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

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 it 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. She courted me. She accepted me as a beginner and allowed me to learn who she was inside. While doing that I found out who I was inside. If only more couples could do this!
Her smile

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' music. 

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.