Tango is not only a fascinating dance but also a fascinating philosophy, culture and lifestyle. The search of tango is the search of connection, love, fellowship, unity, harmony and beauty, i.e., an idealism that is not consistent with the dehumanizing reality of the modern world. The world divides us into individuals, but tango unites us into a team, community and species. In tango we are not individualists, feminists, nationalists, 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 altruism, affinity, cooperation, accommodation, and compromise. It is a dance that teaches the world to love.

May 12, 2024

The Advantages of Simplicity versus Flashy Movements

Tango performances that best convey the essence of the music and the emotions of the dancers largely feature simple movements. This is because tango is fundamentally about the interaction between two souls rather than the execution of complex steps. Simple movements enable dancers to immerse themselves in the nuances of the music and the depths of the feelings, fostering a deeper connection and inward focus that allow for more meaningful conversations between the partners.

Conversely, performances that prioritize flashy movements often appear artificial and frivolous. The focus on intricate footwork and elaborate choreography diverts dancers' attention away from fully engaging with the music, feelings, and the partner, resulting in a performance that feels disconnected, contrived, cluttered, and superficial. Additionally, the focus on choreographed flashy movements can hinder dancers' ability to respond intuitively and exquisitely to changes in the music and their partner's cues, leading to a performance that feels rehearsed and robotic rather than spontaneous, vibrant, and expressive. The following is an example.

While this example appears extreme, vaunt and ostentation are not uncommon in tango. In our contemporary culture, where flaunting and pretense abound, it's important for tango enthusiasts to resist the urge to show off and instead focus on what truly matters: the music and the connection with the partner. By keeping things simple, minimizing the frills, and sticking to simple steps, dancers can create a tango experience that is much more intimate, soulful and satisfying. After all, it's not about putting on a show - it's about sharing a moment, heart to heart. (See Embracing Elegance: The Timeless Beauty of Tango.)

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