I’ve come so far, only to watch tango die.
I sit in vigil at the historic Clärchens Ballhaus, where people have persistently come together to dance amid the ruins of Berlin for so many decades.
The dancers fade away, week by week. Their frailty shows in fewer and fewer efforts. This week they seem to do nothing much more than side steps in different rhythms. These sexy girls don’t realize how much more there is to want from a tanguero.
At my beloved’s bedside I guard his corpus against the authorities who seem to be practicing careless amputation (“ganchos aren’t tango”) and bizarre bloodletting (“voleos aren’t elegant“), justified with dishonest claims about tradition.
The repetition of sequences (fewer and less demanding each week) numbs the girls so that they have no reason to concentrate. Zombies collide in determination to complete their sequences because they don’t know how to improvise.
I stay awake to intercept the doping administered by ill- trained volunteers who appear in the night muttering insipid reactionary truisms ingrained by tango’s Fox Newscasters: “steps don’t matter, only musicality”, “don’t show off”, “you only need the embrace and connection”.
Anyway if all you want is the embrace, stay home and have tantric sex. Tango is something else entirely. It is the analytic and athletic method for spiritual unification of two beings. The girl’s sacada is crucial to balance the psychological dynamic of the dance, demanding of both partners the courage and trust that can only come from self-confidence. It is already gone.