As someone who has been constant over the last almost 9 years in my lack of interest in any tango that is choreographed – it really is interesting to start this personal journey now.
The initial lessons for me are really powerful, and I suppose if you have been choreographed before then they are obvious – but I never have been.
Some highlights for me as I make the first hesitant steps on this journey:
- It is fundamentally liberating for the follower to actually know what’s coming next. It really changes everything for her.
- If we are serious about learning Tango we all want to push boundaries and break down barriers.
In a choreographed world for the follower so many things are now ‘enabled‘ and ‘allowed‘ – she can get the most out of every moment, and move her body in way that would carry an unacceptable risk in social dancing.
- I can already sense as a leader that new links to the music are opening up, in a very precise and different way from improvised dancing. This is exciting – some more elaborate, choreographed moments can certainly be brought back to the world of improvised tango that I love so much.
More elaborate footwork – for example – will not disturb her as she quite rightly has little knowledge of what embellishments a leader’s feet are doing.
- Thinking about an audience is another perspective – I have cared for a while now about aesthetics – but not in this way.
In a way though it brings back a whole new anxiety – as a leader in a social dancing world I can be in the moment – move from node to node, improvise my way through the dance – and that place took a lot of effort to occupy with some confidence.
Now I am anxious that I might forget what’s next.
And in a way that makes me a follower – in that I have that mindset that I need to push beyond – am I about to make a mistake?
We need to stay in the present to enjoy the magic of Tango.
Follower’s anxiety drags us into the future.
So – I think – does choregraphy.
But it is yet another layer in this unlimited journey – and that of course is just fascinating.