So I learn that my worst fears are true … The whole evening is structured around the proclivities of untrained girls. And the men who want to dance with them.
Most tango teachers don’t want this label, not only because it’s unpopular and bad for business, but because most of us did learn traditionally, and came to appreciate and love the music, the embrace, and the humor and charm of traditional tango…But those who unwittingly insult me with their compliments are also not wrong.
Tonight I have 80 square cm of paper with me, and it’s more precious to me than any man here. I am trying to figure out what to I’m seeing, staring at it, praying my desire will be kindled, but I cannot want any of these dancers.
She seems to be using tango to express herself, rather than reaching hungrily for ancient gender detritus. She seems to be using her whole body to the limits of her own possibility, rather than within a codified range of movement.
People attending this event have a genuine interest in tango being creative. To the extent that couples on the floor emerged from the depths to pay attention to one another, they seemed to feel enriched by others’ movements. Here, if you do something extreme, people smile at you.
If this were a serious project, I would be able to say “You need to move your arm so I can do my job here. Thank you. Ok let’s go rock the house.”
I love taking tango classes! I have an excellent memory for certain things (not numbers), and I find long sequences especially pleasurable to memorize. It’s funny when
The codigos exist to protect egos and relationships. They are really very handy, and I recommend you follow them. The codigos are like your best friend, who takes care of you when you are drunk.
These days in Berlin 50% of Marks do this sequence within 5 seconds that my eye lands on them. (I spent a couple of weeks sitting with my stopwatch in the milonga checking my perceptions.) Another 35% do it under 30 seconds. That leaves just 15% of the dancers in the milonga who are not doing this sequence ad nauseum… Not very many of the 15% are advanced dancers who are doing something else. When you look at the dance floor at any milonga, you see this sequence constantly, in dancers of all levels except rank beginners.
To reveal more to herself and to her partner, the Revel must abandon the safe ground of knowledge, prediction, sequences, familiar movements, and righteousness. Crucially she must abandon her surety that the best thing she can do is to pivot. Pivoting is how we try to be good girls doing the hard work… But if we abandon a claim on certainty, avoid arbitrary endings and stay open to the previous movement continuing to unfold, then we offer ourselves to divine creativity.
This was posted in February 2016 to the Milonga Popular/Tango Kollektiv Facebook Discussion group as part of a conversation about seduction in that milonga. (deutsche
The partners begin dancing autonomously, connecting their bodies to the music first, and then look for one another. They approach one another and begin to interact, still dancing autonomously. At some point, they connect. It might be useful to define the tango connection: It is a very particular power relation in which the Mark has creative power and the Revel has the power to manifest his spark.
DJ Elio Astor’s live mixes are improvised; Germain and I don’t know what the music will be or how long it will go on. The reality of dancing this way is very, very difficult. Not knowing what will come, we must continually leap into our interpretation of the music and one another. The demand to “trust thyself” is immanent. In addition to the unknown of the music, Germain is a contemporary dancer. So the matrix of movement possibilities expands dramatically beyond the already-rich tango lexicon.
I can feel the hunger of the women. I know that hunger for tango ecstasy. I know it as an addiction, as a wound, as a sweet balm. I know that dancing with them won’t be enough. I can give them my best and they will still be hungry. If I have any responsibility for the event, this sensation drains me to the point that I desperately want to lay down on the floor and go to sleep.
I made a series of interviews on behalf of the Berlin edition of Modern Tango World 2015. This is an overview, emphasizing the most interesting
- Advanced Dancers
- Buenos Aires
- Considering Tango?
- curated shopping
- Getting Started
- New Dancers
- other dances
- Secrets for Men
- Style Guide
- the Berlin interviews
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