Friday, 7 May 2010

Mistakes and Excitement

A professional tango dancer said to me that he used to be in shows, once upon a time, but compared to improvisation (and social dancing, even to not very good live music) he just found it painfully boring. I paraphrase, but that was the gist. "Tango is about making mistakes," he said. Apparently he just didn't get the rush from an audience.

I found that very sympathetic. I don't really think it's true that all dancers want to have an audience. There are mixtures, of course. There are those who want an audience of one, and there are those who only do it 'for an audience' if you define audience participation as 100%, which is quite different again. Some people never look good if they know they're being filmed because they just loathe the whole concept of performing, and have to sort of trick themselves into it if they want a video for some other reason. But that doesn't mean they aren't happy to be watched (politely) on a real dance floor with real people, given the opportunity.

Maturity might have something to do with it as well, as it does with the awareness that mistakes are fruitful.

Sorry about the tedious post yesterday night, I was trying to keep myself awake, and I failed. I went to sleep shortly afterwards.


Anonymous said...

I meet many who think that the over elaborate show dancers are the real tango, even some inside the tango scene itself. Few believe that I started with show tango and found the salon style more difficult.
In the end we all find our own tango, but few find true nirvana until they visit Buenos Aires.

Rys said...

I do often meet professional dancers and putting aside very young one, all of them much more prefer to have a dance during milonga rather than having to dance a Tango Show. First is a pleasure, second is work. Often it happens in the venue you don't know, floor you didn't have a time to check properly, there was no proper warm up and the lights happens to be very different to what you expected. Using social dancing analogy - the feeling is like having to dance with the new partner, pulling all the stops in the first dance... crazy and usually not very rewarding...
- I met so many bad tango dancers from BsAs that I can't believe you should go there to find your tango 'nirvana'.

msHedgehog said...

Well, improvisation certainly isn't easy.

I can see how some people would get more out of the composition, out of creating a choreography, and the special challenges of putting on a show, and just aren't really interested in social dancing. I can think of some of those too. But maybe it helps to be the person in charge.

I'm undecided about Buenos Aires.

Chris, UK said...

> Well, improvisation certainly isn't easy.

Many find improvisation much easier than choreography. I remember how taxing I found memorising and recalling the twelve-step sequences of tango dance classes. Especailly when trying to stay with music, partner and floor. Much easier to make it up as I go along!