Quality and snobs

by 96dpi Food (and drinks) metaphors for tango seem to be popular lately, so here in another one: My brother and I have two very distinct wine quality stories that I find very amusing when seen together. Each involves a young woman, at the age where going to parties and flirting with alcohol is at its most exciting, somewhere just before or just after going to university. #1: A rather simple red wine was served with the main dish at a dinner party with the entire class of that year. [Read More]

Eating the marshmellow

by Sarah Marafi (мυƒƒιησσн™) I just read a very interesting article in the New Yorker about research on people’s ability to deter satisfaction, and how it could be a character treat determined very early. The researchers performed an experiment where children were given the choice of eating a marshmellow now, or wait fifteen minutes, waiting in front of the marshmellows, and get two marshmellows. Some kids were able to find ways of distracting themselves, earning the extra marshmellow in the end. [Read More]

Color -- like no other

The world is not black and white, there are grays in between… it is often said when some take a clear position in a debate. And they do have a point of course. But they also sometimes miss the point entirely. Tango is not gray, it is full of colour! You just have to open your eyes and take them in. I am thinking of the “nuevo” versus “traditional” debate, of course. [Read More]

Empty movement

by bass_nroll As you probably know, tango is not merely a dance. Among other things, the dance is also a language. It is not like a language, because the different movements have different meanings, which can be used for actual communication. It is not a metaphor. However, when people copy movements without realizing the underlying meaning, the result is movements with no meaning. Empty movement. Or even worse, you may be saying something without knowing it. [Read More]

Sabor a tango

by Simba tango It is common to say that we taste four diffent tastes: sweet, salt, bitter and sour. Combinations of these make up all other tastes. Sounds familiar? You may be guessing what I’m getting at… The experience of taste, or should I say the experience of a meal, which we humans make for the pure pleasure of enjoying the different tastes and combinations, consists of a lot more than these four basic tastes (some also include umami, but that’s not the point). [Read More]

Under pressure

by notinponce Comparing tango with other dances, salsa for instance, some find the other dances so much fuller of life. Sparkling. Bubbling over of life and joy. Tango is rarely bubbling over. It is more self contained. Directing the energy inwards. More like boiling under pressure. More intensity and energy, but perhaps less visible. I remember so well one of my first times to a festival. As usual, people were going crazy on the dance floor, using brownian motion as the guiding principle. [Read More]

The Secret -- Don't tell anyone

The main character is asked to prepare an omelet in the morning for his master, a Parisian intellectual. Feeling his cooking is underappreciated, he contemplates the intellectuals’ missing reflection on his artistry in the kitchen. This is clearly about tango: (From Monique Truong’s The Book of Salt:) Like children, gullible and full of wonder, they always ask, "What is your secret?" Do I look like a fool? I ask myself each time. [Read More]

Death in the Afternoon

Sometimes, reading on very different topics can give deep insights in tango. Death in the Afternoon by Ernest Hemingway is such a book. I thought of tango often when reading his treaty on bullfighting. While not being as deadly or controvertial as the bullfighting, tango is also a culture full of rituals and things you have to know to really appreciate. And it was the parts that was guiding the novice to understand the rich culture of bullfighting and its meaning that really made me think of tango. [Read More]

Putting the baby to sleep

I quite recently became a father, and the poor child is exposed to a lot of tango music, naturally. (And I get out to dance less, hence the blog writing.) Before he was born, I used to talk about how we would practice walking together, he and I. Now this is how it turned out: The scene: Unpatiant 12 days old boy, waiting for his mother to get ready for breast-feeding. [Read More]