Kiss and Tango: Looking for Love in Buenos Aires
Publisher: William Morrow (June 28, 2005)
When 30-year-old Palmer announced she was abandoning her Manhattan apartment, ditching her stressful advertising job and leaving the unhappy singles scene to take up professional tango dancing in Buenos Aires, her upper-crust parents were understandably dubious. Of course, the tango isn't just a dance—it's a grand metaphor for sexual pursuit. Beginning with a nod from the man, signifying his desire for a particular woman, tango continues in a series of moves resembling stylized foreplay. After a few agonizing years of trying to combine her Manhattan day life with a tango nightlife, in 1999, Palmer moved to Argentina. She spent almost every night until dawn dancing at various venues, occasionally bringing home a partner, and her trials on the dance floor—aching feet, battered shins—were only compounded in the bedroom. After absorbing five years of diary entries, readers will feel at home with Buenos Aires street life and almost accustomed to the retrosexual politics of the tango scene, so when Palmer says things like, "I wish all men knew how I long to be treated like an object," they sort of know what she means. Although feminists may bristle, other readers may well enjoy Palmer's engagingly reckless spirit.
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang; New Ed edition (April 10, 1997)
Tango dancing is enjoying a rediscovery with concert performances such as Forever Tango and Tango Argentino, but this book by French author Evelyne Pieiller and Spanish photographer Isabel Muñoz makes no attempt to tell the Argentinian dance's history. Rather, it approaches its subject obliquely, with a long piece of fiction and a series of tango song lyrics, translated into English, and accompanying the book's centerpiece, a series of remarkable, glowing, mildly erotic photographs. All freeze the tango dancers in action: tangles of entwined limb tightly clad in stretched satin and fishnet, sweating, and not always just with exertion. The lyrics, presented here as poems of passion and betrayal, capture both the essence of the dance, and the sharp tang of the lifestyle that produced it. Rarely does a book capture pure mood so well--to exclusion of virtually everything else.