Sunday, June 9, 2013

Tango for the Lazy

Sometimes I've got to do something, but I just don't want to try.

For example, yesterday, I needed to take a shower after walking in the park in the afternoon.  There were clothes hanging on the shower curtain rod.  They were dry already and it wasn't like someone was asking me to iron and fold them and put them away.  Anywhoo, I couldn't even be bothered to take the clothes down.  I just jumped into the tub, turned on the faucet and splashed water all over.  I didn't want to get the clothes wet by turning on the shower - so I just crouched down into fetal position and put my head under the running faucet.

Later, I had to make dinner - noodles with minced pork and bean sauce, also known as "Zhajiangmian".  The recipe called for diced scallions and garlic.  All that dicing takes effort.  So I skipped all that and just stir-fried the (already minced) pork belly with bean sauce.  I dumped that over the noodles.  By the way, the noodles were cold since they were rinsed with cold water to get rid of excess starch after cooking. I didn't trouble myself to immerse the noodles in boiling water again because I figured, the sauce would be maybe hot enough to heat them up, perhaps a little bit?

At night, it was chilly but earlier on Man Yung had folded my blanket and put it on top of the dresser.  It would be too much of a strain to get it down again.  So I put on extra pajamas and went to sleep sans blanket. 

"What the hell, Irene?" said Man Yung.  "You leave a trail of half-assedness wherever you go - and I have to pick up after you!"

All I can say is - Thank you very much Man Yung!  I am very lucky to have someone like you!

In Tango, you have these professionals who treat every performance with complete determination and discipline.  Adrenaline-pumping, jaw-clenching, FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION dancing.

As a result, they deliver the Tango performance equivalent of being shot out of a cannon with dynamite strapped to their bodies through a flaming hoop across the Grand Canyon while blazing fireworks are bursting in the air around them.  Like the Totis.  When we watch the Totis (otherwise known as Virginia Gomez and Christian Marquez) dance, you are afraid that the force of their movement will cause all their limbs to fly off.  Of course that won't happen, because they are superhuman when it comes to Tango.  We happened to catch their show when we were at Milonga del Moran last October:

And Sexteto Milonguero are no slouch, either

They are so fast and strong and precise and perfectly coordinated with the steps and the music, you can't help but applaud.  Some other names in Tango who are just as crazy astounding include (just off the top of my head) dancers like Milena Plebs, Gabriel Missé, Geraldine and Ezequiel Paludi, and most of the Tango Escenario competitors who make it to the finals of the worlds.  And why shouldn't they impress?    They spend 18 hours a day training and rehearsing.  They eat, drink, breathe Tango, and still think about steps and choreography while asleep.  

Conversely, there's the tribe of the half-assed.  The ones who don't, or can't go to the superhuman extreme exhibited by the aforementioned.  

Some entertain by donning funny costumes (actually, the clothes don't have to be funny - sometimes it could be a "Tango Costume", whatever that means) and exaggerated "Tango!" facial expressions.  Some perform to weird music that has nothing to do with Tango.  Some "Invent" interesting Tango Hybrids.  Some completely fail to inspire with their dancing and so make it up with impressive Tango resumés, claims of "Tango Authenticity", or hypnotize with bullshit new age semi-mystical talk

"What's wrong with that? All contemporary Tango is kind of like this now!" you may say - and we reply, "Okey dokey, to each his own. EXCEPT since Irene took a half-assed shower, she had to use up more time to take another shower later.  Her lukewarm noodles gave her a stomachache.  And she would have come down with a cold if Man Yung didn't cover her with a blanket just in time!"

Fortunately, for those who are effort-challenged or just plain lazy like Irene, there are other ways to do well in Tango.

Dancing Tango with 100% lack of ambition.  Then you don't really care about how well or how badly you dance, or who's looking at you, or how many students you will attract, or how many organizers will invite you to perform etc.

Alternatively: Dancing Tango with 100% honesty.  What you see is what you get.  And if you are just plain not very good, just admit it and don't try to hoodwink anyone or try to pass on your faulty Tango legacy to the ignorant.   Then you are not contributing to Tango Ignorance or Tango Foolery, and no one will mind.

Another one: Dancing with 100% musicality.  No thrills?  No tricks? The same steps over and over again?  Nothing interesting since the beginning of Tango time? No problem, social Tango is not a competition - just enjoy! 

Yet another one: Dancing with 100% love.  Your darling loves you no matter how awkward you look and feel while dancing.  Love means you never having to say you're sorry.

And finally: Dancing with 100% inner peace.  You are ready to achieve Nirvana - does Tango even matter? 

Any, a combination or all of the above will make you ok in Tango even if you can't dance like the Totis.  You can save your energy and time for things like taking a nap, watching the clouds or just bumming around.  Just don't bother other dancers with tailgating or aggressive dancing and you will be just fine!


Unknown said...

Hi Irene,

I recall seeing this video and thinking: "is there a problem with the video speed?, they look like hamsters on speed (amphetamines)".
Sadly, there was not problem with the video...


Unknown said...

I recall seeing this video and thinking: "Is there a problem with the speed of this video? They look like hamsters on speed (amphetamines)"
Sadly, there was no problem with the speed of this video.


Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear GaL,

You are right, we were actually present and watching the performance with our own two eyes that night at Milonga del Moran and we got the same kind of impression. We were amazed that people can move so fast using only what nature had given them and not spontaneously combust or have parts fly off their bodies and hit unsuspecting spectators out of sheer forcefulness and speed.

If only we weren't so lazy and old!

Nah, we prefer being lazy and old. No need to have fire extinguishers ready whenever we dance. In fact, we are so unexciting watching us dance is the natural alternative to pharmaceutical sleep-aids.

Thanks for your comment!

Irene and Man Yung.

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