A couple of years ago I was having a drink with a friend at the National Theatre, we arranged to meet on the 1st floor gallery and when I arrived I saw my friend standing by the balcony engrossedly filming what was going on below with his camera phone. What he was filming was beautiful.
You see the National had got in a singer and pianist called “The Tango Duo”, who (unsurprisingly) played and sang incredibly passionate tangos (and the female singer? Muy caliente). The amazing thing was the the crowd of very prim and embarrassed middle class elderly gentlemen and ladies crowded around the performance had burst into spontaeneous tangoing. Couples who were clearly in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s got up and busted out their old dance moves, often with less passion and more amused awkwardness than the singer, but always with a genuine sweetness and enjoyment of the dance.
One couple in particular where adorable. White haired, but splendidly bedecked in matching black and red outfits (the gentlemen wearing especially dashing shiny red and black leather shoes), this couple brought out some steps, kicks and spins that belied their years and they were both so very lost in the dance, as if remembering the steps after many years, and as if they were remembering the younger versions of each other as they did so (or it’s possible they were remembering the other people they’d danced the tango with when they were younger, we weren’t sure).
It was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen.