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June 15, 2004

Tango Nuevo

Attended 2 workshops on Tango Nuevo in the past two days. While these 2 classes are not the only exposures – having also attended 2 similar classes by Gladys/Ricardo last September – I have had to this new evolutionary development in Tango, I feel I can appreciate a little bit more of the main concepts the second time around.

Up till now, the emphasis has been on the ‘hanging’ – colgadas – and how to enter into and exit from, by following the flow of energy in the embrace and between the partners.

I must say, initially I found it really hard going. Perhaps because of the unfamiliarity, the colgadas became more of a wrestling match as I stay in balance, while trying to counter-balance the weight of my out-hanging partner! In order not to fall down, we ended up using excessive strength in the arms, in the shoulders and so on. There is also a slight amount of ‘letting go’ which is difficult to convince the body/mind to accept.

However, maybe it’s the result of 4 classes finally sinking in!? After tonight, I finally realised that it does not and should not require that much strength. A little, yes, in order to accentuate the mutual movements out of the axis (more for the lady), but not ‘heavy’ enough to require a weight-lifter to perform the stunts.

In fact, it is precisely when the body is relaxed, that the elastic qualities of the colgadas are most apparent. While the movement may seem to be suspended in time, in reality, the movement is not frozen but needs to maintain a certain continuity. A continuity, I might add, that requires both partners’ cooperation to sustain. Finally, when the energy can flow uninterrupted, the coming in and out of the momenta can be efficiently used in quick pivots, or other seemingly difficult stunts.

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