Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dancing through Freiburg

My next-door neighbor Olga and I shelved our original plan yesterday to go to a Sommerfest in Vauban, the eco-community in Freiburg. She has checked it earlier, yet all she saw were small children and pregnant women dancing. Maybe she must have gatecrashed into a children's party.

We had to go somewhere and leave the prison that is our dormitory room, and make the most of the dry weather. We walked to the general direction of the city center, letting our feet do the navigation. We passed through some sort of an Olympic event in the city that was winding down. The wall for climbing was already laid horizontally on a truck, while some booths were closing down and getting dismantled. As we walked farther, I saw a couple of marathon runners, who were most unlikely the winners of the race.

We found temporary solace for a couple of hours in a beer pub-cum-brewery, having no idea where to go precisely. Winding through the cobbled-stone alleys of the old town, we ended up in a church yard, unusually filled with people. A temporary stage was built in front of the restaurant sharing the same court yard and as we approached, we could already hear the unmistakable rhythm of Spanish music. On the stage were women swirling their hands and stomping their feet to the pasionate flamenco, and it turned out there was a dance fest going on in the city.
The flamenco was enough free treat for the Saturday. We overheard a woman tell her friend of another dance station. Olga and I got to the tango stage one block away. Here we tried our hand, or more appropriately our feet, on tango with some free lessons offered by a couple (the lady was pregnant. Was she in Vauban?). After stepping on my partner's feet and banging on bodies several times, the tango course broke into a recess thankfully. We decided it was enough and it was time to visit the salsa station. The salsa lessons were cooling down apparently, and shortly after we arrived, it hosted the finale of the dance course students (mostly older folks). Their demo was fantastic, and they must have persuaded a lot to enroll for a salsa dance course as they handed out the flyers of the dance school. We hurried back to the tango plaza in time for the performance of the professional dancers. Two consecutive couples wowed us of their sensual tango dancing. Live tango music started to play, and I held my partner near and tight, leading her like a random air molecule around our limited public dance floor . After countless missteps, we managed to sway to the tune of the band.

As we struggled on the dance floor, it didn't matter any longer if we were following the proper steps in the end. Olga, who is a better dancer than I am, recommended me to simply listen to the groove, follow the rhythm and enjoy. And enjoy I did of our groovy night.

Here's a horrible video clip of the flamenco...

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