JewelLove: Jewel Lab’s Valentine to You + JewelLiveLab Debrief

postitleswirl

THANK YOU so much for experimenting with Owen and me in honor of our birthdays and one year of Jewel Lab.
The response to the Jewel Lab music survey indicated that people are keen to dance to live music, and to non-traditional tango, and last night was our first attempt to do both of those things at once. I am thrilled that so many people opened their tango to this possibility.
But it sure was an experiment. And I learned a lot. I try to debrief everything, and I do it by analyzing what rocked, what rattled, and then make notes about what to change for next time.

What rocked

  • Everyone’s enthusiasm for letting new music into their tango.
  • DIY Cannoli was lots of fun. You all ate 2kg of ricotta! Thanks to Owen for this brilliant suggestion.
  • Hotel Colombian found us some more water pitchers!
  • Andrew and Miles on the door, Elly on the camera, Owen’s fabulous tracks, and Nick as always everywhere I can’t be.
  • I had an excuse to dress up.

What rattled

Personally, I was disappointed in the music, and I blame myself entirely. I didn’t understand that Fernando has a diverse repertoire and I needed to be specific about my experience of his music when we first danced to him at a bar. On that night he was playing blues and soul, no Brazilian music. It was much slower and had more complex and interesting layers. I didn’t spend enough time communicating with him about what I wanted in the music. During the sound check, he played Ray Ray, which was exactly the kind of music I had in mind. Then suddenly during the performance, there was all this Brazilian music. I don’t think everyone agrees with me, but I found the Brazilian rhythms very uninteresting to dance tango to.

Another problem was that I asked Fernando how long his songs were so that I could plan the evening and he said they’d be 4 minutes. Based on that information, 4-song tandas made sense. But in truth many of his songs ran up 8-9 minutes, which is ok, but 2-song tandas would have been better in that case. At our briefing last night, he reiterated the songs would be 4 minutes, but he must just have no idea how long he is playing. Which is entirely reasonable, but didn’t work for us. So this is something I will have to flag when working with musicians in the future.

For me and Owen for the other leaders I’ve talked to, it was very painful to witness and participate in the fact that so many of our follower friends didn’t get to dance very much. I had a rare night of following. And although the leaders present made a valiant effort to get to everyone, it was impossible.

It was striking to notice that so many more followers are keen for alternative music than leaders.

What to change

  • I need to learn the correct terminology to talk to musicians about the kind of music that will work for tango.
  • I need to help musicians understand that length of the song matters, like, a lot.
  • I want to learn about what is going on with gender numbers and see what I can do. I promise that this will be a priority in the next few months.

Once again, thank you for being that big, bright, multi-faceted jewel that you are.

Love,

Vio

I want you to know that you are not alone…

embrace orig crop

… 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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2020 TangoForge

6-19.February Wellington NZ
7-9 February Bruges Neo Tango

…DISTANCE…

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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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