Monday, 6 December 2010

Tango warmth

Tango commuting seemed unlikely on Thursday morning after what the heavens dumped on us overnight, and I envisaged a weekend keeping myself warm by working my way through all the videos on the Cachirulo site. But within 24 hours a rail route had opened up and, looking at the cold white all around, the long commute to the warmth of tango seemed a great idea.

YouTube might be a surrogate, but it's valuable. Years ago I had a serious back injury, and was given a fortnight off work. It was late June, and aha! I thought; I'll watch Wimbledon. & I couldn't. Why? Every time someone served, my back ached. I wasn't moving, but my muscles were following the movement, and it hurt. A programme on The Dancer's Body by ex-Royal Ballet principal Deborah Bull a year or so later explained that we understand any movement we watch by following it with our own muscles, and so we learn from watching the few videos there are of great dancers whose practice goes back 50 years. Sure we see where they put their feet, but we learn more than that; we get the 'feel' of their dance in our own bodies. If, that is, we think the tango of 50 years ago is still relevant!

(A correction: I said that before long we'll be uploading 3D videos to Youtube but I'm way behind the times: it's been possible to upload 3D content since July 2009, but you need the right glasses to watch it. But we'll have to wait at least a decade for life-sized moving holographic content...)

& the weekend was warm: we came out of the milonga to find the snow had turned to sleety rain. The power of dance! & the Sunday night had it's own wonderful warmth too. Neither night was crowded... OK, I should explain. Few milongas here are ever crowded in the BsAs sense, but give people room here and like children given a big space after being cooped up all winter, they'll run all over it, and bump into each other. So I should say the milongas were quite empty because of the weather, and it was a good opportunity to try to fit new possibilities to the music. It was useful to explore a much more upright walk and to explore the embrace, without having to take constant evasive action. & of course it was very enjoyable! The warmth continued on the late-night journey home between banks of snow, with Tanturi and Fresedo between my ears. & Monday morning? Ah well, Monday...

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