Warm humour and wry observation

Lady dressed artistically with long dark hair and blue dress pulling on flat dance shoes while seated. A handbag and tall tango shoes are to her left (our right) and the other flat ballet shoe to her right

Lorna V in character as Aliki Mbakoyianni, (c) Carole Edrich 2018

I first met Lorna many years ago at a milonga venue that is no longer extant. Both there to dance, we didn’t talk that much, but we got on well, swapped contact details that neither of us used and continued to bump into each other sporadically at tango events. I don’t remember much of the meeting apart from that we sparked off each other, that she was also a journalist, that she was warm, articulate, friendly and that she had wonderful thick dark hair.

Some time after that meeting I got an aggressive form of breast cancer and the chemo, while it fixed the cancer, left me with lasting disabilities that result in a permanent brain fog and variable-level fatigue. Life moved on around me. I knew she had performed somewhere, in something, but barely had the bandwidth to keep house home and work together so wasn’t able to attend.

Then we came to this year and suddenly, surprisingly the brain fog is lifting. I started clocking Lorna on Instagram and facebook, watched intriguing snippets of her dance practice and the development of aspects of what I assumed was behind her latest work, and probably made a comment or two.

Then, in one of those wonderful moments of serendipitous coincidences, I bumped into her rehearsing in the studio next to where I teach!

As a blogger, she told me, I was welcome to attend. It’s about time I started redeveloping my social life so I jumped at the chance. I also took my camera because – well, you never know.

What a wonderful, fun-filled evening I had! I’ve been struggling with how to write about it since. Examples or plot description would be nasty spoilers and I want others to discover her work with the sense of surprise and delight she gave me. What I can tell you (because others have) is that Lorna played a fading Greek-Argentine dance star turned guru-to-the-stars who dragged me through her character’s hilariously idiosyncratic view of dance and cultural history and introduced some warmly wry perspectives on politics, ageing, love and life.

Lorna, this post doesn’t do your work justice. It’s a cop-out. I’m sorry. You spoke to me through – and about – some of the things I most care about, gave back a much needed humorous view on life and I’m sure that in months to come I’ll still think back and smile.