Friday, January 19, 2018

The Architecture of Tango :: Saxon Henry

Photographer: Saxon Henry | Model/Dress Designer: Maria Elena

Doing a google search on "the tango lesson scene on the seine" I came across this image, with a link back to Saxon Henry's "The Architecture of Tango" - a coffee table book concept. It doesn't look like the book has been published - not sure if she plans to. The post is mostly her musings about Sally Potter's film "The Tango Lesson", and her initial thoughts/steps in producing the book - working title "The Architecture of Tango". Interesting concept.

I'm always struck by the huge amount of content out there in the world relating to El Tango. So many thousands of people who feel compelled (by their feelings for/of/from/about/because Tango) to write, produce, film, photograph, paint, draw, sculpt, dance, play and on and on. Compelled to be creative with Tango as their driving force. A person doesn't have to even dance tango for it to become a creative outlet for them. A creative driver. A creative force. Tango as a creative force in the world. I hadn't thought of that until I started writing this post.

In my case, my compulsion is to document, in my ramshackle down-home intellectual hillbilly sorta way. Well, and y'all who know me know that I take a pretty good photograph now and then. And don't forget dance and listen and think and ponder. I truly believe in my heart of hearts that I'm a much more creative person since tango captured my heart and soul. What is it, fourteen, fifteen years ago now? How time flies. When you're havin' fun.

Anyway, here's an excerpt from her post (from September 15, 2016). It'a a pretty interesting read. Photos and video, as well.

"I envy the pencil being held carefully between her fingers, the rasping sound the sharpener makes as a thin layer of wood peels away from the instrument’s body. I am fascinated by her hesitation, the dark point poised above the supple blank pages so pristine the sight sends ripples of resistance through the synapses of my mind. It takes an audacious writer to stare down nothingness, and Sally Potter, sitting bolt upright at a table as she readies herself to begin the process of writing a screenplay, is up to the task. She records one word, rage, in a neat cursive and nothing more. For now.

Suddenly she is rushing along a street in Paris as the staccato strains of tango music waft from a Bandoneón, drawing her into a performance hall where Pablo Veron is dancing on a stage, leading his female partner through a perfect performance. Potter is enraptured and, as the applause reaches a crescendo, the camera cuts away from her animated face to the stage; then to a close-up of the famous Argentine dancer, who peers into the camera with eyes I’ve seen before.

His stare is akin to the predatory gaze I saw one summer afternoon in the zoo in Buenos Aires, the black panther pacing behind a glass partition having just awakened from an afternoon nap. The big cat’s eyes held the same mix of disinterest and menace. You are now sensually nailed into the world of the Argentine tango.

The scenes Potter makes her way through are set within the first few moments of The Tango Lesson, a film she wrote and directed that serves as a a canvas upon which she and Verón compose the story of the dance and its strain on relationships. I have seen her level of passion for tango firsthand so I knew, even before I saw an interview during which she stated that the movie is nothing less than a love letter to the dance, how she felt. “I was totally and completely in love with the music and the dance itself,” she explains, “and I immersed myself completely for about two years before making the film.” This immersion included numerous trips to Buenos Aires where she danced in the city’s milongas, as the tango salons are called. She also took hours upon hours of lessons in order to perfect her moves."

Unless the music taps into a deep well inside your being, I believe it is difficult to understand the level of attachment Potter describes. My interest was sparked when I visited Baires a handful of times with a guy I dated for a number of years. His introductions to his hometown included taking me to the clubs where tango enthusiasts, called tangueros and milongueras, circled the dance floors from midnight until sunup.

Read the rest here:

Also, her author page on Amazon is here.

Here's her bio from the Amazon page:
Saxon Henry, an author, poet and content creator, is a literary adventurer on The Diary of an Improvateur on Also the founder of The Literary Blog to Book Movement on Google+, Saxon has four books to her credit, the latest of which are "Anywhere But Here" (poetry), "Stranded on the Road to Promise" (memoir), and "Four Florida Moderns" (architecture). "Stranded on the Road to Promise" chronicles Saxon's experiences on the Native American reservations in South Dakota and Alaska.

The writer is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and, as a journalist for over two decades, has written for a variety of national publications, including "The New York Times," "The Wall Street Journal," "Interior Design," "Robb Report," "Traditional Home," "Delta Sky Magazine," "The Miami Herald" and "Latitudes."

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