Out the Other Side

postitleswirl

I am (finally) writing a [non-fiction] book about tango.

Have you ever wrote about something so awful you had to close your eyes while typing?

I feel I’m doing what I need to be doing.

There’s a schedule. But this book wants to be written and it keeps pushing, keeping me working. It’s ahead of the schedule.

I knew addiction would be a theme.

Just in case you doubt this term is truly relevant to tango, check it.

I finally take a break and go to a milonga (where else would I go?) I’m in the back room of Milonga Popular. I drink good wine and argue with myself. But it’s such a special experience – they explore their bodies, they open themselves, they are vulnerable, they make something beautiful.

Heroin is a beautiful experience too. So is red wine.

That doesn’t make them not addictive. That doesn’t make the addiction not destructive.

Today, I googled “heroin addiction”.  From Drugrehab.com I learned that heroin “changes the way the brain operates” causing “cravings, impaired reasoning, and withdrawal.” Ok, well that was the condition I was in in 2010.

I also learned that the meaning of addiction is that “the drug becomes the center of their lives” and that “things they used to cherish lose importance.” Oops.

When I don’t know where else to go besides a milonga at night, I am like an addict who “can’t see a way to escape.”

Like heroin, tango can provide “short-term relief from stress, anxiety, or depression” but the body adapts, and then the addict is no longer feeling high, but feeling “trapped”.

In 2006 I met the man who I believe was my soulmate. In 2010 my addiction blinded me to him.

My experience at the time was that I wanted to be “respected as a dancer” and he didn’t give me that, for whatever reasons.

He did love and respect and desire me as a person.

Unfortunately, the way this planet seems to work is that you get what you ask for.

Now I am respected as a dancer.

And I am alone with my soul, and everything else.

Now I yearn to be known and loved for my personhood, for my intelligence, creativity, and style.

And what did I do when my addiction destroyed the most important and valuable thing in my life?  Spent the next 9 years shooting up.

And destroyed almost everything else of value that I had built in my life. I lost (or, threw away)my house, my career, my car.

I called it glamour, I called it entrepreneurship, I called it “art”.  I said that tango was keeping me alive. I took horrible risks. I endured bad situations. I withstood betrayal after betrayal by this thing for which I had sacrificed everything I had.

For what?

The hope of another hit. Failure of imagination.

 

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.

I invite you to join my resolution to take a look at the dark silences of Argentine Tango in our lives. It’s time.

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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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