Argentine Tango. Most likely, the first picture coming to your mind is a man and a woman dancing sensually with straight postures and dramatic facial expressions. Maybe, the man is even biting on the stalk of a rose.
Yes, posture is important. Yes, there is drama, sometimes. Roses, to be honest, we usually leave them on the tables. Underneath, Tango is a dive into the body and the emotions. It is a wordless communication between two persons (who can also be two men or two women). It takes two to tango. Yet, this connection goes beyond the couple. “Los tangueros” and “las tangueras” navigate all together around the dance floor, “la pista”, in one, two or three lines, careful of each other. You watch my back and I watch yours.
Tango opens up a space to explore our body, our heart, and our intimate boundaries when connecting physically and emotionally with absolute strangers. It is e-motions, energy in motions triggered by profound music. The melancholy of the universal quest for love is expressed in a sensual corporal language, constantly refined with precise communication techniques. It takes two to tango. Still, the more we explore and develop our own balance, the more we can trust, let go, and find freedom in the couple. This embodied search to be centred, balanced, grounded takes us to a unique form of true, authentic connections.
Tango is Presence. All our senses engage, leaving no space for thoughts but striving for the collaboration of yin and yang, shiva and shakti, the feminine and the masculine. Both sides of the brain are to be equally engaged – creative and intuitive, analytical and logical. It comes to form in the dance by the application of logical movement techniques to create lines and curves. Two individuals, preserving their own axis, yet nurturing each other in the hug of the embrace, dancing with strength AND love, giving AND receiving in an endless loop, until the last note of music calls for a break and a change of partner.
Tango opens our chakras, an ancient energy system. The balance between our seven chakras is believed to be essential in order to keep our body and mind healthy. When we dance, we connect our roots to mother earth. Our creativity flourishes and our heart opens.
We are given power and expression through an intuitive journey. When being shared with our partner on all levels of physics, emotions, and energetics, it brings us to a transcendent experience.
I will always remember the first time I felt I was leaving the current space and time dancing Tango. We were moving around the wooden floor, among the other dancers. There were pillars connecting the floor and the ceiling in the middle of the room, tables aligned in the square defined by the walls. The spectacle’s room of an old music school, impregnated with the ghosts of all the artists who dared to expose themselves with all their strength and vulnerability.
At that time I had no idea what “mindfulness” was. I was only starting to meet with my physical body, a forgotten envelope for nearly the first thirty years of my life. We were dancing, I was completely letting go in the embrace. “El Abrazo” as we call it in the Tango world, honouring the Argentinian roots of the dance. One dance. Two dances. Suddenly everything disappears… There is no leader, no follower. Only togetherness. The melody coming from ancient age and place envelops us. The pillar disappear. The tables disappear. The floor disappears. Even our bodies disappear. Only our souls remain dancing in an undefined time and space, completely free from physical matters. The last note of the fourth song comes to remind us that it is the end of our “tanda”, the set of four tango songs marking the start and the end of a turn before changing partner. We open the embrace and I see him. I completely forgot who he was… his age, his physical appearance, his name. I completely forgot who I was. It was not about him and me.
A free spirit was born from the meeting of our unique essences, in this unique place, at this unique moment.
Us. Here. Now.
Picture credit: Mikael Holber