Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tango trance or whatever

tatiana y roberto

I've been pondering the connection this morning. Many (most?) people think of the physical connection when 'connection' is mentioned. I'm talking about the connection beyond the physical connection. The feeling. Not the physical feeling, but the emotional. Calling it emotional doesn't even describe it. It goes beyond the physical/tactile. It goes beyond the psycho/emotional. It goes beyond thinking. It's what happens when the two partners don't think, and are not aware of the tactile connection. Tango trance. Tangasm. Tango bliss. Whatever.

Here's the crux. I've been thinking about it this morning, listening to the wind blow and watching the cedar trees sway. Watching the squirrel hold onto the bird feeder for dear life, swinging in the wind - and thinking that there is no way that this can occur in a purely open embrace.

I know for a fact it has never happened when I dance in this mode, which happily is rare. The more I ponder it, deeply, using my best analytical and deductive reasoning, I don't see how it can happen with others who dance exclusively open embrace. Open embrace and nuevo dancers always defend this - and say that they do feel it. They say that they have experienced the tango trance in open embrace - but I just can't get there. I can't wrap my mind around how this is possible.

I just don't believe it. That's not to say I have a problem with open/nuevo. It is what it is - and many folks prefer it - but it ain't close embrace. I can't help but feeling a little bit sad for the multitudes of people who will never experience the full depth of what tango has to offer.

Friday, February 27, 2009

On Fiscal Destabilization :: The Nut Crushing Truth

I just heard this on NPR, and could not have said it more succinctly myself...paraphrasing....

The problem is not the banks, the problem is not toxic assets, the problem is not Wall Street, the problem is not the housing debacle. The problem is us, we the people. We have been living an ever increasingly high (luxurious) standard of living for the past 25 years. Here is the kicker. We have been paying for it using BORROWED money.

We. We, the people are the ones responsible for where we are.

Have a nice day.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

KUT 90.5 Radio Austin

Austin, Texas Skyline
Photo by alex.tango.fuego...

NPR and some of the greatest music you will find on the radio...from the University of Texas at Austin...Sunday night, as I post this, is world music programming...

This page has various listening options - live feeds/players for your computer, and even an iPhone streaming app, which is pretty cool...

Here's their "about" info from their website...


The official KUT mission is “to be the most trusted radio source for news and music in Central Texas.” In real terms, that means we strive every day to bring you insightful news coverage and music that gets us fired up. This page includes a lot of information that we need to share with you. But what we want you to know is that our entire staff is devoted to bringing you the best news and music in Central Texas every day—every hour, every minute that we’re on the air. (Scheduled to be an in-studio guest? We’ve got helpful info for you right here.)

KUT Austin and KUTX San Angelo are licensed by the FCC to the Board of Regents of The University of Texas and operate as a department within the College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin.

Flor de Monserrat

Biagi's "Flor de Monserrat" remains my favorite milonga...I've posted these before, but they are so beautiful, here there are again...

Javier Rodriguez & Geraldine Rojas ::

Adrian & Amanda Costa ::

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tango Connections

No testimonial here, just throwing this out there.I've added it to "Tango Links" below.

Check it out. I think it's like a Facebook for tango.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Just a rose...
Photo by alex.tango.fuego

I titled this one "just a rose...". Very original, huh? But in fact, it's not just a rose, nor just any rose. It's a very special rose, one of a dozen, the most beautiful one, that stood out from the others unique in its shade of red. Special not just in its intrinsic beauty, but in the context in which it, and its sister roses, were given.

Elizabeth & Alan gave these to Kim on the occasion of her performance at a patron's house concert a couple of weeks ago. It was wonderful to meet them, and see our mutual friend Pat, and share some nice dances during their visit. Sweet, and too short.

It's a beautiful thing when beautiful roses come into your life.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentango in Austin

Tango-Fire 6051.jpg
Originally uploaded by hansspeekenbrink

Tonight....Valentine's Day Eve...Friday, February 13...

for those of us left behind by all the dogs going to ValenTango in Portland...

Tango Fire at One World Theater...I think tickets are still available...

plus...a milonga at Tazza Fresca (9:30-1:00) after the tango fire show...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

*BE* the tango you wish to see in the world...

Photo by alex.tango.fuego...

Stealing from Ghandi's famous quote "Be the change you wish to see in the world"...

BE the tango you wish to see in the world...

Tango is in trouble...

From ruddy...this is one of those "must reads" that rises to the surface periodically...interesting stuff...

Hola Naifas y Garabos,
this has been an interesting topic, albeit IMHO just
another round in the seemingly endless battle between
the conservative and liberal camps of the tango spectrum.

Coincidentally, a friend of mine who just came back from
Buenos Aires posted the following in a local tango list:

Tango is in trouble. Living in our own world of music and dance, we
are failing to see it. The milongas in Buenos Aires are full. And
when they are not, the practicas are (100-300 people). But in the
real world, outside of the milongas, the picture looks very different.

