I was watching something I'd never seen before. Unfortunately, I only managed to take one half-decent photo of the event, but here it is:

Parque Lezama - Ajedrez de Tango Viviente

The game was played between two journalists who have made a name for themselves by writing about El Tango: they sat to one side of the "human" chessboard and played the game on a regular board. Tango dancers, both male and female, played the role of the chess pieces. There were two additional dancers (male and female), whose role it was to go to the board after each move, and dance with the relevant piece, leading it (or being led) to its new square. 

Some of the choreography was superb. The knights in particular were highly entertaining: played by men, they were bigger than the other pieces, and all had wigs woven into their hair, giving them horse-like manes. When it was the turn of these pieces to move, the female dancer would make her way to the board, and then mount the horse (generally by being spun around in the air before taking her place on the back of the horse), which then duly trotted to its destination. The Kings, on the other hand, didn't dance. They just picked up their partner in a vertical position and moved slowly to their destination. When a piece was caputured, the choreography would vary, and the "death moves" included a one-handed throttle, a sort of backward headbutt, or a flying kick (executed by the female pawns - this one was a fan favourite). Checkmate came courtesy of a death kiss by the female dancer. The black pieces gathered around the king, the dancer made her way towards the king, kissed him, and he fell backwards, to be caught and carried away by his minions. It's a shame there are no videos of the event on YouTube, as words can't capture just how wonderful the whole event was... I might try getting close enough to record my own video next time...

- - - - -

Well, today saw me move out of my hostel in San Telmo, and into my flat in Palermo. I'm a lot happier now, as I can leave my money and cards in my room now, and don't have to keep putting my laptop away. I'm settled, finally. But I'm still in no rush to go anywhere - for the time being, I'm busy putting together a website, and ploughing through as much literature as possible...

No comments: