WARRIOR

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Last July a crew of 17 dancers from 6 countries met in Berlin and brought to life a plan I had been refining for a long time.

For years I’ve worked to understand how we can be more effective in marketing tango to new people. We all know that most people come to tango initially as a dating alternative, but as Sven Else of Berlin’s wildly successful Milonga Popular has demonstrated, we have the best chance to resonate with some subset of that group, our own “tribe”.

My tribe is not Sven’s (young art students who like doing drugs in clubs). And it’s not divorcé/es – but most tango organizers are doing a very good job on that one. My tribe is athletes.

Years ago I noticed that the best Marks I’ve ever trained had martial arts experience, and yoga is the most relevant physical training for Revels.

As a yogi myself I yearn for my strength, flexibility, discipline, concentration, and openness to be witnessed and admired. I want social activities where that physicality is relevant, preferably something with more boys than I ever see in any yoga class.

I’ve never done martial arts, but I observe the same well-earned pride in skills of similar character. I also notice that most martial artists are guys, and presume they have the same yearnings to be so witnessed by girls.

Without a lot of alcohol or small talk.

For years I tried to make a plan of outreach to yogis and martial artists. Last year I met Cédric Tellier, kung-fu master, actor, tango and zouk dancer. The concept for this film unfurled before our eyes. Then an absolute dream team of cinematographers, dancers, and musicians joined with beautiful enthusiasm. I am so grateful for the trust everyone placed in me.

Herewith, is WARRIOR. As you probably know, there are several yoga poses named ‘Warrior’, and martial arts practitioners cultivate a spiritual warriorhood, even if they do not intend to fight anyone. The film is designed with cultural references to resonate with yogis and martial artists.

Developing these disciplined, solitary skills is a kind of warriorhood itself. As is getting through life. I have always believed that partnership would be the reward. Tango offers us the experience of unity through our disciplined bodies.

Yogis and martial artists are the folks I want to be dancing with in 5 years. You too? It so, please help me to get this film out globally to these tribes.

And please join me in thanking the crew: Cédric Tellier, Fabienne Butt, Jessica Förster, Thomas Conte, Max Thomas, Pez, Ines Catharina, Roberto L’Ange, Fritz Schadow, Sonja Witte, Eva Curtius, Alan Nguyen, Jaina Hirai, Rebecca Rainey, Camilla Fabbri, CJ Yetman.

Music by Abisko Lights

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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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