Tango is supportive, open ended and inspiring. It causes us to experience the joy of finding ourselves and simultaneously connecting with others in a safe structure – supported by a complex and wonderful musical world.
That has so much to commend it. It amazes me. Always.
But when people you love in the ‘real world’ treat you like shit and abandon you, in those rare moments when everything in your life just collapses in on itself – we should recognise tango for what it is – a charade.
It is at all levels just an act. A series of calls and responses that ripple back through history and reach into your life and heart with so much meaning precisely because of their foundation in a focussed, intense intersection of music, place and time.
But you were not there.
You were not in those knife fights on the pampa. You were not in those music halls. You were not a lost immigrant calling back to his origins. So for you it is forever separated from your real life. It is a set of gestures – ultimately an incredibly well crafted, open ended artifact.
You are in the here and now – and those people in your life outside of your tango universe are actually alive.
So when real people fuck your life up don’t expect Tango to fix it.
Tango is an act. Real people have blood. They might be clumsy – but they are so alive in a way that tango dancers always divorce themselves from – precisely because we need a safe environment to explore so many things about ourselves, our emotions, the music and our dance partners.
Don’t get lost in this brilliantly crafted fiction. It is all too easy. The real word is what counts.