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."