Of Retrospect and a tango in Second Life

Ocho Tango Place; Inara Pey, October 2018, on FlickrOcho Tango Place – click any image for full size

I last wrote about Ocho Tango Place in 2015, as a part of a visit to artist Mistero Hifeng’s gallery space and store. The club and Mistero have long shared a Homestead region, and they still do; but while I’ve written about Mistero’s gallery in the intervening years, I’ve not been back to visit Ocho Tango Place since 2015.

Focusing on the tango, Ocho Tango Place is billed as a location for milonga and romance. At the time of my 2015 it sat atop a plateau above the rest of the region hosting it and Mistero’s gallery. However, whether this continued to be the case after September 2015, when both Mistero and Ocho Tango Place relocated to their current home is unclear.

Ocho Tango Place; Inara Pey, October 2018, on FlickrOcho Tango Place

What is clear is that today, both club and gallery now share a more integrated space. The latter has always used water in its design, and this continues through to the half of the region used by Ocho Tango Place, as designed by Megan Prumier and Sheerpetal Roussel, who owns the club.

Located to the east of the land, the club sits as an island of brick and stone – a former railway station – watched over by the tall figures of steel pylons silently carrying power lines. A terrace before the building offers outdoor seating, a wooden walkway reaching out over the shallow water to the landing point. A locomotive with tender and rail cars can be found at the rear of the club, venting steam as it sits on a single track.

Ocho Tango Place; Inara Pey, October 2018, on FlickrOcho Tango Place

Trees – most of them slender and birch-like – and grass mixes with the water across the rest of the setting, form  moist islands stretching to the horizon. The are broken into small groups by both clear water channels and the parallel lines of rail track as they curl around the parcel to arrive at buffers, the iron fingers of street lamps marking their route.

In the midst of this, a lone sandy hump rises bearing a denuded tree. Draped with blankets and with blankets and cushions beneath, it is one of several places people can sit and pass the time, along with the club’s terrace and upper floor. More can be found scattered across the parcel (and even higher up – check the power lines!). Further to the west is an outdoor events area lies over another low-lying sandbank offering a place for those seeking a little romantic privacy whilst dancing.

Ocho Tango Place; Inara Pey, October 2018, on FlickrOcho Tango Place

Wildlife in the area takes the form of origami flamingoes standing in the water or circling overhead, presenting a slightly surreal, but fitting aspect to the setting for those who fancy exploring it. They are balanced by a family of ducks enjoying the freedom to swim on the waters beyond the club to the east.

I’m not sure on when events are held at Ocho Tango – there is no events board available, and while there is a dedicated group for the club, it didn’t have any details of past events when I checked to offer some frame of reference. However, the audio stream carries music in keeping with the theme of the club, allowing those wishing to enjoy a dance to drop in and pass the time whenever they wish.

Ocho Tango Place; Inara Pey, October 2018, on FlickrOcho Tango Place

Coupled with Mistero’s gallery space alongside it (with TP to his store), a visit to Retrospect and Ocho Tango makes for an engaging visit, mixing art and dance together in a visually striking setting.

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