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September 14, 2010


Some reflections

Simba’s reflections on 10 years of learning and dancing tango struck a chord with me. There is certainly a few parallels between his and my experiences. For instance, I started on the tango journey close to 10 years ago, also in a tango desert of a community. When I went to my first tango festival in Taipei in 2003 (the inaugural Taipei Tango Festival), I met Javier Rodriguez and Geraldine Rojas for the first time. Although I had seen them in CITA videos prior and been utterly impressed, I have to say the meeting with them did not have such a lasting impression. They were certainly brilliant dancers for sure, but I had other concerns to deal with – like, being to dance well technically… 🙂 By the time I had matured more as a dancer, Javier Rodriguez was already with a different partner when I saw him again.

This is something Simba mentioned that stuck with me especially.

Before we can expect people to find their own tango, they have to see the real tango. Smell the real tango. Touch the real tango. Listen to the real tango. And feel the real tango.

Thinking back, I guess this was probably the main driving force in persevering with bringing international teachers like Javier Rodriguez to Singapore in the past few years, despite the expenses involved. Realistically, one or two encounters with good teachers – famous or not – will not dramatically improve how one dances*. In addition, no doubt each of us who perseveres with tango will discover his/her path to the final destination. However, as of now I firmly believe that it’s important to have the right image early on, an goal of the tango (although not necessarily in the technical sense) that has come before and something that can carry the torch for.

* Incidentally, this is important for event organisers and participant needs to realise in order to manage their expectations.

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1 Comment
  1. GaL
    Sep 14 2010

    Very interesting post and well timed for me: last night, I had this very conversation about how did I (and other people I know) end up to the path of the real tango.

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