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Istanbul continued…

This city is so embedded with ruins and history everywhere you go.

This city is huge 1539 square kilometers (594 square miles)

And it’s history has over 2000 years going back to the Greeks, Romans, and the Ottomans before becoming the city known as Istanbul. For many years this city was previously known as Constantinople until
the 1930’s when the Republic of Türkiye was founded.

Just a bit if history to remind us how quickly times does fly. We have been living here for 3 weeks.

This city is huge!!!
I think 20 times bigger than Buenos Aires.
10 times bigger than New York

To visit a friend of mine on the other side of the city it takes about an hour and a half on the bus which is faster than a taxi and much cheaper.

We have danced in a few local Milongas in the city outskirts and just finished the Sultans Tango Maraton.

Pretty exhausted after 6 days of dancing tango, but happy and content with sore feet, but not too many bandaids.

We look forward to dancing at more local Milongas on both the European and Asian sides of the city.

After experiencing Sultans I felt that I should pass on some observations about the Sultans Tango marathon.

The event was at the Dedeman hotel, uphill from the Bosphorus Straits in Beyoğlu. The rate for room and maraton was reasonable, plus a great location with lots of restaurants close by.

We invited a local friend to the festival and this was her first large event.
As a new tango dancer, she found the experience a bit overwhelming…
Totally understandable.

But for me experienced tango dancer and out of towner, it was not the typical maraton.

These are my observations:

The crowd is predominantly under 40 and very cliquish.
The quality of the dancing is pretty rough as a line of dance is not observed and on a crowded floor, folks are doing high boleos and lots of running into other couples . Wanted to sharpen my elbows.!!!

Mostly dancers are using open embrace, but there were a couple of amazing close embrace dancers.

Musicality is a bit different than BsAs, as I don’t think the lyrics are understood and ergo the mood and rhythm of the dances.

To get a cabeceo was not easy and was almost impossible as the men here, I learned do not like to be cabecoed, but they will continue to stare at you after receving your cabeceo as you are invisible. A bit unnerving and perhaps at a marathon this is what happens when you are over 40.

Met a few other experienced dancers from Italy, Canada and the US, and chatted with them and discovered they had a similar experience.

This is so sad, as the folks I spoke to will not return to Istanbul to dance. The Milongas here are usually intimate and marvelous. Great dancing, very friendly to newcomers. In the past visits I have met some fabulous milongeros here.

Luckily, there is the Turkisk version of Hoy Milonga here. And in looking at various days there are about 5 events a day, not 25 like BsAs.

And here planning is very important as the distances are very great, but luckily public transportation is cheap,
7 ₺ each way.

Photo by
Tango Dancing from Istanbul

We will dance on Asian side on Wednesday night, very exciting as the Milonga/practica hosted by Hassan Gogani.

This man was the first Turk that I danced with 5 years ago, on my first visit to Istanbul. Hassan is an wonderful and kind dancer and teacher.
He hosts a practikas on Wednesday and a Milonga on Saturday, but they are not listed on Hoy Milongas.

Probably tango politics at play here as in other cities, which is sad but particular to human nature and unfortunately to tango.

First installment of life in İstanbul…more to come. Abrazo y besitos till then.


Published by ruthoffen

Created by, Ruth Offen the founder/director of WaterWorks Gallery, a gallery opened in 1985 to showcase contemporary artists and jewelers that live and work in the Pacific Northwest. After 37 years, I have decided to spend more time enjoying life by dancing tango all over the world, traveling, continuing to develop my photography. Over many decades of amassing a personal art collection, now the process of downsizing is becoming a reality. How do we have more with less? Staying true to the motto, unencumbered by our possessions and not burdening our children with our stuff. This next process will take patience and courage. On the road to happiness. Its' the journey that counts!

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