It's been both slow and busy for the past couple of months. Slow because of various factors (it's becoming too damn hot/humid for one) and busy because I can barely stop myself from going to tango class nearly every day. Seriously, we're talking 2-3 hours here during school nights, and I haven't even been to a milonga yet.
Part of the reason for this is because an Argentine maestro called Daniel Tuero (who has about 30 years of experience under his belt) came to visit last month for a three day seminar, so I decided to get as many classes in as possible in order to learn as much as I could. There's a whole bunch of vids of him on YouTube you can find. This is from a Moscow trip back in 2009.
Unfortunately the seminar wasn't the greatest in the world, as the overall skill level of attendees wasn't particularly advanced (продвинутая pro-dvi-noo-ta-ya), meaning Tuero had to keep things relatively simple. What was great, though, is that I booked a private lesson (индивидуальный урок in-dee-vid-you-al-ni ooh-rock) with him.
Yet as with any person who has studied or performed some sort of activity for far too many years, it was more of a philosophy lecture than me learning how to do something stupid like a backflip (those don't occur during normal dances anyway). Even though this is a no-brainer, Daniel pretty much reiterated that "it takes two to tango."
In other words, after watching me dance for a while, he explained that I wasn't thinking about my partner. On paper doing this is pretty obvious; in practice it can be quite hard, because there's a great tendency to want to show off and flick your legs around like a pillock - all the while ignoring the fact that you may not be leading properly, or that you're holding her in an uncomfortable manner, or that your posture is off, or that you're not even paying attention to her at all. I am guilty on all of these points.
In other news I flagrantly abused my connections with another one of my friends and invited myself along to the Fast Five (Форсаж 5 Fore-sazh Pyat) press premiere at Moscow's Oktyabr theatre, which is pretty much the major cinema in the center of Moscow, located on the Novy Arbat. Why would I do such a thing, you might ask? Two words: Vin. Diesel.
Excuse the lighting on this video, the cinema was a bit dark at the time, but the audio is fine.
Tagging along were first-timer Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (of WWF fame) and regular co-star Paul Walker. As you can see in the video, it's kind of ironic that, despite The Rock's penchant for theatrics in his previous career, it was Vin Diesel who was hyping it up.
But what was even more bizarre was the fact that the person interpreting for the three was Dmitry Glukhovsky, who is the famous sci-fi author of the Metro 2033 series of books. In the video he introduces himself (in Russian) along the lines of "Well, yeah, I'm more known for writing those books - but I also like fast cars!" (In truth he's worked a bunch with Universal Pictures in the past helping out with localization).
As for the film itself, it's completely stupid. Totally and utterly utterly stupid. In a good way. I really haven't laughed so goddamn hard in the cinema in quite some time. Fast & Furious films are not high art by any means, and they don't pretend to be. It has also toppled 300 from the podium of "most homoerotic endeavor on the silver screen" too. I'm mildly concerned about Vin Diesel's physical condition, though, because in the film he looks terrible - and not as a result of his acting abilities.
And that "hint" Vin Diesel is referring to in the video? Yeah, they're shooting Fast 6 here.