14 mayo 2008

Have been regularly attending David and Mariana's weekly advanced workshop which has been a lot of fun. One of the things I really like about them as teachers is that they propose a lot of modern concepts but always have a deep reverence for the traditional form and try to promote an approach that keeps it all in relation to one another. And also that they are careful to mention the appropriateness of certain possibilities depending on context, and to emphasize that their main objective is not to teach steps or elements but to broaden perspectives. Nevertheless, I'm sure that I'll see some of the people in the class trying out their big piernazos and whatnots on the crowded milonga floor. It's inevitable. I hope at least they try to be considerate of the space and their neighbors.

I was speaking with a friend of mine in the class and he was asking whether I would ever do any of the flashier elements in a milonga and I responded that it all depends. I'm not one to say never, but the likelihood is pretty slim. Even as I'm becoming more familiar with these beautiful and fun possibilities, at heart what I love most are the simplest things, and doing them well. That's my personal bias, and while I'm always open to change that's where I am at this moment. To me, it's kind of like Tae Kwon Do, where there are very few fundamental movements but the point is to hone them to perfection. Other people might be more drawn to, say, some wushu style with many different types of movements, which makes a much broader palette of expression. Truth be told, I like it all, and would love to be a master of everything. But when it comes to social dancing--which is the whole point, really--I am happy keeping it easy. An old tango cohort of mine put it in a way that I loved: to paraphrase, within a tanda you have about ten minutes with a beautiful woman in your arms. Why would you want to spend that ten minutes whipping her all over the place instead of holding her close to you?


tangobaby said...

Can you make that last sentence into a t-shirt and wear it to all of the milongas?

Amen, and thanks, Malevito!

Malevito said...

Hi TB, how are you?

I'm glad you found something that spoke to you in my post--certainly it seems we have similar ideas. But you know, even though it nicely encapsulates how I generally feel about tango in a social sense, far be it from me to dictate to others how they "should" approach the dance. Some people like to whip other people around, and some people like being whipped around. As long as they aren't bothering anybody else, I say more power to them.

And I do believe there is a time and place for things. If the moment ever strikes me to dance big and flashy and I can do it unobtrusively and with a willing partner, it would be a shame if I restrained myself for decorum's sake.

I just don't like to reduce tango, because in the end I'm not really reducing tango per se, but reducing *my* tango.

Alex said...

T-shirt! T-shirt! T-shirt!

msHedgehog said...

Sometimes I'm dancing with someone who can really lead the fancy stuff, and do it in a way that fits on the floor. Sometimes it's a big floor with not many people around. It can be fun in itself, and it's fun to find out that I can deliver this stuff. Otherwise I would never know.