Christina wrote: "i am very interested in the "soul" of tango. what is portrayed through the dance. i am a writer and i'm trying to write a piece about having a love like the tango and i need to understand more of the "story line" (i guess you could say) between the partners. if you could help me, it would be greatly appreciated!"
For me, the soul of tango is the energy of the connection between two people. The follower opens up to the leader to be led, and the leader opens up to the follower so that both can feel the dance and read the other person's body. If that risk, that openness, is lacking, the dance holds little meaning for me.
Perhaps one dialogue goes something like this:
"Hi! Here I am, breath, soul, open to risk . . . and carrying ALL my baggage about risk, physical intimacy, past loves, old injuries, future hopes, feelings about my body, EVERYTHING!"
"Did you feel our pasts collide? Oy!"
"Now, empty out all that baggage, open up your soul, and devote the next fifteen minutes of the tanda to being-ness. There is nothing except this step, now, to this music, with this breath."
"I am breathing. I am walking. I am pausing. I feel you breathing, responding to my breath, to my posture, to my adornments. I am listening to the music and to you and to myself."
"Mmm, you led me perfectly to that part of the music! That was fabulous! Oh, right, keep breathing."
"Wow! You follow everything: I just think about it, and you move! Oh, right, keep breathing."
[both float, still entranced, back to their tables]
For me, tango really is about baring the soul, connecting it to my body and another person's body, and entrusting myself to that person. That's what makes tango so hard: we spend the rest of our life protecting ourselves from the outer world, and then we are supposed to abandon that in tango for pure connection with another soul. Add the body-soul connection of dancing specific steps while communing with another, and it ups the difficulty of achieving that. Add to that the fact that few of us have been taught to be completely self-aware on a body level, and you can see why perfecting tango is a practice that can extend for the rest of your lifetime.
OK, loyal readers (you silent ones who never comment back), please send me YOUR dialogues, silly, serious, confused, sublime; your tango stories. Thanks!