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.


Anonymous said...

Whatever the think they experience, it will never be the same as in close embrace, Alex. Just by the mere fact that close embrace requires a level of intimacy that can easily be avoided in open.

dekay said...

Happens to me, too. Tango trance is much easier to achieve in close embrace. I have had tango moments in open embrace, single steps or movements that seemed to last forever, but this is different that what I can feel in close embrace.

Malevito said...

Hi Alex, how are you?

Disclaimer: I support all forms of serious tango pursuit, whatever the "style" may be. That being said--

My current thinking is that the terminology isn't particularly accurate, in that what is widely thought of as "open embrace" isn't really an embrace at all. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call it "open frame."

Then, the terms "open" and "close" in relation to the term "embrace" can be thought of as relative engagement in a default "close embrace." That is, when you need to open a little to make a turn or something, that would be construed as "open" embrace before going back to the default "close" embrace. Just a thought.

As far as the feeling that is derived, far be it from me to say what anyone else is feeling or looking to feel. But my general assumption is that those who dance *solely* in "open embrace" either have issues of personal space or derive joy primarily from the externally expressive qualities of the dance and/or the sheer kinetic thrill.

Personally, though I mostly employ an intimate embrace pared with simple movements I also enjoy a more modern and dynamically expressive approach as well, but it's a matter of knowing the time and place where something is appropriate and what kind of pleasure you are going for in a certain moment.

Alex said...

Hola Malevito!

That's a very good point on the definition of open versus close in close embrace. I'm adopting that definition as of this moment.

You also very eloquently expressed what I didn't - that each of has different motivations in our pursuit and love of tango - and those differences are just fine.

Have a great Sunday!

P.S. thanks to Johanna & dekay for the comments as well...always appreciated...always...

Mari said...

I'm still so new to this I feel I shouldn't comment, but I can't imagine the same feeling that is achieved in close embrace (that, 'my God, why does anyone do anything else with their time than this?' feeling) in an open frame or embrace. Excellent post.