I love the tango, even though it’s the last thing on earth you’d expect an uptight, reserved person like me to enjoy. Yet, it was liberating.
May 26, 2016
I took up tango dancing almost twenty years ago. Around the time I began, Sally Potter released The Tango Lesson, an autobiographical film about the tension between artists and their art. In the film, Sally plays a filmmaker with writer’s block whose procrastinations include tearing up a floor in her house and traveling to Paris, where she discovers Argentine tango. She begins taking lessons from Pablo Veron, and in exchange gives him a role in a film. Thus begins an artistic tug of war.
Argentine tango is both intricate and intimate. The basic step is itself complex, requiring two steps and a cross that can tangle the feet of the unwary or inexperienced. From there, the leader can take the pair through a multitude of pivots, turns, and kicks executed in slow and rapid motion, all at his whim—improvisation is a central tenet…
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