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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Can you feel it?

While driving the other day, I put on some dance classics of Pedro Laurenz. As I was listening and enjoying the music (Recién, Como dos extraños, etc.), I turned up the volume a little.

Suddenly the music’s impact on me changed completely. No longer was I merely listening, I was feeling. The volume had not been increased excessively, but the effect was remarkable. Previously, I had been able to hear and appreciate the instruments and singer quite clearly, but with a small turn of the dial, the emotion of the music took over. My response to the music was no longer cerebral, it had become visceral.

No wonder I don’t feel inspired to dance even my favourite tangos at a milonga, if the volume is too low. Perhaps this statement doesn’t apply to everyone, but I believe that the desire to dance is primarily physical and emotional, rather than a cerebral response. The music should invade your body, pick you up and carry you away.

Some folk, it seems, will dance to any music. They’re up on the floor, in the embrace, ready to dance, before the tanda even starts. Internally, I shake my head, puzzled about what they might be feeling. If they are feeling! Perhaps tango for them is more akin to physical exercise. To each his own, I suppose….

Then you have the analytical approach. This dancer tries to extract and express every musical nuance in a tango. This dancer has a bad case of Too much musicality.  Is anything gained by intellectualising the dance like this? What is the point of trying to score as many musical points as possible in one tango? Does this approach contribute to social tango?

Dancing tango is simple – simply dance the feeling.


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