Monday, November 30, 2009

Dancing in the Streets

"Dancing in the Streets"
Buenos Aires, Argentina
8" x 10"
Acrylic on canvas

We spent 8 days in Buenos Aires at the end of a trip around Cape Hope by cruise ship in February. While there, we visited San Telmo where we saw people doing wonderful Argentine Tango in the streets. We were inspired to take two private lessons from a professional couple who rented studio time to give them to us. When we returned home, we added Argentine Tango to our weekly ballroom dance lessons.

We learned that the tango got its start in the brothels where the men would dance with each other to pass the time while waiting. The upper class did not embrace the tango until it became popular in France and other European countries, which gave it respectability. The dance is now a very important part the Argentine social scene. A Milonga is the venue where people dance the tango, and we had hoped to go to a Milonga while in Buenos Aires. However, we are definitely Americanos who tend towards an early bedtime, so we never managed to stay up until 2:00 a.m. to attend a Milonga. How do folks get up the next morning and go to work?

I wanted to do a very simple rendering of dancers doing the corte step without a lot of detail. I covered the canvas with an orange mother color and then proceeded to paint the scene with little detail. I finished the buildings by adding some black line using liquid gesso. I have much to learn about working with acrylics. Near the end of the process, I used some gloss medium and I rather liked the smooth coverage I got from doing that. More experimenting is in order.


Claire M said...

What a striking painting. I love it and it illustrates the Tango very effectively! Wonderful.

Mary Paquet said...

Thanks a bunch, Claire.

tangocherie said...

Hola Mary,
Next time you visit Buenos Aires, be sure to attend an afternoon milonga; every day of the week you can dance from 3 p.m. to 5 a.m. if you want.
I agree about the late nights, and my Argentine partner Ruben and I mainly dance from 7-10.

Mary Paquet said...

Hi, Cherie. How nice to hear from someone who does the Argentine Tango. We obviously were not well-informed on times for tango. I hope to make it back someday when we are much more accomplished tango dancers.

lilasvb said...

nice to visit your blog and i like this draw -paint of dancers