I have to believe that my 11 years of tango are not in service only to sexist retrenchment but to something liberating.
I think tango has shown me that there is indeed creative mystery to be revealed in our depths and that patient witness is what enables it to manifest.
My belief is controversial that the font of creativity is masculine and the witness is feminine. No one seems to be calmed by my claim that I (and everyone else) can alternately incarnate each power.
I have learned to be persistent in my visions.
Indeed as a visual artist, I had to be my own witness, laying the pens by the bed, insistently waking myself to draw. As the tango artist, my companion holds the world steady as I dive into the fire.
The Revel’s gift is her taut musculature and her capacity to witness contradiction, her comfort with the unknown.
Her readiness and companionship makes it possible for her Mark to reach for his unknown, to let forth profound, perhaps divine, creativity that he does not understand or control, and has not yet seen.
This is a sacred encounter.
There are two significances of this theory. One is about what we are doing in tango, and how we will do it, and whether the addicted women’s demands will destroy all that is sacred. Another is about the troubled post-feminist moment in which we are trying to figure out what to be.
So many men have told me that they don’t dare to show desire or generosity to a woman. So many women wait for a man’s love. In couples I watch women’s need to be smart and respected run roughshod over their man’s desire to gently and competently provide.
In private lessons, I teach men the difference between strength and aggression. I teach women to find a way between a fantasy fairy of lightness and an inappropriate egalitarian demand – a new feminine power, which I prefer to describe as angelic. Angels bring mortals’ dreams to life. Angels don’t flit around, they work. They are confident in their power, and trusted. They are magnetic and winged at once.
My masculine creative is well developed. He has been busy with careers and books, seeding projects around the world, and loving countless grandchildren. My tango man is new, and he has yet to find a partner who can help me find my depths. My feminine has been underdeveloped in my life and I meet her for the first time on the dancefloor. Her power to set men free interests me.
And I want to learn how to do it without dancing with people.