If you you want to visit Tango Cloud Nine more often, then pay attention to how well a person hears and responds to the music.
Somatically responding to music is truly dancing--and especially in an improvisational dance like tango. So the first and foremost criteria for those with whom you will dance should be their musicality and their grace to be able to safely dance in tandem with you. "Advanced dancers" may have a better chance of being in the music, but often they are graceful but not musical, or fail to create the feeling of safety on the dance floor. So my new definition of social tango is:
"The search through social behaviors to find and dance with others who will join you on a trip to Musicians' Cloud Nine." (Tango Cloud Nine is the same place as Musicians' Cloud Nine.)
The Bus for High Heaven leaves at 9 p.m. Saturday night
It does not take two to tango. You can dance in your kitchen to tango music all by yourself! If the music "forces" you to move your body, that is dancing in heaven. The next level is dancing in seventh heaven, which is in tandem with another person. I think, however, if you want to be transported to Tango Cloud Nine, you need to get on a bus with people who truly embody the music and dance in tandem with you and safely in the whole room of dancers. The heaven-bound bus should be large enough to fit enough people for a nice milonga.
Musicians and improvisational dancers' Nirvana share two main elements in common:
- Music itself leads a person as an outside force to unite with the music's voice.
- The power of this uniting experience is exponentially amplified by joining with others to be led by the music.
That Musicians' Heaven and Tango Heaven are the same place became crystal clear to me yesterday. Last night I showed up to a sing-a-long Christmas party. I had a snare drum with brushes to play along with Emmanuel Trifilio, an Argentine bandoneonist in Washington, D.C. Later more than a few people told me they were sort of shocked to see me pull out a drum because these two instruments as a duet seem to be an unlikely pair. "But it really worked well," they later told me. Playing in tandem with Emmanuel reminded me once again about the power of being united as a musician by the power of music. I was transported to Cloud Nine. Later that night, my wife and I went and danced in tandem with many wonderful partners and a whole room safe dancers at a milonga. And guess what?
Cloud Nine's streets are filled with musicians and tango dancers. It is indeed the same place.
- Cloud Nine by Windy Richardson
- Musicians at O Street jam by Sybille Q. Word