I’m revising this page as of August 2020. In truth, I rarely went dancing tango in the last few years; but it’s not hard to see what’s going on with the scene here, with all the available social media. In any case, verifying all my links here surprised me a bit, where my “Thumb’s Up!” blog was concerned. (i.e. a lot more available material of twits with their thumbs in the wind)
Anyways, this “best of” page is according to one person only, me. ;-)
Best community YouTube channel – tangogaga (http://www.youtube.com/user/tangogaga)
Best blog – You’re reading the best, Graffiti Tango. History, truth, empirical data, realist perceptions, outstanding opinions, diversity, comedy, lotsa descriptive words & goodness grammar, etc. ;-) I used to be gracious and give this space up to other contributors, but they’re so ‘suburban’, both were women… “wine moms”, “karens”! good gawd… tango is supposed to be about passion, not the “boutique left” whining about all sorts of idiotic topics – https://graffititango.com/bomt/caveat-best-blog/
Best aspiring musician (well, she really made it! woot!!) – Mélanie Bergeron
Best writer – Pierre Monette (bar none! this guy’s a true artist of the written word)
Best dance floor surface – Rialto (2nd floor)
Best couple, combined talents – Noel Strazza and Pablo Pugliese
Best regular outdoor event – Tango Libre in Verdun
Best festival – Tango Libre’s international tango fest
Best choreographer (theatre) – no one; no one has done theatre work for over ten years.
Best choreographer (dance hall) – no one, neither male nor female. First of all there are no men here attempting this craft. Mylène Pelletier made some efforts to become a choreographer years ago, but she had too much on her plate. She gets points from me for trying though!
Best female dancer – Noel Strazza
Best male dancer – Pablo Pugliese caveat: he has all the ‘technical’ know-how, however I find his style uninteresting mostly because of its inherent partner disconnect.
Best music collection – Keith Elshaw
Alternate music collection – Guy McCrea (ummm, is he just repeating what Keith has already done?!)
Best tango photo collection – Maryline Ulysse
Best professional stage show (new century) – “Actus Reus”, eXtempore danse
Best professional stage show (old century) – Déviation, Graffiti Tango
Best studio show (recent) – I couldn’t say
Best studio show (past) – I shouldn’t say ;-)
Best all-time community initiative – (tie) Robert Blais and his Les Pas Parfaits gang, a brilliant collaboration with Véronique Paquette! (and) Dominique Péladeau for his amazing work in the 90’s with “Sur les traces du tango“!!
Best butt female – each to his/her own; but you know what the Latinos say… ‘donde hay carne, hay fiesta!‘ ;-)
Best butt male – each to his/her own; but I remember a guy who stipulated that his made-to-measure pants had no back pockets! oh yeah baby!! ;-)
Best feet male – you tell me; I’m much too disappointed (especially with guys that ‘boast’ a background in ballet or modern dance)
Best traditional tango – Jessie Faye and Bryant Lopez
Best innovative tango – Pablo Pugliese and Noel Strazza for eXtempore danse’s “Actus Reus” 2010 & “Madness Tango” 2009 (special mention: Nancy Lavoie for Avenue Tango’s ville de Qc community show “tabac.ecstasy.alcool” 2013)
Best invited guest – Milena Plebs (thanks to Tango Libre 2003 and Air de Tango 2012)
Best tango background, professional – Pablo Pugliese – Pablo never advanced to a full contract with a professionally recognized dance troupe. Still, I admire his youthful efforts in modern dance (long ago) and his Buenos Aires tango pedigree is without question
Best quote – “growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional” – LMFAO !!!
As a ‘contradiction in terms’ category, here’s a few of the ‘best fails’ of the past:
Best fail, dance hall – Le dancing Mocha Jo
Best fail, dance studio – Les Ateliers Tango
Best fail, organization – Graffiti Tango
Best fail, service-provider’s personality – (tie) Lily Palmer, Paul Montpetit (no links; if you’ve never witnessed the ‘best failures’ of these two in this category, consider yourself blessed ;-)
Best fail video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CxMa58gLIA – this is tough to watch, and I love these people!
Best fail business entrepreneurs in tango – Vivienne Coutant and Anne-Lucie LaMarde (honourable mention: Lynne Renaud)
Best fail, tango résumé (CV) Allyson (Brierly) Manta – If I ever put up a page of the work Graffiti Tango did to start the swing community here (1994-99) I’ll show you a (one-time) fun thing Allyson did with Mary and Fred Sarli. Other than that, do your own research into her ‘tango background’… such as videos of choreographic/artistic creation.
Best fail, fashion and dance ‘style’ – elephant pants and bowling shoes… for years!!! Is that guy still wearing them?! and his t-shirts advertising his needy nature?! I’m sure he’s still dancing his weird ‘neo-tango’ style that results in him spanning an 8′-wide girth across the line-of-dance, totally blocking elegant salon style couples. Stéphane and his ilk are good reasons for me to not go out dancing tango here in Montreal.
Best fail ‘milonguero’… aka Montreal’s #1 creep! has this puke ever creeped you out?! His most infamous antic of cowardice is to punch men in the back on the dance floor, while he hides behind a skirt. GT banned this emotionally unstable wanker from its premises in 1993 and in doing so was able to create and maintain a sophisticated social environment that no other provider has since repeated. Effectively, our refined (/defined) social setting meant that #1 creep missed out on much of the development of this community for at least ten years. Besides a plethora of weirdo offenses I could recount about this creep, he is best known for sweating like a filthy swine while he dances, pressing his greasy head and dripping nose against some poor victim while he holds her arm in a bizarre ‘broken-chicken-wing’ pose that he thinks is his ‘signature-style tango’. All that, while he invokes his weirdo ‘switcheroo!‘ feet-shit, to try and impress his newly-acquainted victims. You see, this creep only gets to dance with women new to the scene, or who are new to the city, and that don’t know him and his reputation. You’ll notice… none of the ‘leading ladies of Montreal Tango’ ever dance with this fucking skank. Truly. Check it out for yourself, or ask around. One reason is that he sweats profusely, because he’s so wound-up inside. He never learned how to dance with ease and poise, and he can’t control himself where grooming and social composure are concerned. In 2001 he came charging violently at me while I was seated at a table in La Tangueria with Elena Arengo. He was on the freakin’ dance floor! with a woman in his arms!! Good gawd. The poor woman had no idea what was going on, neither did Elena. When GT gave him the bum’s rush in 1993 he hired a lawyer to try and force us to let him into our premises; there are witnesses to that incident. (Hey Eric Chartrand, when you’re asking on Facebook about lawyers to go after me, you might want to ask ‘creepy‘ how that dip-shit ‘legal’ ploy turned out for him. ahahahahahah!$!$!$) FYI, me and #1 creep met in a court of law once in a case of copyright infringement. The judge listened to him for 30 seconds then told him to shut up and sit down. This is a matter of public record, which means I can give you the case # so that you can ask for a transcript. Anywaze… Graffiti Tango won!!! (remind him of that if you ever want to get under his skin ;-)
Best fail, hobbyist – (tie) Henri-Paul Brossard, for his smiley-face milonga at L’Academie circa 1998, and the “New Yorkaise” Anne-Lucie Lamarde for, well… fook all ! in the final analysis, she ain’t got nuthin’ much to show for herselfish where Montreal tango is concerned.
Best fail, professional – Joseph Bain (doh!)