Tango is not only a fascinating dance, but also a fascinating philosophy, culture, and lifestyle. 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 and species. In tango we are not individualists, feminists, nationalists, liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, etc., but interconnected and interdependent members of the human family. Tango calls us to tear down the walls, to build bridges, and to regain humanity through connection, cooperation, reconciliation and compromise. It is a dance that teaches the world to love.




October 29, 2009

Mirta


At Milonga de los Consagrados a woman caught my attention. Her waist was so flexible that she could turn her lower body over 90 degree against her upper body. In such twisted poise she can step in any direction while her upper body is connected to her partner's torso.

When doing the front ocho, her upper body and lower body seemed totally separated. She first turned her lower body and stepped forward to one side of her partner, then, turned her hips 180 degree and stepped to the other side of her partner with the other leg while her upper body remained permanently connected to her partner. At the end of the ocho sequence she always turned her hips to the side first, crossing her free leg and keeping it stylishly bent, and then turned her hips back to face her partner and put the bending leg down. She did so with elegance and beauty. No matter how complex the movement seemed, she executed it with great ease and style. No matter how fast the music sounded, she remained calm and unhurried, giving herself time to complete the step, and still managed to finish the step on the beat. She is a master of tango with an extraordinary musicality.

I liked the way she danced and wanted to dance with her, so I stared at her intently. Finally I caught her attention. As her eyes met mine I nodded at her and she nodded back. I stood up and walked towards her, keeping my eyes at her all the way until I was standing a few steps in front of her. She gave me a smile, stood up and walked towards me. We started to dance.

She was an incredible dancer, light, followed perfectly, as if she knew in advance how I wanted her to move. Every time I led her do an ocho, I gave her extra time to show her unique style. We danced in perfect harmony. When we finished she said she wanted to give me her card. I walked her back to her seat. She took out a card from her purse and handed it to me. On it printed “Mirta Mark, Profesora Nacional de Danzas”. “Let me know where you will be,” she said, “so we can dance again.”

We danced again a few days later at Club Gricel. She didn’t feel very well that day, but she came anyway because I was leaving Buenos Aires the next day. Unfortunately the floor was too crowded on that weekend and we couldn’t dance the way we would like to. I sent her an email to say goodbye the next morning. In her response she wrote, “These things do not happen every day…If you think the same way, let’s continue to write… and who knows, we may again have the opportunity, in Argentina or USA, to enjoy our dance and maybe an exquisite dinner…”

I miss that wonderful moment dancing with her, and am looking forward to that day!