I was having a hard time explaining what Tango was to a non-dancer friend of mine.
"I know what you are thinking - and it's definitely not that! No no - don't get it wrong, it's not the ballroom thing with the costumes and stuff. And please don't go imagining me in a red dress with sequins and a fringe! And forget about the chomping on rose stems as well! That's not the Tango we are dancing!"
And yet, I knew that talking about "musicality" and "embrace" and "soul" etc. wouldn't help too much either. "Look, it's just really difficult to describe it. I can go on and on but I know visually, you are not going to get a good picture of what it is unless I actually show it to you."
And even then with all the assistance that Youtube has to offer, I'm not entirely confident that I'm going to succeed getting what it is that I want across. That's because even now, I'm not sure what Tango is. I only know the more I dance it, the more I know what it's not.
We knew within the first month of starting Tango that it isn't the costumes and the dramatic facial expressions.
Within the first year, we knew that Tango wasn't fast feet, high kicks and acrobatics either. Or poses.
We learned a little later that Tango was not only for the young. The old had more to do with Tango, and it amazed us.
Is Tango the music? It seems that definition has become almost too superficial for something so profound.
Ditto the embrace. We found that after a while, we forget that we are embracing.
Is it passion? Is it love? Is it a feeling that is danced?
Is it life?
We only know that words are inadequate.
First you see the mountains and water as mountains and water.
Then the mountains and water aren't mountains and water.
In the end the mountains and water are what they are - mountains and water.
How do you explain Tango?
Martha's Apartment in Buenos Aires
A Non-exhaustive set of Tango links in Toronto
- La Cachila - weekly milonga
- Paradiso -- weekly milonga
- Practica El Beso
- WE Tango
- Tango Sur - classes, shows
- Rhythm and Motion - classes, milonga, practica, annual Toronto Tango Festival
- Tango Obsession - classes, weekly Practica La Coqueta
- Tango Lirico - classes, practica, weekly milonga
- Tango de Oro - classes, shows
- Tango Soul Productions - classes, weekly milonga, shows, El Congreso annual Tango Festival
- Vivatango - classes
- Tango Argentino - classes
- Club Milonga - classes, special events
- Alternatango - classes, weekly milonga
- University of Toronto Tango Club - classes, practica
- El Abrazo - classes
- Tangoloft - twice monthly milonga