30 ene 2008

Still coasting on the lull in my tango energy. As such, there’s not much to say that’s tango related. It hasn’t been a total void, as I have remained active although to a lesser degree. Call it the depressive phase of the bipolar tango chemical stew.

Came late to The Beat on Monday after an overextended, after-work nap. Got a few dances, they were generally good initially but seemed to stagnate the longer they went on, mostly due to my lack of imagination, inspiration and/or trust in myself with dancers I haven’t worked with extensively. On the instances when Homer played some alt music I was completely lost. Later in the evening he apologized for throwing me off and I told him I just don’t know how to approach that kind of music. He offered instruction the next time we meet in a practice situation. Not to dismiss anything he has to offer but I don’t know how much my difficulties can be rectified by outside teaching. Certainly, part of my issue is due to a lack of appropriate dance vocabulary, particularly with music that has a languid tempo. But I think the bigger issue is that the music itself doesn’t really speak to me on tango terms. Compounding the problem is the fact that I’m not familiar with the music to begin with, which is a situation that would make even tango music challenging for me to dance to. Homer seemingly has no such difficulties regarding interpretation. He is what I would call a master of “the moment,” which is to say he’s incredibly adept at improvising movement as a spontaneous response to the opportunities that appear from his partners and from the music. His style is very much one of suggestion and dialogue. I would say that my synapses don’t fire in the same way. If Homer’s dance is like jazz, mine is more like classical—practiced, preconceived, emphasis on precision and unity of conception. When the unexpected occurs I often have some trouble readjusting. Usually that doesn’t result in a major break, but to my partner it will be noticeable that I had intended something different. Need to work on making these moments less disruptive.

Other tango events since my last post, in brief, include Cellspace (freezing cold, lots of traditional music on Ney's end), practice with A (productive and fun, as always), the 80/20 milonga (good energy, a fun demo with Colette and Richard which included a brief moonwalk), and the All-nighter at The Beat (lots of out-of-towners). Yeah, this is me on a tango slow period. Had plans to go out on Friday as well but I got into bed after work with the intention of taking a brief nap and didn't get up until about fifteen hours later. Guess my body was telling me something. Should have guessed since I had been struggling to keep my eyes open on the drive home from work the whole week previous. Never a good thing.


tangobaby said...

I'm guessing that Homer's been dancing many more years than you have? Or maybe he is so familiar with all or most of the music he hears that he can make as many variations and adaptations mid-stream as he wishes?

I remember when I was studying piano and playing scales and all I wanted to do was play Beethoven. I think we have so much learning and practicing to do before we can appear to be effortless in what we do.

And if you are still a little under the weather, that probably makes it a bit harder to be dancing at the level you want?

At least you know the things you want to work on, so you will get there someday. I hope it happens for you soon.

Malevito said...

Hey TB, how are you? Well, I think Homer's been dancing maybe two or three years longer but much more extensively, and with a much deeper interest in progressive forms of the dance. Though I am fascinated by these approaches (nuevo, neo, or whatever you want to call it) I can't help but be haunted by the ghosts of tango past, who I imagine evaluating me from beyond somehow. Someday I hope to find a way to reconcile the past and the future somehow.

As for interpretation, from what I've seen Homer can create moments out of music he's never heard before, which is a real talent. I don't know if you can teach that.

Yeah, I never got into scales either. My theory is terrible and I sight read at a near illiterate level. Still managed to get a little bit of Mozart and Schubert under my fingers, go figure. (Incidentally, I guess it's Schubert's B-day today).

As far as being under the weather, actually I can't claim that as an excuse since I'm in good health, if a bit groggy. But anyway, can we ever be dancing at the level we want? Isn't the dangling carrot the thing that keeps us walking? I actually hope I never get satisfied, because that's when I get restless and bored.

Hey, thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. Hope things are going well for you.