Tamara checks in from abroad!

May 29, 2008


Tamara here, writing from Buenos Aires! Por suerte, I’m living here now and this city has an unbelievably cool dance scene. I’m really excited about it, so I wanted to start a blog to share it with all of you. Entonces….

First of all: tango. Amazing! I’d always loved tango music, so when I got here I wanted to see performances and take classes right away in order to see what it’s all about. It turns out to be really deep! To start with, there are two distinct worlds of tango: the performance world and the milonga world. The performances are stunning. Couples leap, spin, kick. Their feet fly through dazzling patters. They do lifts that catch the audience’s breath. There is passion and energy that raises the hair on the back of your neck. I love it, yet most people I know here say that isn’t “Real Tango.” Milongas, the gatherings where people dance tango, at first seem less exciting. The dance floors are crowded, and with all the women in stilettos, performance-style moves could end up with someone losing an eye. It’s bad enough just to have your foot accidentally stepped on (incidentally, it’s completely the man’s responsibility to lead the woman around and avoid collisions with other couples. Major trust exercise!). So the style of dancing is much smaller and the adornments much more subtle. But, since tango is a language, this is the equivalent of an intimate conversation in whispers. Every movement is improvised, and the dancers have to be perfectly in tune with what the other is doing. When all the movements are “hushed,” the level of concentration and connection with the music and your partner is a whole new plane. Like with other kinds of dance, you feel yourself come close to doing it right just once, that energy and identity between the music and your body (and your partner’s experience), and you’re hooked and totally in love.

OK, I have to get to a class now. More to come soon…I hope you all have a great week! Happy dancing! Ciao 🙂