Argentines, essentially, are boycotting the tango. Many even hate
it. Out of 100 radio stations in Buenos Aires, only one plays tango
music. Argentine companies do not use tango music in their TV
commercials, preferring rock, foreign or national. And Argentine
people that love tango music are in despair. They no longer have
hope that the young Argentines will embrace the tango. Many also
have lost hope in the Europeans. But they have a lot of hope in the

Many Argentine people that are involved with the music of tango, such
as tango historians and others, who may not even dance themselves,
feel that the Americans have a genuine interest and love for tango
music. It appears that many people from the US are buying a lot of
tango music, and not just the most obvious selections, but things
that are rare, and they know what they are buying because they have
been looking for it. These Argentine tango historians look at the
Amerian dancers and DJs with respect and hope. They believe that if
anyone can save the tango, it will be the Americans that love it.

There are many young people (18 +) in Buenos Aires, who dance
beautiful traditional tango with great style and energy, and they do
not dance "nuevo" or dance to electronic tango (both of which seem to
be the domain of dancers outside of Argentina). Instead, they love
to dance to Donato, Canaro, Lomuto, etc. But there are not enough of
them to keep tango from oblivion.

Traditionally, tango orchestras played at the milongas, sometimes as
many as four or five on the same night at the same milonga. There
was also recorded music. Each orchestra had its own unique sound,
and each orchestra's signature was their endings. After the WWII,
there were only two recording studios - Victor and Odeon. As a
result, many orchestras recorded either very little or not at
all. Those that recorded, left a legacy unmatched by anything else
from the more recent history of tango.

Why are the recordings of Pugliese, made in August of1945, have a
very special feel, something very haunting and beautiful that does
not appear in his later recordings? This was the first recording
that Pugliese did with his musicians as a full orchestra. Maybe we
feel that excitement in the music. It was a precious moment for
those musicians.

And what about Orquesta Tipica Victor? That was a special
time. Victor created a tango orchestra that never played in
public. They only recorded. But many, many musicians played with
them. That is why the sound of Donato and Carabelli powerfully
echoes OT Victor.

Because each orchestra had a different feel to their music, the
dancers became very selective regarding who they danced with to
particular music. The tandas maintained the feeling and the dancers
were never surprised by a sudden change. The lyrics of tango also
played an important part. The poetry of tango is beautiful,
memorable, and often painful. It was often written by very famous poets.

If, as my friend says, we Americans are the last hope for
tango, I think the tango will not last to celebrate its 200th

Best regards,

I am :: a creator

I ran across this some time ago and liked the comparison. I am a creator.

creator v reactor

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sad news :: The death of Marilyn Feng

The tango community is a small and close-knit one. I did not know Marilyn, but I know people who knew her. She lived in NYC, and was killed by a drunk driver last night at around 3:30 a.m. Her companion, Dennis, is in critical condition.

My heart and love goes out to her family and friends.

Sad news indeed.

Here's a link with more info...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

On Tango :: Surrender through, not to...

I've been reading "Woman's Love, Man's Freedom" by David Deida off and on for many years now. The copy I have is spiral bound and dog-eared, pre-publication I believe. I think it may have been the precursor to his book "The Way of the Superior Man", but I can't be sure. I've been reading that one off and on now for many years as well. It seems I read all my books that way. Off and on. For many years.

So you've heard me talk about surrender before. Not so much surrender, but "The Surrender". *Not* submission and all that drivel. Some women seem to have it, some women don't. Some nail it on the first embrace of the first lesson, some take more time, some never...never. I was going to say never master it. Or never learn it. Or never get it. Or never do it. Or refuse and refute the concept. It's not a concept. It's a feeling. It's emotional. It's metaphysical. It's hard to say if it can be learned or mastered or taught or explained.

Deida did a good job in Chapter 3, 'Surrender Through, Not To'. As I was reading, it seemed he was talking about tango.

Here it is....intended for men and women, lead and follow...replace lover with follower or leader, and sexual with tango...I suppose...and also, you should understand that 'love' goes beyond romantic love...touched by true love as I have said before...the true, untainted, universal love of the universe...that thread of energy I like to call has nothing to do with romance...that's a separate topic...okay, I digress...

Here it is...

Practice surrendering not to your own fears, nor to the demands of another, but directly to love. Do your best to feel through you own resistance as well as your lover's. Behind all resistive emotion is the motive for love. The desire to give and receive love underlies every emotional action and reaction, including hurt and anger, in yourself and in your partner.

Whatever the emotion - anger, fear, closure - feel through it, breathe through it, relax through it, into the love which lies behind it. And then, actively, surrender to that love. Open as that love. Magnify love by loving.

True sexual and spiritual surrender is not about adapting yourself to what will appease your partner. Nor is it about surrendering to your own momentary emotional needs. True surrender is about relaxing through these secondary needs, both yours and your partner's, and magnifying the primary desire to give and receive love.

I sit here, and wonder, is tango simply a vehicle, a method, through which two human beings can bi-laterally give and receive love? Three minutes. Immersed in the music. Immersed in love? Is that what makes tango so powerful?

I wonder.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Signs of the times...

Signs of the times...

Have you noticed lots of vehicles "for sale" on the roadsides?

I can understand a man selling his Suburban. I can understand him selling his 14 cubic yard tandem dump truck. I can understand him hiring his tractor out.

But his dozer? Times must really rough when a man is backed in to a corner tight enough to force him to sell his dozer. Sad.

I'm not sure if it's a Cat or a Komatsu. I'll check next time I drive by.

P.S. The fog is supposed to connote 'impending doom'...

Grasshopper on a 2x4...

Grasshopper on a 2x4...