"Flying an airplane, tango and sex all have two essential elements: The take off and the landing. The ride in the middle should be enjoyable and not too bumpy, but taking off and landing are essential." The Unknown Tango Theologian from Salado's exegesis of the Song of Solomon
"Ladies and Gents, put your seats and tray tables in the upright position. We are about to aterrizar"....
Let me suggest something to tangueros/tangueras for phase one of the landing -- the approach. The landing is not just the man's role. On Thursday, Kay added something to a tango landing of mine that made it perfect. She made a move I had never had experienced. Mostly women are just happy to be alive, but she had enough wits about her to add a nice dip in elevation to the last beat. Women have taken the controls and landed for me because I was sleeping or distracted by a near miss of a Kamikaze pilot. Women make all the difference in the world to my crazy landings to a milonga. (Milonga landings are with a helicopter-on-springs -- not fixed wing landings.) Just this last weekend, Loreen, Bentley, Judith and Janet inspired me with fun landings that made me laugh. Just incredible.
My suggestion to both men and women is that you discover what makes the ending happen musically. The bandoneon typically goes through two phrases (of usually 8 bars) where the musician shows virtuosity (fast playing) and brings it to an end. If the leader/follower knows this, then in a sense you know that the GROUND is coming up soon. Good to know that piece of information about the ground, you know.
[Tangueros, this is harder, but I will add it (since the blog is called "Tango Beat"): If you dance on the up-beat for at least the last two measures you will land on the downbeat when it you hit the ground. The vals I count (and feel) in six beats per measure, dancing the last few six-beat phrases (measures) on 1, 3, 5 and land on 1 (the downbeat). There is a milonguero on YouTube whom I love to watch but he crashes on every end. I hope is reading this.]
In aviation the word "attitude" means the angle of decent -- attitude is everything:
Sure, hitting the ground without crashing is a very nice climax as climaxes go. But that is not the entire landing. My God! You are alive! Maybe more alive that any other time in last few hours, days, months, years. Embrace someone for a moment! Don't just jump away like you are embarrassed to have embraced a human being for 3 minutes.
Are we there now?
No. The entire landing is still not over until you taxi to the terminal. Wait until the pilot has turned off the safety belt sign. One's after-play is essential too. I like to take the woman back to her chair, but she has to be willing. Is she already running off to see about her next flight? Maybe a lover is waiting for her in the terminal? Or (more likely) she has been accustomed to not be escorted to her chair. If she is willing and expectant, our last moments together allow me to talk to her since I haven't talked to her more than a few sentences between songs. The cortinas (curtains) close on a the stage of a great play. After-play.
¡Bon Voyage, Tangueros!