Addictions are harmful in various ways, but never 100% harmful. In other words, most addictions involve some dimension(s) that are normal, reasonable, and healthy – such as having a sense of belonging to a community, creating a sense of identity, and having profound and intense experiences. Behavioral addictions usually involve an experience of personal development, building skills and expertise.The fact that tango has healthful and meaningful aspects, including a rich social life, engagement with cultural heritage, skills-building, and artistic expression does not obviate dangerous addiction.
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.
“The minute you call something a Tradition, you’re declaring it dead. Because you’re saying that it’s a static thing, that there is only one definition…” Chef Ed Lee goes on to explain what many Chefs have had to learn about their French training, “Tradition is technique.” To become great chefs, they had to use that technique to express something personal.
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 […]
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.
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.
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 feels like [Hollywood] Movie Sex looks: smooth, passionate, consuming. This experience is so intense that it can trigger romantic emotions, the sensation of being in love – even though […]
Congratulations! After years of hard work, you are now mastering this dance! You can make girls feel really good and happy. Girls are starting to look for you, snuggle you, hang around you. This feels great! You’re a nice guy; you are not planning to use your newfound advantage to become a womanizer, but you […]
The trail grows cold. Ecstasy is an endangered species. But the dogs’ eyes glitter with hunger. Their frantic trotting exhausts me. They become aggressive…The party endures, heavy-hearted, addicted to a thrill who may never breach again.
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 things I learned, with links to the original interviews. “Erfahrungen machen” is a common German phrase, which translates as “making experiences”. The long history of tango here in Berlin has […]
The New Victorian boys like to say that they don’t need a big vocabulary because it’s all about the music and connection with the partner. And those dancers who do still use the entire tango repertoire are accused of not caring about connection and emotion in the dance. “The music is leading,” say the New Victorians, one of several truisms by which the New Victorians glorify simplistic dancing. None of these truisms necessitate eliminating movements.
The line of dance is not the only thing that circles. So do the arguments about tango. It feels more productive to use the term ‘spiral’, because then we feel we are getting somewhere, either spiraling out away from the familiar territory, or getting in closer to the deep truths. Pick your direction. (But please […]
This is the beginning of a theory, about life, about dancing, about asking the big questions. I think we are faced with some choices about where to aim. The culture tells us that consumption will satisfy us, and money is what we need to make it happen. It doesn’t. We know we were put here […]
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. To call one of these gods their own. Tango feeds our hunger for recognition and love. And because it feeds so richly, it promises a font of fulfillment and satisfaction. […]
“Before … creating tango steps was all about inspiration … but now we have this tool. And I think many people call it ‘nuevo tango’ because they couldn’t understand how all those steps just appeared…they didn’t realize it was the same thing that they were looking at.”
The main thing to pay attention to when shopping and dressing is how a piece of clothing makes you feel. Notice if you are smiling, notice if you are twirling or tapping your feet. If this piece of clothing gives you joy and makes you want to dance, then it’s a keeper. If you’re feeling doubtful or self-conscious, take it off!