|Strike a key and then wait for the sound.|
Dancing with some women is like playing a cathedral organ.
Let me explain: Lately I have figured out a way to dance with women who are chronically behind the beat. I have to have body language that is 1/2 beat ahead of the music, which is okay musically, but very complex for a tanguero.
However, if the woman is actively in her feminine role, my role is easy because she is following the true leader -- the music -- whom I too must follow.
If the woman is fully aware of the music, the tanguero does not have to pretend he is playing a church organ, which has to be one of the hardest instruments to play. First of all, by itself a cathedral organist is using all ten fingers and both feet. That is hard, but the most challenging musical challenge is that what the organist hears is often delayed from what all the fingers and feet are doing! In some cathedral the pipes are so far away that the delay can be a full second off! It is unfathomable for me to think of the training and discipline to play in this way. Yet as a tanguero, I have insight to a degree of the task of the cathedral organist because of some women and their delay. Click here on this mind-blowing video link that demonstrates the sound delay at St. John's Cathedral in NYC.
|This is not God's Design: Delayed Tangueras|
A tanguero should not try to fix a woman who does this at a milonga. In a practica he can at least suggest that it feels as if she is listening way too much to the tanguero and not enough to the music. I have seen huge changes in women after saying this. And they sometimes say, "Free at last! Free at last!" It's a holy cathedral moment.
I will fault no tanguera or tanguero for not being in the music because they have been taught to lead or follow each other. This is a teacher problem not a student problem. Once we begin on the leader/follower analogy we are already on the wrong path. No wonder musicality is such a chore sometimes and in mostly in "advanced" classes because we have to go back to being new tangueros/tangueras and start listening with the "beginner's mind"! Why not have the beginners mind even while you are a beginner and learn from the start that the music is the true leader?
Women who depend too much on the man will slow him down and make his musicality miserable or very difficult. (Ladies, don't complain that men who do not follow the music if you are not following the music yourself!) On the other hand, too often men who are not listening to her sense of the music and her abilities as a tangera end up "dancing" but not to the music.
El Rol Femenino y Masculino
The following tango training video is incredibly illustrative of this concept of delay. The teachers use the "military analogy" of leader/follower, but they really have caught the spirit of both people being active. I am in a job that has me surrounded by female colleagues. Much of my work is intuitive as a therapist and I regularly have men and women crying in my office. Not a typical "man-job." However, in tango I am fully in my male energy. On the other end of the spectrum I know tangueras who are surrounded by men in their work, and they love tango because they feel fully in their feminine energy. Lead and follow is really a very poor analogy, but it is here to stay. I like "yin and yang" or "male and female energies" to explain what is going on when the Leader (la música) takes us out onto the dance floor to follow "her voice."
So watch this video and notice the terrible delay of a woman who is far to passive, relying on the man too much and dancing behind the "compas" (pulse) of the leader's bidding (yes, that's the music).
Thanks to Modern Tanguera who introduced me to this video. Visit her blog at: http://moderntanguera.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/leadership-and-followership/
Organ console http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/26/nyregion/26organ.html
Lady on organ: http://churchorganist.blogspot.com/
Just for the fun of it and if you are interested, here is another video (secondary to the organist link above). Watch this organist at Notre Dame in Paris. The delay on this central organ is not that bad, but he must play ahead of the beat because the choir is standing by the pipes.