Tango is not only a fascinating dance, but also a fascinating idea, philosophy, culture, and lifestyle. In many ways, tango is a metaphor of life. The pursuit of tango is the pursuit of connection, love, unity, beauty, harmony and humanity, i.e., an idealism that is not consistent with the dehumanizing reality of the modern world. The world divides us as individuals, but tango unites us as a people or species. In tango we are not individualists, feminists, nationalists, liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, etc., but interconnected and interdependent members of the human family. We are humanists. Tango calls us to tear down the walls, to build bridges, and to regain humanity through connection, cooperation, reconciliation and compromise. If you share this conviction, please join the conversation and let your voice be heard, which is urgently needed and long overdue.
Together we can awaken the world.
October 1, 2017
July 14, 2017
We use the word love to express many different feelings. To love a country is to feel deeply attached to the country. To love tango is to be fascinated by and addicted to the dance. To love a child is to adore and pamper the child. To love a friend is to appreciate and feel comfortable, agreeable and close to that friend. To love someone with superior intelligence, talent, character, or physical attributes is to hold great respect, admiration and reverence for that person. To love someone of the opposite gender is to be sexually attracted to and want to marry and have children with that person.
None of the above alone completely expresses the true meaning of love. True love is a combination of all these feelings. It is the deepest appreciation, attraction, attachment, admiration, adoration, veneration and affection for someone for whom you are willing to give up everything. True love is altruist. It has no ego and pride. It is selfless, kind, generous and patient. It trusts, surrenders, devotes, obeys, gives, supports, yields, tolerates, endures, forgives and protects - just like the way we are treated in tango. Love, like tango, is a relationship in which each partner must do his/her best in order to bring out the best of the other. The synergy of love will cease if the interactions stop; therefore, it should not be taken for granted, as tango attests.
Another truth about love is: men and women have different expectations of love. Men are strong and goal-oriented. For men, love means to provide, support and defend - more in a physical than emotional sense perhaps - and that is also how men expect from love. A man cannot feel loved if he is not appreciated, respected and revered. Women, on the other hand, are more delicate and feeling-oriented. For women, love means being adored, pampered, protected, and particularly being romantically, adventurously and heroically pursued. A woman cannot feel loved if her fantasy and emotional needs are not met. In other words, men need to learn to be more sentimental, attentive and thoughtful in their relationship with women, and women need to learn to be more respectful, appreciative and agreeable in their relationship with men. Men and women are different, and they play different roles in life and tango. Learning tango helps us to understand these needs, to play our respective roles, to cultivate team spirit, and to achieve harmony through cooperation, compliance, accommodation and compromise. (See The Gender Roles in Tango.)
It needs to point out that, throughout human history, most relationships are not love-based, but need-based. Men and women have learned to love each other, because they need each other, and for the sake of their common happiness, they have no choice but love each other, as it is the case in tango. Like hatred, kindness is reciprocal. You do good to others and others will reciprocate the hospitality. In that sense, love is determined kindness, and the consequence of such efforts. Before individualism and feminism brainwashed us with egocentric, selfish, resentful and hateful messages, that is what people do to each other throughout human history. (See The Spirit of Tango.)
The ability to love is God's best gift to the mankind, which makes us better husbands, wives, friends, coworkers, citizens, and tango partners. Imagine a world in which people all love each other, in comparison to the world in which we live. (See Tango Is the Search of a Dream.) Love is not only a feeling, but also a skill that needs to be studied, taught and learned. Of all the skills essential to a healthy, functional, stable and harmonious society, love perhaps is the most important one. This is true in tango also. (See Tango Is a Relationship.)
Unfortunately, the American education completely ignores this. Our schools are dominated by capitalism, individualism and feminism that teach young men and women to be greed, individualistic, independent, self-seeking, strong-minded, disagreeable, competitive, and aggressive, i.e., everything that is opposite to love. The results are disastrous. According to an internal Department of Homeland Security report dated March 1, 2017, most foreign-born terrorists operating in the United States do not become radicalized until several years after entering the country. This means our own culture has contributed to the radicalization of the young minds. This culture is also the root cause of the dissension, disunity, extremism, hostility, polarization, antagonism, uncooperativeness and dysfunction in our governments, and the rapacity, competition, intolerance, hatred, tension, brokenness, divorce, crime and violence in our society today.
Nothing has done more harms to our society than narrow-minded radical ideologies that teach people to be greed, selfish, disagreeable, resentful, antagonistic and hateful. This country is desperately in need of love, and tango, a dance that teaches people to love. (See The Art of Love.)
