Da Tango Tradition


Gert’s imagination was fired by hearing on the radio that the legendary tango composer Astor Piazzola would have liked to become a boxer, in spite of his limp, but  couldn’t compete with his childhood friends Rocky Graziano and Jake La Motta. Growing up in the mean streets of Greenwich Village in the 20’s he learned to defend himself against the local gangsters. At the same time, he was listening to jazz and classical music, which  became part of the ‘nuevo tango’ he  later invented, in the face of much criticism from followers of the classic tradition of tango music.

Imagine this:

Astor, known locally as Da Pizza, is wandering home early in the morning, breaking sometimes into a pasa doble and then into a bout of shadow boxing, when out from a doorway steps Slugsy ‘The Ear’ O’Halloran. He is carrying a rolled-up music score with which he shoves Astor in the chest, sending him reeling against a lamp post.

Slugsy: Hey, Asshola, you messin wit da Tradition?

Astor springs into a defensive posture, his hands up by his face.

Slugsy (unrolling the score): What’s wit dis shit? (hums a few bars mockingly)

Astor drops his hands and laughs mockingly: You never heard of a passacaglia?

Slugsy: Sure I have.

Astor: Yeah?

Slugsy: Yeah.

He drops the score and they begin to dance around each other, feinting.

Slugsy: A passacaglia, dogface, is a circulating bass line and harmonic sequence much used in baroque music.

Astor: You ain’t as dumb as you look.

They begin to punch each other seriously. Astor, bamboozling Slugsy by the use of cunning dance steps, knocks him down and stands over him brandishing the score.

Slugsy (cringing and covering his face): I don’t want no trouble, Pizza. But I’m tellin ya,  da outfit ain’t happy…

And it goes on however you want it to.


6 thoughts on “Da Tango Tradition

  1. What a brutal sport. My brother used to make me watch it with him but I always fell asleep. (a subtle way to avoid watching the boxing)

    1. Very cunning, Leslie. (But maybe you should have just punched him on the nose). I agree with you about boxing. If you’re going to get points for footwork, skill with your hands and fitness, as people claim, why not stick to fencing?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s