Gender Notes

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No means no

Like women who would like to be able to say “no” or “not now” with just a gesture –twisting the torso away– and have that well-perceived by amorous dates, Marks would like to be able to say “no” with their eyes and body language, and not have to deal with a verbal or otherwise unavoidable request.

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The Merry-go-round

I watch the milonga. What are we waiting for? An angel to fall from the ceiling into my lap. Because none of these mortals here

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The strength of a Tanguera

This is a cycle we are all accustomed to. We tango dancers pride ourselves on managing our jealousy with strength, with retribution, with ritual games, with “codes” of etiquette.
We believe this strength and savvy calculus buys us something valuable and precious.

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Be an angel, not a fairy

Most women are paranoid of being “heavy” as dancers. They try to be “light”.  The result is actually that they disconnect, they break the arch

unknown beauty of creativity by pauloavida dyxlv

The Blog comes to life: Roles

The Revel’s gift is her taut musculature and her capacity to witness contradiction, her comfort with the unknown.

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Gender Liberation

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

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Black Magic White Tango

I believe that there is a black tango and a white tango, like black magic and white magic. If we recognize that tango is a powerful thing, then we realize we can use it for selfish purposes or generous ones. We can realize people who are using it in different ways. Tango is not this or that. Tango is power, and a practice for relating to other people. You wield it.

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Fairy dust

Femininity is always a fantasy. There is no lasting escape from our strength and men’s frailty. (There are other ways to understand it, but these moments are also rare.) The respite and pleasure you receive from tango is a precious gift, a facet, a moment of “altered perception”, and an addictive drug. Like every drug, like every addiction, it is not reality, it is damaging, and you will come down. To get real with this retrograde gender activity you’ve got yourself hooked in to, you need to decide that you are not going to suffer. And there are other ways than leaving the milonga when there are too many women.To stop suffering the absence of fantasy-ecstasy-femininity requires that you accept all of who you are.

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Better than Sex

When Argentine Tango is good –when the partners are able to maintain a sublime level of connection, moving as one– it is absolutely rapturous. It

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No Hungry Women

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.

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Martin y Maurizio: elevating revelations…

While most couples are stuck with a single gender performance, a gay role-changing couple can explore gender performance and its relationship to their dance with far more subtlety and interest. And it’s not so crude as drag. Martin and Maurizio always dress as two elegant men and they wear men’s shoes. It’s in the physical expression, how they move, how they touch, how they look at each other, how they define and play with power.

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The gender journey

I want to try to find a story of tango as a liberatory gender journey. For men, from fear of their own strength to sexual prowess to the decision to choose. For women, from inadequate object, to perfect femininity, and out the other side, beyond seduction and competition to a deeper power.

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Pathos princesses

There are these tango women,  the successes (“professionals”). They look intelligent and they look like they’ve given up a lot for this bit of glory. 

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Queer desires

I had some idea about what I would learn on this trip.  Predictably it is different. I am learning something about the construction of desire.

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Tango Vicioso at Insomnia

Tangotourist in Berlin, Summer 2014 Some of my friends said I must see tango at Insomnia and others spent 30 minutes trying to dissuade me.

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Renaming the Roles

A term sometimes used for the lead in BsAs is ‘marcar’, to mark. He is an artist, drawing in the dark. The role of the Revel is to bring his mark to life, to witness and celebrate his creativity, to give it back to him, a little more beautiful than he imagined.

Fabian Perez tango painting

So about Gender and Tango…

Gender play Tango is a a space where most dancers do gender more extremely than in the rest of life. This can be fun, it

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The reverse cabeceo

It’s when a follower does the man’s cabeceo to a leader. She walks directly up to him, establishes eye contact, and gives him a nod. Um…There’s more to the cabeceo than the repudiation of sound. Perhaps more fundamentally, it’s a repudiation of demand, from either party.

Romain Baillon Tango Photos

Expressing masculinity in tango

Tango is a chance to embody masculinity in a satisfying way, and in a way that fulfils women’s desire for certain romantic gender relations. We don’t want you to boss us around, but we do want to be admired and desired, to feel your masculine attention.

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Inhabiting the tango roles

If the leader doesn’t risk openness and vulnerability, if the leader falls back or contracts power, the follower has to extend too far across the emotional and physical gap. It’s very difficult for leaders to send their hearts forward, and much easier to pull the follower to them. This stance countermands a comfortable retreat to the intellectual side and requires a dramatic embodiment of an extreme and seemingly archaic gender role — the protector.

La Maria Tango Practica

Why we need Feminist Tango

A feminist tango is not anti-man in any way, but it is pro-woman. It means we give each other the same gracious generosity that we habitually and unhesitatingly offer to strange men. It means we give each other more, and what that more can be is open to the imagination of every woman who has suffered the unique and poignant pains of tango.

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What is Rainbow Queer Argentine Tango?

Queer Tango is a global movement to create inclusive and diverse space for Argentine Tango dancers. This means celebrating gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender dancers.

Tango is Drag

Gender, desire, and drag

This research note examines the unique possibilities that tango may create as it becomes queered, and identifies ways in which the extreme gender environment of traditional tango is already queer. I distinguish three layers of gender experience in tango: drag, object desire, and inhabitation of essence.

Duro y Vio

Tango: Reflections from one year in (before facebook)

If you are ok with meaningless, detached eroticism, desensitized from the emotions that normally accompany it, and seeking to avoid misunderstandings, entanglements, fluids, or diseases, tango is a way to get off several times a night for the rest of your life. And it’s an age-inclusive social space, where women become more sexy as they tuck decades of dancing into their girdles.

Themes

Important Insights

Books

Power is the courage, confidence, and competence to make things happen. I want to create in a way that’s incomparable and define my own compensation package. You too?

Syntax of Power is a raw, potent, and spare revelation of how I got to where I am and how I take on the struggle every day.

This book is not about tango, it’s about everything else.

It’s about stepping into the darkness of change, learning how to take care of yourself, and making things happen.

Dyv stands for Duro y Vio. We were inspired by a 2007 conference at Harvard University about tango as a transnational culture. Also we wanted to create something that would help people to imagine a queerer tango. We forbid ourselves to use the word ‘passion’ and instead tried to articulate the experience more precisely.

Argentine Tango is more than an elaborate and difficult dance, it is an international culture of intimacy, desire, and dignity. No mere romance or memoir, the intricately woven stories evoke tango’s true mysteries … the elation, the frustration, the compulsion…

We published the book in 2009. Dancers asked “how did you know what I was feeling?”

Silences in history. Silences by code. Silences of fear. You already know that Tango’s silences can be sublime and they can be devastating.

What I do in my blog is use myself as a lens – sometimes a microscope, sometimes a telescope. I try to be as honest with myself and you as words concede. Then I try to find a deeper meaning and imagine a pathway for us.

A blog post can be a fragment, a wisp of inspiration, an outline for thinking. A book must complete and reconcile it all. Now I drag the social scientist to the scene to enumerate the facts of the case, the mystery which brought both stardom and tragedy to my life.

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