1 ene 2008 - SATD (another tango neurosis).

Winter seems to be that magical time of year that saps the desire to tango. I've been feeling pretty burnt out lately, and in retrospect I have gone through tango funks during this season for the past few years. In conversation and in observation of noted absences it seems I'm not the only one. Also, when I was in BsAs this past June the tango scene was particularly slow. (I asked my friend Negracha, a prominent milonguera, if it was always like this at this time of year and she replied that while it's usually slower it was particularly bad this year). Porteño y Bailarin only had one of their dance floors open, and La Nacional had no more than ten people in attendance--including the performers--on the two separate occasions I visited.

What is it about winter? Is it that we're all just tired and cold and would rather stay at home? I think it must be more than that, because that wouldn't account for the blah feeling once we've--or at least for me--already made the effort to go out.

Right now, it's more than just an emotional/inspirational funk for me, though. Lately I've been having increased difficulty concentrating. Not just on my partner or even my own movements, but with the entire floor, the people around me, and even the music which I'm generally pretty familiar with. It's probably the last that is most troubling. My expression has trickled to a feeble vocabulary of utilitarian movements and my dance dynamic has been flatlining. I can't even remember most of the myriad possibilities that I've learned over the years, and what's worse I can't even seem to open myself up to exploring new possibilities, or even feel curious at transitional moments in the dance where ideally I'd think "what if?" And in milonga I can't play with the rhythm like I used to, I can't even seem to connect to the habanera on a basic level.

All I can do at this point is ride it out and trust that it will pass. But there is a part of me that wonders, do I even care all that much if it does, or does it really matter? (Obviously, the answer is yes to both if it's an issue at all, even if it's not for some part of my psyche). This part of me, the voice of apathy, has hindered me in just about everything I've ever gotten involved in. I'm sure it's the same story with everyone. I'll discover something and get really excited about it so I pursue it with brio, then all of a sudden the fire just peters out and I more or less just drop it. So far, tango has been one of the longest-lived of my passions and I guess that makes it more precious in a way, makes me more codependent on it. Because without tango I have no idea what I'd really feel passionate about. And a life without passion... well, the poets and the philosophers and the grand storytellers have expounded on that subject a lot better than I can right now.


So last night was the New Year's All-nighter at The Beat, and a grand time was had by all. Lots of ladies looking lovely, decked up in their fancy evening dresses and assassin heels. Dapper gents in their status wear. Me in my "once a year" suit, more for show than for practicality and comfort. Rina spiffed up the place with lots of little details, streamers at the entrance and various decorations hanging from the walls, and generally kept things functioning efficiently with that "Russian matron" energy of hers. Michelle kept the food stocked and presented with flavor and flair. The djs--Alli, Dan and Ben--keeping the energy moving in ways that were never predictable. Champagne at midnight, a somewhat timid rendition of Auld Lang Syne (assisted by a big poster of the lyrics put up by the always-thinking-ahead Dan), circulating kisses and best wishes. Coffee and cake at two for the ever grateful, fading diurnals. Me dancing relatively poorly with good partners and enjoying it nonetheless, just glad and appreciative for the sharing. I blame the aforementioned funk and the suit and the shoes and the fact that I did a leg workout the day before and my back was killing me. Those don't sound like excuses, do they?

At any rate, I wish everybody a great 2008, may your good tandas last five songs and your bad ones last two :)

No comments: