Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The power of the Embrace

The Three M's: Starting with eMbrace, then Movement and Music.

  

If the Three M's were celestial bodies in a solar system, the eMbrace would be the sun, and Movement and Music would be planets.  Is it just a coincidence that people who have lots of hugs also are more resilient to viruses than those will fewer hugs, as a recent experiment demonstrated?

Biologically speaking, we start out being moved through the birth canal, being moved to the arms our mother.  The eMbrace is the starting point and ending point of our lives as we melt into the body of the one who embraces us.  That is our embrace.  The eMbrace starts all of our love relationships.  In 1998, I knew my last time with my mother would be our last earthly time together.  I embraced her and told her I loved her as my last moment with her.  We wept.   Only months later, I embraced my second son as he came into the world.   Such is the circle of life. The eMbrace is the Alpha and Omega of tango as well.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Refinding Sara at Christmas


S
ara is my closest friend.  No one can replace the kind of friendship we have.  She's a breathing, living being.  Sara is my bandoneón.   I know that is strange to say this, but surely I am not the only one who holds the wonderful delusion that the mystery of life dwells in an inanimate musical instrument.   I didn't have to court Sara.  I am who I truly am around her.  

Sara has a personality all of her own.  
Compared to any other instrument I know, the bandoneón is truly like a person.  Maybe I am mad, but I feel her presence most when I just listen to her breathe.  I open her smiling case and let her breathe in my embrace.  Her smell is the perfume of wood, enamel and a touch of oil reinforced with years of having given me so much joy or having helped me during times of sadness.  She smiles with delight as I open up her case.  She leaps into my arms, ready to play.

Now that I think back, I am sure of it:  Sara looked forward to the times I had troubles with my romantic life.  That is when I made up new tangos and would play with her for hours.  This ritual started when my first girlfriend, Elena, had left Montevideo to live in Buenos Aires with her parents.  I was so broken hearted, but when I pulled out my bandoneón, only then I realized how bad it hurt to have my first love move away.  My bandoneón was a channel to the emotions that I hid not only from the world but from myself.  I embraced Sara and she consoled me.
The day Elena left, I sat with my bandoneón on my lap, but I couldn’t play at first.  I was numb.  I just opened and closed her bellows and let her breathe with me.  I felt her empathy, her soul. Eventually a vals came out as powerful as I ever had played – Desde el Alma.  This was tango.  Its essence.  My heart ached and now I could speak from my soul about this music that my parents so loved.  Now tango was truly my music, not just my parents’. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The naked truth about The Naked Truth

Genesis 3: Adam says to God, "I hid from you because I was naked.                        auf deutsch
 God said, 'Who told you that you were naked?'"

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Untypical Sexteto Típica


Recently a comment of not listening to the music while improvisationally dancing tango surprised me.  An advanced, German dancer at a French milonga told me: “I never listen to the music. The music throws me off from what the man is doing."  Gratefully, she added:  "But the music was transparent as we danced tonight.”   I think that she could have listened with many men before, but had trained herself to be deaf to the music.  Certainly I have not been the only one who dances musically with her.  I KNOW this!  How many women before her have I danced with that were not listening to the music?  At times it feels like there is no way to make the music transparent to my partner or I don't sense the music she hears.  But I think I know where this problem comes from:  Shame on the teachers who teach steps.  Dance is not steps!  Dance is the emotional and somatic reaction to music--a behavioral reaction only found in the human species.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Torment of a Dancer




The torment of a musician is that he strums out his heart so all can hear his soul.
The torment of an artist is that no one knows the water colors were from her tears.
The torment of a dancer is the horror of the cliff, merely the edge of the stage.
Then there is tango--a torment-less duet of music-that-is-dance, an embrace of two.




Meet the dancer

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How to please a woman


As in life, so in tango every man should know about what women want.
  • Woman would be glad if the roles were reversed: That there would be too many men rather than too many women.  They would not complain if men were sitting it out, waiting for a dance (at least for the first few years).  
  • Women would be very picky about men, and if there were many good dancers, the

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tango: The "Synful" Dance

Tango culture at its center and at its best is a community of harmonizing elements:

The whole dance floor is synchronized in movements to symphonic* (harmonized) sounds of musical notes. And tandem dancers,  synsomatic in their dance, are perhaps some of the best examples on earth of "two becoming one" in a spontaneous way.

Synsomatic
In order to find this epicenter of tango, I try to be more fully present in my own body, my feeling, my breathing.  Only then can I evolve into the dancing animal with four harmonizing legs, four lungs, and four cerebral lobes; four eyes--two eyes open, two eyes closed, and two hearts drumming together the most primal of all symphonic rhythms. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Many Hands of Manipulation

Literally "manipulation" is skillfully working with one's hand,
just as a sculptor manipulates clay.
What you learn from tango will help you in life.  As we dance, our hands are constantly touching and we both have a hand on each other's back.  Are all hands the same?  Of course not.  And so from tango we learn that hands have a spectrum of behaviors, feelings and emotions behind them.

In the "real world" hands are not so often experienced by others at work and between friends as we dancers experience them.  And many languages* do not help clarify this spectrum in the definition of "manipulation," meaning "the work of hands."  Manipulation in day-to-day usage has mostly negative connotations as I hear it.

Official definition for Manipulation
Manipulation's official definition does not help us understand the wide spectrum of behaviors of manipulative behavior, ranging from "ethical and appropriate handling" to "unethical and over-bearing handling."  So I am going suggest more clarity to the subject by adding five different Greek prefixes to help clarify, using social tango as a way to understand the complexities of social interaction.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tango's a bad boy magnet?

The Milonga Dialogues:                                                       German translation at this link
Don't touch that lever on the "E.I. Tango Magnet"!
Is Tango a magnet
for the emotionally impaired?


The Greek philosophers would meet in the streets and often converse about the meaning of life while eating together. Tango philosophers meet at milongas, and work out the meaning of life while observing the Travelers on the Wooden Path.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Tango Effect--5 years later

Tango Therapist's 5th Birthday
Today my blog is five years old.  Also this week I will have posted 300 little pieces of my passion for tango.  Around five years ago, I discovered something that has transformed me, and it wasn't tango itself.

The Tango Effect
Tango had transformed the way I understood the patient/therapist relationship about three years after I started dancing tango better than salsa. I learned about "the tango effect" from so often--too often--hearing women say, "Wow, you led me to do things I never have done before."  I kept hearing this, and still do, but at the time I was startled because, I was feeling many women were (and still are) leading me to places I had never gone before.  I started calling these misunderstood tango roles as "the tango effect."

Thursday, October 30, 2014

"Dancing about Architecture"

Perhaps you have heard this often quoted phrase that portrays dance as powerless to explain complex things.  Martin Mull's quote has been repeated by many others, like Frank Zappa.  

Dancers demonstrating principles of quantum physics
Who will defend dance as a way of expressing the concrete world?  

Evidently, "dance" is the strawman that is easily knocked down as not being very exacting.  When I first heard this quote, I too thought it was clever.  But is it really?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Answer for Not Growing Old (T.A.N.G.O.)

The Answer for Not Growing Old (T.A.N.G.O) 

Tango has demonstrated clear indications of helping people decrease symptoms of Parkinson's disease.  Yet, there is a much larger group that tango-as-therapy could help:  The rest of humanity.

Staying active, constantly learning, connecting to others, human touch, practice in balance and exercise are all necessary to maintain physical and mental resiliency as we grow older.  It is NOT just exercise, dance is much more than that, but at least it is recognized as helping people physically.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Advantages of European "Encuentros"


Encuentros, perhaps better called "Tango Socials" have some excellent elements.  A friend of mine in Austria, says that Encuentros are evolving and over time the problems will fix themselves naturally.  I like his positive thought. Encuentros will continue because of certain advantages; however, there is a dark side that concerns me.  [Added note from original post:  In my attempt to be positive about encuentros some readers felt that I had reversed my opinion.  I have not.  However, since encuentros will continue because of the many positive elements, I hope that organizers see that some changes are needed.  There are some easy solutions, but every advantage has some very concerning disadvantage.]

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What! No sex in heaven?

Do not fret, dear Angel.  There's hope.

Well, if you can believe the consensus of theologians, then there's no sex in heaven--at least for Christians.   But one thing is for sure:  There's tango.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Time-Warp Tango


Tango can play with your mind--a mind that has the tendency to erroneously perceive that time is going faster and faster as one becomes older.  I can think of nothing better than tango to reverse this false perception.  Tango can be practised as a time-warp laboratory in which time can be put into slow motion--still a false perception, but preferable.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Beauty of Obligation


"Obligation" has become a dirty word to some in the tango world--something to be avoided. In reality, "obligation" is a wonderful word.   The word "obligation" is mostly understood to be a burden.  "Euphoria" means "good burden" or to "bear something."  Sometimes language blocks us from understanding concepts.  We need the word "eu-obligation" in our vocabulary.  I am obligated to my children, my family, my work, my neighbors, my environment, country and world. There are indeed moments when false "obligations" can ruin things, but mostly obligations are what make social animals truly social.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Musicality Praxis: The Bass Drummer


Today's focus on musicality starts with a visual.  The video clip below is produced by Leandro Díaz and Mauro Mauceri, musicians who teach dancers to be musical in their dance.  In another clip, they explain their mission. They noticed, as most musicians do, a wide gap between what dancers are doing and what the music is saying; so they began their work trying break it down for dancers.  Tango is the most wonderful dance there is for tandem improvisational dancing.  Tango promotes dancing exactly to the music more than any other dance because there is in fact no true "basic step."  Leandro and Mauro's observation is rather startling! How could tango not follow the music when that is essentially what tango is?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Magdalena's Enlightenment


I once noticed some turquoise shoes and a suitcase as I danced on the last evening of a tango festival. She had obviously gone up to her hotel room to get her suitcase before getting on a airplane home.  The message was clear, not only to me, but to all:  "It's either now or never."

Friday, September 26, 2014

Musicality Praxis: Building a tanda


In this post I am going to suggest a way of musicality praxis that will grow and grow the way that suits you.  I am convinced that trying to be more musical always starts at the heart and grows naturally into your feet.  No matter what your role is, if you are musical you will help your partner feel it too. Men have an important role, but it is not just their job.  Women often complain that many men do not hear the beat; yet, I sense that many women are making it even harder by listening too much my body language.  I cannot know, but I think all this delay is causing a vicious circle because they are part of this problem of lagging behind the beat.  The man who is musical must begin his momentum ahead of the beat so that she lands on the beat.  How is this possible?  By letting the music lead.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Musicality Paxis: Be the "Conductor"


In the last post, I suggested an "equation" for better musicality for dancers:  E=MC2.  In today's post, I will suggest a practical way to bring musicality to light in your dance.

If you did not read the last post, I am challenging what dancers call "musicality"; so it may not be what you think you already learned in a so-called "advanced" dance class.  So I will say it again:

Friday, September 12, 2014

E=MC2: The equation for musicality


We dancers too often lose focus on the "E" which is central to musical dancing.  And the "M" and the "C squared" get too much attention.  Let me suggest an easy way to remember how to have three separate foci on musicality, stealing from a well-known equation:  E (emotion) is equal to graceful M (movement) and C2 (cognitions squared).  E=MC2 equates to musical dancing.  True, we must be thinkers in order to dance well.  That includes many cognitions through memory, experience and adaptability to who/what/when and why.  But emotion is equal to graceful movement and a large amount of cognitions (C2).

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Warding off Dementia with Tango


Tango and dance in general gives us a chance to maintain the most precious organ in the body: The Brain.

The onset of dementia slowly degrades this "organ of adaptability" to be only one that is merely running autonomic functions of the body.  Dementia is a frightening disease.  What leisure activity has proven to be the most salutary to those at-risk for dementia?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Milonga of the Uninvited

It all started with an email from a friend and milonga organizer from another country who was coming to a milonga very near to where I live: "Are you going to the the encuentro*?"

"No.  I don't know anything about it," I replied.   I knew that many friends would be there.  Wow!  I wanted to go! How did I miss the announcement?!

I looked up the event on the Internet, and found that it was advertised for all to see, but really it was a VIP list of invitation-only guests.  Somehow this reminds me of being in my fourth grade class in which the rich kid told everyone:  "Hey everyone, I am having a pool party!  I will hand out the invitations tomorrow!" Tomorrow came, and half the class did not get invited.

Free Tango Lesson!
My not getting invited was a wonderful blessing in disguise.  It really did not take long before I saw

Friday, August 29, 2014

If Aristotle danced tango


Over-thinking in dance can ruin the spontaneity and artfulness of tango.  However, too many dancers go off in a different direction of not thinking much at all.  The problem with "over-thinking" is nearly always a product of thinking too much about steps and outward forms.   This anti-thinking perspective has created many"PhD's" in the world of tango.  Let me explain that:  In this case, "PhD's" means, "philosophically handicapped dancers." :-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Through time until timelessness




The child within me holds you in the street,
I fell down and your embrace takes away my pain.

The friend within me holds you at the airport.
 
I may never see you again as I go off to war.

Friday, August 22, 2014

2014: The Golden Age of Tango!


Many say that the Gold Age (Época de Oro) for tango was around 1938 to 1948.  It wasn't!  We are NOW in the Golden Age of Tango--but for listeners, not dancers.

Around 1938 to 1948 was the golden age for tango dancers
 Dance halls were full.  A few things happened after 1948 that changed this, but the difference that you can hear today is that after 1948 the musicians slowly began playing for listeners more than dancers (or perhaps more for themselves?).   Post-war Argentina had many changes, but simply stated, the the focus on the dancer shifted slowly to the tango listener.  The dancer was no longer "royalty."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

¡Cabeceo!? No, oooouch! Face slam!

Cabeceo: The goal is hers as much
as yours in tango but only
to score in soccer
El hace un cabeceo... y ...
¡Goooooooool!


Cabeceos--hitting the ball with one's head in soccer--has only one goal: to "score." Of course, one scores at the expense of the other team.

The culturally aware tango dancer uses the cabeceo at no one's expense.  He politely and non-verbally "requests" a dance as a gentleman after the cortina and the music begins to play.  A slight movement with his head (la cabeza)--usually an upwards motion or a nod--signals this subtle exchange between a man and a woman.*  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Vitamin T


This is not a drug.

This is Vitamin T that you savor on your tongue, like no other vitamin.

Vitamin T is a complex vitamin, like "B complex."  Vitamin B complex includes 8 elements.  Vitamin T includes many more, but the basic three soul-nutrients are:
  • A warm hug,
  • The joy of bodily movement in dance, and
  • The power of music to move one's soul. 
Directions:
Take daily.  Even while cooking or going for a walk.  For an enhanced effect, take it with a partner.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tango is not Rocket Science

VonBraun's Rocket Science Tango Studios:
Planning the first Volcada to put a woman on the Moon
Please tango teachers!   Will you please stop talking about how difficult tango is?  Tango is NOT rocket science!  The best teachers in all areas of life have inspired me to learn, not overwhelming me with how infinitely deep the subject they are teaching is.

Tango is perhaps the easiest dance on earth
, but with a learning curve that seems to go wonderfully on forever.   One could attempt to claim that all dances are this way, but I can only say that I have never experienced anything like it in all areas of my human experience: Tango is the easiest thing that is delightfully more and more challenging. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Mortality Rates among Male Dancers

Birth of a male tango baby:
Will he die soon, like so many before him?

Male tango babies are not born with two left feet.
Just one is on the left.
Mortality Rates among Male Tangueros
No pity is needed here.  Just a fact:  Male tango babies have lower birth rates, and mortality rates, especially in anti-dance cultures.  No one has to pat the surviving males on the back or show us your sincere empathy.  Survivors sometimes are the worst at seeing the problem because they survived.  (Think "hell week" at a fraternity.  Why does senseless pain keep going on.  Survivors often don't understand.)  This discussion in not really about men or for me; it's about the survival of the tango-tribe, and for both men and women to enjoy a resilient community that includes a gender balance.  Some dance-friendly cultures and healthy communities will not even know what this post is about.  However, if gender imbalance is a problem in your culture, your community or town, you may have a

Friday, August 1, 2014

Envy is not the Way!

On the left:  Envy and Gossip.  
On the right: Her regular self.
 I prefer her days that Envy does not visit.  
Beauty fades but friendliness and kindness can shine more and more. Some women blame aging or others for not dancing as much as they'd like to.  But outside factors probably have little or nothing to do with getting to dance more.   I see younger women sitting more than they would like, but their presentation has me wondering if they are so angry that it will take too much effort for them to relax when they "finally" get asked to dance.   Also, there are too many older woman who are dancing for age, beauty or clothing to be a valid excuse. The first thing a man or woman needs in

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The State of Embrace

Mata Amritanandamayi, known as Amma has hugged more people
than anyone in human history.  She knows something about
the embrace that even tango dancers need to learn.

The embracing saint from India says, "If you can touch people, you can touch the world."

Look carefully at your community.  What is the "embrace"?  Is there one?  Some say close embrace tango is disappearing in Germany, where I presently live.  If it does, then it will return.  The embrace closes naturally between kind people.

One of the problems of close embrace tango is that it has been billed as "social" tango, and that can feel like hypocrisy when antisocial people are teaching or practicing it.  When "social" means "strict

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tango's Endangered Eco-system

We are the only tribe on this enchanted, "wild" life refuge.
Is what we are doing sustainable?
I love tango.  Don't you?  Sometimes it feels as if there is a tango boom going on.

But not really.

Venues come and go.  People come and go.  The eco-system of tango--upon a closer look--is fragile, and our little tribe does not seem to know it.  I see a milonga like a wonderful wildlife refuge, and we are the inhabitants.  We are the only inhabitants, and although there is a need to bring new life into our refuge, we are not sure if we like new blood.  Our worst enemy is ourselves. We ourselves are the

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Rogue Dancer: Your Problem

Passive-Aggressive Behavior is not to confront
the rogue dancer assertively.

The tango community and the joy of dance belong to everyone.  But then comes along the rogue* dancer who runs into everyone, causing injuries and even causing people to leave the community to find another place to dance or just give up.  The rogue dancer is not the problem!

The problem is being passive-aggressive.  Rogue dancers come and go, but passive-aggressive behaviors stays.   The rogue dancer needs feedback.  The rogue navigator-guide is usually the problem, but safe dancing is the responsibility of everyone.  Also if you end up dancing with a rogue, you are now part of the "rogue team." A partner not only can but must influence the good-but-

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dance as if everyone were watching!

Watch very carefully for a child who briefly appears in the below video.



Did you see the child? 

It was the grey-haired kid who threw down two sticks.  He can teach you something.  He is dancing as if everyone were watching, but as a child--out of pure joy!

The very young, no matter their age, dance spontaneously.
Lots of Innate Stuff, but not innocence.

I danced as a kid. Also, I owned a little plastic guitar, and Gail, the girl next door, put her foot through it, angry at my song and dance.   I was way too happy for her, I guess. 

Later in school, I was shy and was afraid to talk in a group all through my school years. In sixth grade, I nearly destroyed the book I had in my hands as I gave a book report in front of the class. I couldn't sing in the choir because I didn't have the talent. The school music teacher told my mother not to waste money on private lessons. (My wise mother told me about the music teacher's bad prognosis only after I became successful studio and performance musician.) How did I ever make it to being a human being without just giving up altogether?  Before puberty:
  • I couldn't speak freely.
  • I couldn't dance freely.
  • I couldn't sing freely.
  • I couldn't play an instrument.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Joy of Tango Traffic

Warning:  This explanation of "The Joy of (Tango) Traffic" is NOT for beginners.

Because of floorcraft hand-outs that actually cause more floorcraft problems, I am submitting this floorcraft guide to my readers, hoping for comments to make it better.  Then I will present a printable handout--mostly for the shoebag of the rogue "expert" dancer at your milonga.  It will be a shorter, two-page version.

Let's use what we know about traffic.  Most everyone has some experience with driving or observing drivers.  Having said that... 
What is the most outstanding difference between auto and dancing? 


In four words:  "Tango traffic's a joy."

Los Códicos del Tráfico serve the very same purpose for autos on the road as for rules of floorcraft

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Moment of Conception in Tango

"Stork theories" of how tango babies are made will not help tango survive.
Conception begins in human need.
When were you conceived as a tango dancer?  Can you remember?

My guess is that it was because of social contact. Primal human needs, such as touch, communication, movement, enjoyment, deeply seated courtship behaviors that (should) continue for a lifetime.  One that is very important for many is the desire to feel alive.  Some go to extremes to get this feeling (roller coasters, risk-taking, and also a long list of negative behaviors).  Dance is a socially acceptable way to get many human needs taken care of all at one "Mall of Human Needs."

