I’m learning about music, as it relates to tango. I’m not going to do any counting, or any playing. Mostly more listening and more asking questions.

So far the findings are preliminary:

  1. Get rid of the drummer. This is the boring part of rock and roll ballads. The electric bass can stay because he’s softer.

I have likened tango to a piano, explaining that the number of expressions is about the same, and therefore that tango dancing ought to be as diverse as piano music. Nevertheless, I don’t like piano music. Too light. I need much more dramatic sounds to get my emotions going – and that’s what tango is about, right?

This is not Nathan, no photos were permitted, but this is a good shot of the organ’s 6 keyboards!

I thought I liked organ. But then I received an invitation to listen to a concert of 6 composers played by Nathan Laube on the Berlin Philharmonie’s Karl-Schuke organ. I enjoyed watching the organ’s gills open and close and Nathan dance across the foot keyboard (!), but I was not able to appreciate or enjoy any of the music.

  1. I guess you can like an instrument, but that doesn’t mean you like everything people do with it. And that’s certainly how I feel about tango. (And how others feel about my way of dancing.)

Then I went to see Orq. Abisko Lights, in a venue too small for dancing, with a friend who was willing to talk about it.

He said “you really want to dance to this?” I said “already have”:

But the concert gave me a chance to listen and talk about what I was hearing.

There’s a piano, and drums (pretty quiet ones), and a cello and a stand-up bass. But this time the instrument who got my attention was the bass clarinet, played by Hannes Daerr.

That instrument is the sound of my legs weaving through the air.

And I wondered if that’s why I relate to this music as tango music and my friend does not. Is this the answer to why my Sydney milonga always had dramatically more Revels than Marks?

  1. Is it because Marks look for steps in the music?

I’m looking for the sound of flying.

I want you to know that you are not alone…

… neither in your dreams for tango nor in your frustrations.

My deepest desire is the same as all my students and friends … those who have yet to start dancing and those who dance a lot.

It’s partnership.

One thing I’ve learned on this quest, we need to:

Stop Waiting for Partners, and start Building them.

I’ve written a 10-step Action Plan.

Are you ready to find the Partners you want?




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