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Saturday September 23, 2017
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Milonga Picante



the smiles stop. They step close to each other. She rests her face against his. His right hand presses gently but firmly into the small of her back, drawing her body close to his. Her right hand finds his left, and their fingers intertwine. Her left hand snakes to the back of his neck and rests there. Her eyes half close. They begin to dance to elegant, lilting trills of violins and tumbling arpeggios of accordions, making their way around the room. Like the other locked couples on the dance floor, they follow an invisible circle, sometimes following the beat — step, step, step — sometimes mirroring the complex rhythm, sometimes gliding on the melody. Then they're lost from view, obscured by the crowd. A few minutes later the music comes to an abrupt end, and across the floor, the movement stops on a dime. I find my couple. They remain in their embrace for a moment and then pull apart, chatting animatedly.

It's Saturday night at Milonga Picante, a tango dance party sponsored by the Michigan Argentine Tango Club — the U-M's only club devoted to Argentine tango.

Avik, a doctoral student at the School of Natural Resources, has been tangoing for two years. "I've always loved music — I played the violin — but dance? I didn't understand it, as a concept."

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