June 13, 2017
Tango songs played for dancing the milonguero style generally have lucid beats, accompanied by sentimental melodies. The beats are strong, steady and easy to follow. But sometimes the emotion takes over and the beats diminish or are hidden into the background. In such case, the dancers should adapt to the changing mood and dance melodically. Dancing to rhythm, the movement is vertical, forceful and interrupted. Dancing to melody, the movement becomes emotional, horizontal and continuous. Slow motion and pause are often used to suspend a step in order to match the lingering notes, or to wait for the next phrase to start. It is a moment of emotional display and exchange.
May 10, 2017
True solution lies in embracing gender differences, gender roles, gender expression, love and cooperation, which are nature's way to achieve unity and harmony in contradistinction to the arbitrary culture of individualism, feminism, animosity and antagonism. (See The World Needs a Different Philosophy.) Thanks to tango we have a living testimony of how that works. "Tango is based on the ideas that men and women are interdependent rather than independent, that masculinity and femininity complement rather than un-equalize the opposite sexes, that being a masculine male and a feminine female is attractive, beneficial and desirable, that the harmony of the two genders is arrived at through mutual submission and cooperation rather than confrontation and power struggle, and that love triumphs over hostility. While individualism and feminism focus on our individuality and independence, tango focuses on the partnership and oneness of the two. It asks us to be friendly, submissive, humble, adaptive, cooperative, agreeable and yielding. Tango proves that the two sexes can form a harmonious relationship by conforming to these values. Despite the challenges that tango faces in the West, it continues to exert positive influences on our societies, I believe, because unless we adopt its values, we are unable to fully enjoy the dance." (Femininity and Feminism in Tango (II))
Gender expression is important in tango also because the juxtaposition of opposite moods complementing each other is a marked feature of tango, which is heterosexual rather than homosexual in nature. Tango music has a rhythm that is masculine: lucid, strong, steady and forceful, accompanied by a melody that is feminine: soft, beautiful, sentimental and fluid. Dancing tango, you have to imagine that you are playing the music with your body. The man and the woman are different instruments. One is like the bandoneon, the other the violin. One is the passion of the drum, the other the beauty of the melody. Each with its unique sound, expressing different emotions. Both are indispensable and irreplaceable, and they must complement and collaborate harmoniously in order to create a beautiful tango. (See The Characteristics of Classic Tango.) The attempt to make tango a homosexual or gender-neutral dance would only nip the vitality of tango. Without gender expression, tango will loose its richness, beauty and charm. (See Artistic Sublimation and Vulgarism in Tango.)
**"If we want to achieve the perfect degree of human nature, or at least close to this level of perfection, then all rules and regulations of mankind should be adapted to human nature. Because experiences prove that we cannot use rules and regulations to bind human nature without destroying their happiness. The attempt to obey rules and regulations that contradict human nature is the main source of human suffering. Any attempt to promote human wellness will not have any result until there is no radical reform in this respect." (On Human Happiness by John Gray)
March 29, 2017
She swivels her hips to the left and stretches her right leg forward to the right side of the man.
She swivels her hips to the right and stretches her left leg forward to the left side of the man.
She swivels her hips to the right and stretches her right leg backward to the right side of the man.
She swivels her hips to the left and stretches her left leg backward to the left side of the man.
These scenarios occur in many tango steps such as front ocho, back ocho, walking on the side of the partner, walking in diagonal steps, dancing around the man in molinete, zigzagging in molinete, turning a half circle around the man in media luna, etc. TBP is the reason why women's beauty can be fully displayed in tango.
This gives us a clue on how to make her look more attractive in the dance. For example, we can display the suppleness, pliancy and grace of her body by using steps that involve TBP and hip rotation. We can make her step diagonally to our right and left. We can alternate her ochos to make her continuously rotate her hips. We can increase her TBP in back ocho by stepping diagonally to her side to make her twist her body more than if we walk straight in line with her. We can combine different steps to increase the variations of her posturing. We can suspend her TBP with slow motion, or pause when she is in a twisted body position to highlight her flexibility, etc.
Therefore, dancing tango is not doing big ochos and big turns endlessly, which is a common delusion in our tango. (See Floorcraft, Choreography and Hastiness.) Rather, it is using a combination of conspicuous and especially inconspicuous movements, big and especially small steps, normal and especially slow motions, fluxions and especially suspensions, pauses and poses, etc., to express the feelings stirred by the music. The number one reason why women love tango, I believe, is their sentimentalism. Tango is an intimate and sentimental dance, and women are particularly emotional and good at expressing feelings. Feminine beauty thus lies more in a woman's psyche than in her appearance. Revealing her inner beauty is a leader's most challenging and rewarding test. (See The Conceptional Beauty of Tango.)