Couples and couples
Some time ago I had a discussion with a friend of mine. I was telling him how much I like the performances of Carlitos and Agustina because they can make simple things look so nice and complex. He was arguing that he likes shows which are really impressive. Shows with a lot of complex moves and drama etc.
This got me thinking. Today there are so many different couples performing out there. Successful couples have managed to create a specific kind of style and sometimes specialize in a specific kind of music or style etc. The most successful ones are performing usually with complex choreographies refined even to the latest details.
On the other hand, there is a handful of couples that one can find on YouTube performing using only a basic set of skills and moves, prioritizing musicality and connection and not always how good their dancing looks. It’s not as impressive as the previous group This is the kind of dancing we all dance in milongas. The kind of Tango that sometimes looks boring and unattractive on the outside but still is very deep, connected, and highly addictive.
So given this contradiction, I was asking myself if social tango is good enough for performances. I mean how much would people be interested in looking at couples dancing with simple steps, without big colgadas, back sacadas, complex ganchos, and all kinds of fancy moves? It is definitely not as attractive as the usual performance Tango. I think the answer is a matter of taste.
For me … the answer is yes! I would love to see more shows like these… simple, musical, connected, and meaningful. That is why I find myself lately being attracted to couples like Celine and Alexis, Melina and Detlef, or even Carlitos and Agustina. I find them much more inspiring and at the same time accessible that I could watch them on repeat.
I don’t mean to say that the usual shows are pointless and the complex moves are not inspiring. They are, and I do like them too. But they are so easy to find and get your attention. Sometimes so much that they might be working at the expense of the other kind of shows. The social ones. What I would like to point out and request with this post is that social tango is also very good for shows and instead of being expelled because it may not look attractive we should be looking for it more of it.
The danger of extinction
But why aren’t they so popular? Obviously, they break the usual pattern of impressing the audience with all kinds of jewelry. They force you to think a bit deeper… question yourself… search deep to discover the countless possibilities of simple steps… search deep into music to find meaning, reason, and emotion for your dance. That is maybe why they are not popular. Because we live in a world where everything fights for our attention using every possible trick to get it. In such a world full of dazzling shows, products, and people… it is so hard to not get blinded and manage to see the essence behind all this.
I am not saying that the usual tango shows are pointless and meaningless. We do need them. I do like them too. But they already have easy access to an audience and there is already a high demand for them. What I am saying is that we should not be abandoning and neglecting the other kind of shows… the not-so-dazzling ones. I would argue that in a world that the dazzling shows are easy to find their way to us… we should be also helping and supporting the social tango shows so that we don’t lose what they too can offer to us.
Tonight’s Goodnight Tango
So tonight’s Goodnight Tango is from Camaro, an orchestra often neglected in milongas, sometimes almost forgotten after being used somewhere in the beginning to warm up the crowd. It’s not like the complex, shiny, dazzling music that we adore but it surely makes you feel warm, cozy, and intimate in its own unique way. Like being home. Like the feeling you get from Celine’s and Alexis’s embrace performing it.