I was conceived as a tango dancer in a bike shop.  In 2006 I was buying a super-dooper triathlon bike

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Archetypal Leader in Tango

A continued discussion on leading and following . . .















Archetypal leaders are unique.

In the Jungian sense, the archetypal leader is primal, a single leader whom others emulate. Plato would say the archetypal leader is the "substance of all leaders," and mortal leaders are mere shadows of that substance.

Who is the archetypal leader in tango?  La Música.  In dance classes we talk in very technical, prosaic terms about roles (leader/follower).  The language of art, feeling poetry perhaps must or should put aside in oder to better describe what each person is supposed to do.  We talk about duties of "leadership."   But in trying to be empirical and exact, I believe we have sacrificed the magic, the art and the poetry of tango.  Somehow "leader/follower" become the terms that best describe our magical roles.  I question the poetry of these terms, or even the exactitude of these terms.  If indeed the music is the archetypal one-of-a-kind leader in tango, now we must find

Saturday, July 12, 2014

La Música Dirige, Seis la Tocan



Siento nuestros pechos, que se llenan del aire
Como si fuera el aliento vivo, un dúo de Bandoneones.

La Música Dirije, Seis Tocan 

El bandoneonista toca con tanta pasión,
Me pregunto si movido por el éxtasis o el dolor.
 Él y el guitarrista,
     la violinista,
        el pianista
           y nosotros, dos bailarines,
Somos un sexteto en esta pequeña cantina
En nuestro trance hipnótico colectiva, de cuatro más dos,

Friday, July 11, 2014

Neutered Tango


Don't neuter my tango!
Warning:  This post is rated "VS" for "very sarcastic" and with elements of bizarre humor.  I suggest you read another blog.   Do an Internet search for, "Normal Tango Blogs."  Mine won't come up.  :-)  Or skip to the end, called "Seriously Now" where I return for a moment to my very serious self.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tango is NOT a conversation!

The leader speaks.  You listen.


"Just for a change, shut up and listen, okay?!"

"This is not a conversation.  It is a soliloquy.  I talk you listen, alright?"

Above, I am quoting the archetypal leader, La Música

She (La Música) is really tired of speaking and too many of the dancers not listening or thinking they are not allowed to listen because of their role.  La Música is really, really tired of it.  She'll calm down in a second.  She just having a Richard Wagner moment--a bit out of control.  At some

Friday, July 4, 2014

Wasted time: Musicality Classes for Followers?

A continuing dialogue on the concept of leading and following . . .

If you are a "follower" you may be wasting your money on musicality classes. However, if you are a dual-listener (listening to the leading of La Música's voice and your partner's body), then musicality classes make sense!

"I am following the music.
Listen to the music first, to me second."
I have had women say that it doesn't make sense to take musicality classes "because a woman has to listen to what the man hears in the music." Yes, I can understand why a "follower" would say that because that is what she hears in the word "leader" and what is specifically said by some teachers! However, if

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Kind tango vs a kind of tango


Social tango is kind tango . . .

. . . not a kind of tango.

More than a few people I have known have left the tango community or commuted to a different place because of anti-social elements--sometimes real, sometimes perceived.   In the outward world, surely we will find kind people who are perceived as arrogant or antisocial, and social people who are truly dangerous, even psychopathic.   Not many people continue dancing over a decade.  So this makes me wonder if I will survive, and if I do, what will I look like?  Will my tango be social?  Will I be still kind and generous?  My steps, but embrace may look like social tango, but will the outward signs of

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Milonga Ohne Worte

Link to the English version: Sacred Silence at the Milonga

This was my first blog post in German (below).  Articles, like this one, will from now on be found on a separate blog: "Tango Therapeut."  My blog features a translator on the right margin.  That helps those who are reading in English as a second language.  I do the same, when I read Spanish, German or French before going back to the original.   If German is a second language for you, as it is for me, you can use the quick translator to read this too!
 
Thanks,  Mark, (a.k.a. the Tango Therapist).



Stell Dir vor: ein Tanzabend ohne zu reden.

Ich muss es mir nicht mehr vorstellen, Ich erlebte es neulich in Heidelberg, Deutschland.

Dieser Beitrag ist KEINE Fiktion, auch wenn er ein wenig surreal erscheint.

Der Tanzpalast Don Carlitos in Eppelheim bei Heidelberg hat eine angenehme, fröhliche Atmosphäre, aber vergangenen Sonntag war es etwas anders. Die Atmosphäre schien verändert, als ich rein kam. Üblicherweise findet die übliche Sonntagsmilonga einmal monatlich statt, aber diese war eine besondere Milonga an einem anderen Sonntag. Eine Rundmail machte deutlich: dort würde nichts zur hören sein als Musik, und davon abgesehen nur Stille. Das mag einige Leute abgeschreckt haben. Umso

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Obsessive/Compulsive Lane Changers


On my way to my first OCLC disorder meeting
I had a dream...  
I went to a meeting for Obsessive Compulsive Lane-changing disorder (OCLC disorder). You see I am obsessed with changing lanes, compulsed to change lanes--a not so rare disorder found at milongas everywhere.

It's my first time ever at the group, and like others before me, I stand and say, "Hi, my name is Mark.  I have OCLC disorder."  I sit down. Others look and me and smile with compassion that finally I can acknowledge my disorder.

I wake up.  Sweating.  Do I really have Obsessive Compulsive Lane Changing disorder?  I don't really believe that is the case, but maybe I

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tango: Better than Sex?

Yes.

Is there even a question here?  Isn't it obvious?

Human need through normal sexual desire brings children into the world through the power of sexual attraction.

Yet sex is empty by itself.

Tango includes much more than "just sex" can.  Tango is clearly second to the wonderful mixture of a loving partner and a healthy sexual relationship.  ("Healthy" being a relationship that is similar to a healthy human body--a body capable of living on without dying soon and fully of happy hormones.)

As powerful and as wonderful as having a loving relationship, even with the perfect partner, one can lose this partner and

Saturday, June 14, 2014

One Leads, Six Listen

A continued series on the question of who is leading whom                                 en español


The bandoneonista plays with such passion,
I wonder if in ecstasy or pain.
He,
  the guitarist,
     violinist,
        pianist
          and we two dancers--
A sextette, on the pub's tiny floor.
In our collective hypnotic trance, four plus two,
Together we bring to life the dots on paper
Of a composer who wept as he first heard
His tango painted in the air, moving us to dance.
La Música had forced his hand to write.
Now he sees his art brushed with the violin's bow,

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Tango's Trademark Infringement

Ficciones en las Noticias
Lady Justice hears the facts, blind to opinion.
Tango lost in the court of common sense.

(The Unassociated Press)  The World Tango Federation!* recently attempted to patent the terms Leader and Follower.  However, the Unified Patent Court in the European Union has denied this attempt.  Other international patent legal bodies have followed with the UPC's precedence.  Through a patient lawsuit, the Ballroom Association Directorate (BAD), countered the WTF! attempt, and has won the patient for Ballroom teachers worldwide to have proprietary usage of the terms "leader/follower."  Tango teachers around the world have been ordered to stop using "leader and follower" when teaching the roles of tango couples by 2015.

Ballroom Association Directorate (BAD) unequivocally demonstrated that Leading and Following is

Friday, May 30, 2014

The power of the Mirada

A continuing dialogue about leading and following...                          Romanian translation
The eyes are more powerful than the nodding of a head.   

Translated, using tango terminology, the same sentence is:  

"The mirada is more powerful than the cabeceo."

Traditionally tango dancers say that the cabeceo [the nod of the head] is what the man does and the woman, the mirada [the look].  I never understood the concept of these two terms having anything to do with one's gender, and in practice, women nod and men can respond to a woman's inviting smile by coming to her with continued eye contact.  I don't want to be left out of the power of the mirada.  Simple eye contact and nothing else has no second in non-verbal communication.  I want to use the mirada's magical power too!


"Magical power?" 

You think I am kidding, right?  Pediatric developmental research has long indicated the importance of a lot of eye contact with children in order for them to develop normally.  Very negative things happen in our development if our caretakers give us little or no eye contact.  More recently, the New York Times reported on the new "flurry" of research on eye contact.  The lastest new study was from