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.

April 30, 2011

Tango as a Philosophy

As a comprehensive art form, tango is different things to different people: to men it is leading, to women it is following, to novices it is steps, to veterans it is feelings, to lovers it is an expression of affection, to peacocks it is a display of skills, to social dancers it is a dissipation for personal pleasure, to professionals it is a job to entertain others, to heterosexuals it is a gender expression, to homosexuals it is a gender-neutral play, to foreigners it is only a dance, to Argentinians it is also a lifestyle and deeply rooted culture... We all understand and dance tango differently for who we are and what philosophy we have.

Tango philosophy involves issues that make us different. The following is an incomplete list of such issues. Each may have many answers. Every dancer is entitled to his/her own opinions. Some may be more or less correct or incorrect, others may just be personal preferences and neither right nor wrong. But, collectively, these opinions and preferences define the way each of us dances and behaves, and put us into different categories. Studying and exchanging views on these issues can help us deepen our understanding, learn from each other, improve our dance, and, hopefully, achieve mastery through a comprehensive grasp of all aspects of tango.
12. Refinement vs. rawness
26. Dictation vs. conversation
27. Pluralism vs. monism
31. Improvisation vs. choreography
32. Progressive dancing vs. spot dancing
35. Comfort vs. beauty
45. Buenos Aires vs. international