Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ilegal Milongas in Paris

While the fever for tango gradually returns to Parisian streets, a group of young people organize several times a week and without the authorization of the authorities of Paris illegal "milongas" in the open air in which dozens of couples participate.

Article translated by DJ Luigi from Tango City magazine.

As in its golden years, that dance is once again the rage in Paris, but not only in the cabarets but also in the streets and the most emblematic places of the French capital, like the esplanade in front of the lavish Opera Garnier, the central courtyard from the Royal Palace and even the docks facing the Seine River. 

To these luxury backdrops is added a pinch of mischief, given that these milongas do not have the approval of the city authorities and therefore are "milegales", as the organizers call them using a play on words. 

Hundreds of people are inscribed on these mailing lists coordinated by the French Fabrice Ballion and Tonton Jojo (as they call themselves), who send a message the day before or just hours before announcing the place and time where the next call will be made. 

"When it began, about two years ago, there was a small group of about ten or fifteen people, and little by little that nucleus got bigger, people talked and then enrolled in the lists and then the rumor circulated for everyone. sides and quickly was aware, "he told Efe Ballion. 

In each milonga about 50 couples of all ages participate, who sneak in from all corners of Paris and who are always attentive to leave quickly when the police threaten to seize the music equipment they use to dance. 

"In general, the police are very understanding, we do not come to fight, we come to dance and have a good time," says an Italian tango girl of about 70, who prefers not to identify herself but confesses with mischief that when the agents arrive to cancel the dance "they run away" quickly from the place. 

Young people are also present, attracted by tango for different reasons, such as the one given by a young Algerian who lives in Paris and who knew the River Plate dance through the film "Perfume de mujer", when Al Pacino danced to the sound of " Por Una Cabeza". 

"I am a guitarist and for a long time I was interested in Argentine folklore, like the chacarera, and then I wanted to play tangos, but in order to do that I first had to learn to dance, and now that I dance it I do not play it anymore," the young man told Efe. 

Another tango player, about 40 years old, who participates in these milongas from the beginning and approaches several times each week, confesses that illegality adds a "spicy element" and "rekindles interest" in dance. 

For this man, of French nationality, tango is an addiction: "It has a great emotional charge, with the couple and with the music, and it transforms our lives". 

Such is the success of the illegal milongas that the organizers no longer seek the permission of the authorities, but prefer to keep this transgressive aspect and organize them in the places that occur spontaneously. 

"It must stay that way, wild, pirate and improvised, we do not want to ask for the necessary authorization from anyone," says Ballion, who adds the benefit of making them in the open air because they are free: "We do not want anyone to have to pay to come to dance tango. " 

When choosing the best place in Paris to dance, opinions agree that there is nothing better than the floor of the Opera Garnier esplanade, in the heart of the city, and also the Trocadero marble surface, which makes it possible to glide more easily and under the watchful eye of the Eiffel Tower. EFE

Hidden Milonga Miami Beach
a clandestine milonga 
every 2nd Saturday
organized by Lorena & Luigi

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