Monday, 16 July 2012

Nightmare on the streets of Buenos Aires

I awake from a nightmare on the streets of Buenos Aires. I've arrived back in the city, and it seems to be a future time. There's some kind of revivalist milonguero festival on, and everyone is concentrating on Estilo Milonguero, as in 'What was the correct Estilo Milonguero way for the dancers' hands to meet?' I see people arguing about the exact hold: no no, the guy's left hand used to be like this! Qué pesadilla! What a nightmare! As I wake up, perplexed and groaning, I'm thinking; so where am I going to get a dance tonight?

A dystopian vision of the future, or was it a sly subconscious comment on some aspects of the present? I don't want to imagine what Buenos Aires might be like in 100, 150 years. &... oh no, a dream about Buenos Aires! The city with the greatest concentration of analysts on earth! (Or so it's claimed.) What will they make of me?

In the cold light of morning I think that if the soul goes out of tango people will stop dancing, and if they want to start dancing again there's at least an archive of video: between video and the music, the dance can be re-created. A pity to have no contact with that era when kids grew up with the dance and later went to milongas where Troilo and D'Agostino played, it was that much part of their lives, but you could get by and learn to enjoy the dance and music from video. You could get by, but 2D video tends to give a rather weightless impression: if you look hard, and especially if you use slow motion, you can work out how weight and momentum are used, but you don't feel it as directly as when you watch live bodies dancing. But at least the videos will show nothing rigid about the form of the dance, so there's hope for a hypothetical tangoless future.

I should say I avoid the 'm' word: I have a strange aversion to the way it gets used to define and package a particular style (as if there was a particular style), and an apparently elite, exclusive group of tangueros. For some reason I've always felt the reality to be a bit indeterminate, a bit indefinable. Maybe that's just how I'd like it to be, but sometimes things are safer if they aren't defined too precisely. So I myself dance... tango. (At least I hope it's recognisable as tango.) To be more precise, social tango (as against, anti-social tango.) Perhaps even 'tango salon'. I hope there's no such thing as 'salonero', or would it be 'salonisto'? Never, I hope!

No comments: