Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Dancecraft and tarot

There are some people
for whom the gentle brownian motion of a flowing ronda
is such an important input to their improvisation
that if you take them out of a moderately busy dancefloor and make them do a 'demo'
their dance seems formless, at a loose end, or goes a little off the rails ...

It must be a bit like that static feeling of "I need input!" when the mind is paralysed with possibilities and can't make a decision.

... Is this person for me?
... Should I accept this job offer?
... Who is the right choice to bat at no. 3?
... Shall I go there tonight, or not?

Practically any input will do, but it needs the right amount of randomness, if it's too chaotic it just makes more stress. The classic example is tossing a coin - because once it's in the air, you'll know which way you want it to come down.

Tarot and many similar procedures serve the same function. With a skilled, empathic practitioner it's completely unnecessary for either the client or the practitioner to believe in the efficacy of the ritual as such, or accept any of its claims. Some people can make up rituals on the spot. All the procedure does, is provide just the right sort of random inputs that people need to discover what it is that they already think or want.


Anonymous said...

I love it, Ms Hedgehog. It's so true. Art of all kinds thrives on self-chosen restrictions: of which the navigational challenges of the dance floor is an important one.

LimerickTango said...

I'll second that. I find an empty floor harder work than the ronda. On the empty floor you have to decide where you are going whereas the ronda does that for you and you can concentrate on the quality of the movement more.
When I go have to dance on an empty floor I force myself to follow a line of dance, otherwise I end up all over the shop.

msHedgehog said...

@Terpsichoral: I agree, but I don't think tango is art. I think it's play.

@Limerick: Indeed, I mean, why progress anywhere? And then if you don't progress, tango stops making sense, because it's fundamentally a walking-along sort of dance. It just turns into silly posing. Unless you're doing a choreography that gets its meaning elsewhere, like from a story or something, or maybe something extremely way-out 'nuevo'-ish.

Anonymous said...

I really don't get why some people prefer an empty milonga with lots of space. Hey-ho.