Some good sense about social tango has appeared in a national newspaper. An article in the Guardian about social dancing features Carablanca (the milonga, not the horse). It isn’t without errors (the milonga isn’t called La Carablanca, it offers good beginners classes rather than ‘tasters’, and it’s as laid-back as anywhere else about same-sex couples even if there may be fewer of them) but it’s great that a visitor notices that social tango is more about inner experience than outward appearance, and in reported conversations dancers say the experience of connection is what really matters to them. It’s great because people usually think of tango as outward show: nothing wrong with that, but a crowded social dance floor just isn’t the place for it.
A few days later the same paper published an article on actor Don Cheadle and his forthcoming film about Miles Davis, Miles Ahead. Don Cheadle is also a musician, and he comments on the experience of playing with a group of musicians: ‘I just love the experience of sitting in a room with people who can play... The fun of all these disparate voices coming together, all different walks of life, all different socioeconomic whatever, then you start playing music and all of that goes away... Everybody’s following, but nobody’s following. Everybody’s leading, but nobody’s leading. It’s an experience that’s unlike anything outside it. That’s the most fun I’ve ever had doing anything.’ All of which sounds familiar, but perhaps it’s not really surprising that the words of a musician describing improvising jazz echo the experience of dancers improvising tango.