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Monina Paz MEMORIES

 

 

I remember my mother telling me: "We are very happy to see you  finish high school and from there whatever you decide to  do,we will support you. Those words were so strong that right there I told them: I want go to  the University of ART and Contemporary ! A mixture of feelings of shock and happiness surrounded my parents, and then they replied: "We imagine that".  From there on it all began.  I was 17 years old.

 

I remember a Wednesday 8am, room IUNA (University of the Arts), we were a group of youths between 18 to 20 years old, half asleep.  Some dressed like hippies and some wearing cool clothes.  There comes the teacher for our first lesson, elegant, perfumed, with a smile he says: “Hi I'm Carlos Rivarola and this is the TANGO lesson”. I remember he took me and the group to my first milonga, Grisel.  Between terrified and afraid of their faces nodding at me, I remember just dancing all night with C. Rivarola, my 1st TANGO TEACHER.


Then I remember the evenings at the Sunderland, with flirty dancers. I remember a dark and dirty Parakultural in San Telmo.   How to forget an evening witnessing the grand entrance of a brunette wearing black high stiletto heels, a tiger print fur coat and smoking a cigarette.  I asked: “Who is she?”
Someone says: It’s “la negra” GONZALES.   I remember Omar Viola storming in screaming “!PAREDON, PAREDON!” and painting the walls with red spray-paint.  I remember coming out of there at 4am in a rush to get at least an hour sleep, because the next day my first class was starting at 8am at IUNA.

 

Surviving 5 hours at the IUNA and 4 hours at the San Martin every day of the week, I remember running carrying very big bags to go to thousands of auditions and castings for FILMS or TV ADVERTISEMENTS. But the crazy thing for me was that, whenever I got picked for a job, it always had something to do with tango.

 

I remember at the end of the Residential (University Art) Ricky Barrios was the director, telling him it’s good that Tango has allowed you to travel.  He looked straight into my eyes and as if reading my future he says: Monina the Tango is going to make you TRAVEL fly with it.

 

I remember my first tour, only 2 months and a half, alongside Gustavo Porter in that occasion.  But I remember in particular the 3rd tour, by chance and without planning we ended up in Ireland for 2 weeks, it was 12 years ago.   No one knew what Argentine Tango was. There was only a group of people in Dublin fascinated by a show called “Tango Pasion” they had seen. That time we were asked to dance and after that show we returned to Argentina. But from there on we kept coming back.  Ireland just like Tango, chose me, and now it is TANGOIRELAND.


I do not remember when I got married to Mr Tango (for me tango is a man ;) I remember watching my dad as a 6 year old girl, watching GRANDES VALORES DEL TANGO or LA BOTICA DEL TANGO on TV.  I thought those programs were just for adults.  I remember when I was 6 years old my dad used to take me every day at 7pm to the Nuñez neighbourhood, for a little snack for him and a 7up for me. While I played on the street with another girl, I saw my father fascinated talking to a man who was a neighbour, a Polish guy, a certain Goyeneche.  I remember looking through the window and saying: Can I take another 7up daddy?

 

Up to this day and more than ever, I believe that the true teacher is one who doesn’t feel superior to anyone because of their knowledge.  And not only out of respect and discipline, many of them are still my mentors and I still ask them: Maestro can you have a look at me?
And they reply with their greatness: Monina, DO NOT CALL ME MASTER, but they say piba come here ...

My great eternal tribute to each one of them.  While they are alive I still have a lot to learn from them.
Because they never keep anything from me and they share their expertise with everyone.

 

Monina Paz