19 sep 2008

A quick post to remember the wonderful dancer Omar Vega...

I only met him a few times, the first in BsAs at the milonga 444 Maipú. My good friends Negracha and Diego were performing that night and he was one of the few attendees that weekday evening. He seemed very quiet and reserved and sat by himself, but N & D told me that he was a different character once you get to know him. We watched him on the floor and marvelled at his ability to play with the rhythms, all the tiny syncopations he could insert between the follower's even steps without disturbing her in the least. It was like skipping stones over water without making ripples. They introduced me to him but I couldn't say much because of my severely limited castellano. So I sat silently, trying to be present but unobtrusive as they bantered and gossiped back and forth. After the milonga we went to a café where they continued to joke and talk smack about other characters they knew at different milongas. At this point Omar was pretty animated, making rude comments and talking in duck voice as they munched on sweet medialunas and coffee. I was feeling kind of like a wet rag so I wished them a good night and headed home. I was glad to have met him but didn't think I'd made much of an impression.

Some weeks later, I saw him again at La Viruta. I doubted he'd remember me at all so I didn't want to trouble him, but when he saw me he approached me and shook my hand. That was one of the really special moments I remember from that trip. Along with the rest of the tango community I will miss his presence and his influence on all of us who are followers of the dance and the culture, but am so grateful to have made his acquaintance, to have seen him dance, and to have had the opportunity to study with him.

1 comment:

Frances R said...

I feel honored that I have gotten to meet him, and dance with him.
May he rest in peace.