For so long as students we all strive to be correct.
We learn figures, we watch performers and teachers. We work hard – trying to be ‘right’. Trying not to make mistakes.
To learn to be more correct seems to be why we go to classes.
Recently I have began to feel that correct is boring. That the woman is in danger of disappearing – of loosing her individuality to the correct and familiar execution of what is asked of her.
As a leader I have been studying the footage of milongueros – building up video resources and notes – and the one thing I do not see is any sense of uniformity. They share fantastic musicality and creative skills, which they express in such extremely individual ways.
And who among us would have the temerity to describe them as wrong?
Just one example – I have been learning from clips of Pibe Avellande – particularly that wonderfully creative dance with Luna Palacios at salon Canning to Rodriguez.
Is there anything at all that is “correct” about the posture of El Pibe?
I can just hear the teachers now – ‘stand up straight’ .. ‘don’t hunch’ .. ‘be more gentle’ .. ‘don’t stretch the woman’s arm like that’ .. ‘walk properly not like a crab’ – in short – stop being amazing and just dance Tango like everyone else in the class.
Of course I don’t have the 40 years – or the talent – to be so creative and so connected to the music as this.
But I am already so enjoying it when people that I am lucky enough to dance with express their own individual interpretation, when the energy flows back and forwards between us. When neither of us are following or leading – and when right and wrong don’t exist between us in the same way that they used to.
It is so exciting when you feel on the edge – when you take risks, enjoy the moments of surprise – and stay with the emotional landscape of the music however the dice fall.