Music in which the rhythm doesn’t make noise

postitleswirl

Junio KarokaroLast month we had the pleasure of dancing tango to the live jazz saxophone of Junio Karokaro. We did this with a small group committed to experimental tango. (If you’re sad to have missed out, send an email about it and we’ll be sure to invite you to the next one.)

We took a lot of breaks to discuss our experiences.

One thing we all felt was that this dancing was riveting. It took a lot of concentration and felt very satisfying.

For some of us, the lack of a beat was challenging. One leader said “I can’t use sequences, I have to lead one element at a time.” Others promptly felt comfortable with it.

Trying to be helpful, Junio tapped his foot, but we all found that a bit sterile – it lulled us into a beat without offering anything beautiful in return. So we asked him to stop.

Nick commented that while marking he felt he was following the musician much more attentively than usual.

The revels said they were paying much more attention to each movement.

That made sense because I had noticed right away that I had time to think. The revels had nowhere to go musically, so they didn’t go anywhere, allowing me a much greater degree of control than I usually experience. I also felt far more experimental and creative than usual. When we assented to Junio’s suggestion of  playing the backing track for one song, I immediately fell into all my usual patterns.

I found it very interesting that to this music I had no use for giros. I forced myself to use them to see why, and they felt rigid. Like they didn’t have enough nuance. Marks noticed we were using a lot of barridas and wraps.

Junio would tell us the tempo of each song at the start, but most of us couldn’t tell the difference between them once we were dancing.

Most interestingly, as we sat down for a break, Junio informed us that he was watching and improvising on the basis of our movements. He was working with us the way he’d work with another instrument in a band.

 

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…

See you at

Reflect and Train

and

Exercises from Maui

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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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