I love tango. But that has been a recent addition to my life.
I was born in Mallorca (Spain) from an Argentinean mother. One could think it natural that I liked tango for that reason. However, she is from Rosario, not Buenos Aires, and during her youth the government required the transmission of tango every hour on the radio, interrupting the rest of the programs. With this experience, for her, tango had been something imposed and thus it was never played in my home.
Funny enough, my adoptive grandpa, who was born in the neighboring island of Ibiza, had worked as a sailor and had visited Argentina. I was raised in Mallorca hearing him nun and sing tangos to himself, in particular “Mi Buenos Aires querido” (“My beloved Buenos Aires”). I still feel a pang of yearning when I hear one of those themes.
But it was not until much later, when I was thirty years old, that tango really entered my life. It was by the hand of my Argentinean friend Marcelo (boyfriend back then), who turned out to be a professional tango dancer and teacher… and lived in Ibiza. What interesting coincidences.
He took me to a milonga and I must confess my first experience on the dance floor was rather pitiful. Not in vain, my skills as a dancer are rather rudimentary… But I started diligently taking classes in order to be able to share this experience with him. And in it, I discovered a passion of my own.
I discovered to my surprise that tango implies a fascinating energy exchange between man and woman. Yang and Yin, for those familiar with oriental terminology. Male and female. Energies that flow, creating shapes in space. Musicosophia in movement, for those who know this amazing technique of German origin. It is a dance that requires a perfect rapport between both dancers, I would say even a degree of extrasensory perception or telepathy in the woman in order to follow the man… Naturally, the man must indicate the steps he intends to take, but the woman must be able to perceive, sense, incorporate –and then add her own creative touch.
In tango I found what I always wanted to find in a dance: something to dance in an environment that lacked the disharmonic rhythms and wounding light changes of a disco, to an adequate volume, with people of an age akin to mine. A dance with pretty shoes and dazzling dresses, but which also admits simple clothing –even though skirts with ample movement will always show off and give pleasure to the eyes.
Once the technique is mastered and between two dancers who are well in tune with each other and are conscious of what they are doing aside from dancing, and are able to perceive it, the game of energy exchange is a party of lights and shapes invisible to the human eye –or rather: the traditional eye will get distracted with the figures and dresses but whoever has the third eye open may enjoy a much deeper experience.
As for me, I will keep practicing in order to achieve that level of fluency that enables me to thoroughly enjoy this dance which I now love so much.