TangoForge AU news September 2014

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To my dear tango students and friends in Australia,

I have just returned from seven weeks in Europe, mostly Berlin. You can read my very rough and typo-strewn fieldnotes here. I’ll write more formal thematic posts in the next few weeks.

As many of you know, tango is my second career, and a labour of love for me, as for most non-Argentine teachers. We do not go into it because it is the best job available, but because we are so deeply moved by it. Like many of my compatriots, I look back on a career with a salary and paycheck, a nice house, great kitchen equipment, a big car with leather seats… I often feel crazy that I am living so precariously, and with so little, although thanks to amazing friends in the tango community, I always had a place to sleep and wine to drink.

The dream most of us share is to find the perfect partner, with whom we can dance for hours absorbed in bliss, reach new heights of artistic expression, and collaborate to build a school in which our students will thrive.

I believe I have found such a partner. We were both immediately moved by the experience of dancing together, so much so that at one of our first encounters we danced for more than two and a half hours, without pause or conversation. Later, when we did talk, we discovered that our pedagogies and philosophies are also remarkably in sync. One of the most striking qualities of this extraordinary dancer is that he “wants to work with an equal”. It was exactly the rarity of this attitude that caused me to give up searching for a professional partner several years ago. Roberto has invited me to come to Berlin to work with him!

It is almost unthinkable to leave you and the life and community I have so painstakingly built here. But having worked so hard in tango, I feel I must try to do it at the highest possible level.

I will return to Berlin in November for several months to try the partnership.

So that gives me two months to work and play with you before I go…

Work

Privates and semi-privates

During this period, I will relax my no-weekends policy, and accept private lesson bookings 7 days a week for your convenience.

I will run one more set of semi-privates (3 people), one for marks and one for revels. These are held at the convenience of the participants, so just let me know that you’re interested and I’ll manage the scheduling. The first three dancers of each role to register get it. Semi-privates are structured series of four sessions providing a comprehensive tour of my pedagogy through intermediate level. Every student dances every concept with me so I can make sure you understand it. The cost is $150 per student for four sessions.

To book a private or register your interest in a semi-private, send a text to 0478 397 203 or email office@tangoforge.com.

Weekend workshops

Belatedly following on the popular workshops last spring, I will hold two Sunday workshops at the Colombian, to revisit the arch of connection, gentle ochos, and easy voleos. Once these are scheduled, online registration will be open.

Jewel Lab

Will finish some experiments and launch some very exciting new ones… Watch for the news…

Play

I especially hope to see you at Pablito’s on Friday 5 September and 3 October, at Tángalo’s last gig before BsAs on 14 September, Nick’s Birthday at Jewel Lab on 30 September, and a special party just before I go on 28 October…

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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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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