I don't want to live in Gattaca

Post date: Jun 17, 2014 9:56:43 PM

Yes... sharing yet another blog post by Terpsichoral Tangoaddict. Love what she has to say...

'There seems to be a lot of confusion between technique and style or aesthetics and, to me, they are quite distinct things. Technique is what you use to enable you to perform your movements smoothly, with control, on balance, without unnecessary tension or excess force, etc. It allows you to dance confidently and efficiently in the way that you choose. However, what you choose to dance is a completely different question. Chicho and Juana have technique and anyone who has ever taken seminars with them will have done some serious technical work. 

Chicho and Juana  - source: www.visittangobuenosaires.com

Carlitos and Noelia have technique. Gustavo Naveira and Giselle Anne have technique. But a couple whose dancing bore a strong familial resemblance to any of those models would be highly unlikely to reach the finals of the Mundial, no matter how excellent their technique. To be successful in the competition means looking good when you dance a specific style.

Noelia and Carlitos

This means first of all that your choices of what figures you dance, what embrace you use, what adornos you do, etc. is constrained at least partly by aesthetics -- you will be judged on how it looks. And while there is a strong correlation between looking and feeling good as a dancer, they are not identical. Good dancers always feel melty and lovely when they embrace you, of course. But imho some might feel even nicer if they weren't having to do certain things purely for aesthetics which don't necessarily feel as sensually pleasurable or express the music as creatively and meaningfully as they otherwise could.

                                   "Championship-style tango" 

Secondly and more importantly, we shouldn't confuse having good technique as meaning having to conform to a specific style. Yes, you need good technique to open the embrace for a salony giro and dance an enrosque-lápiz combination. But that doesn't mean that everyone's giros should be identical and to be a good dancer you need to insert specific giros with specific enrosque-lápiz combinations into your dance.

Gustavo Naveira and Giselle Anne

It's not that I dislike championship-style salon. There are a lot of very beautiful dancers who dance that way. I just think it is one style among others. The major competitions encourage us to think that it is the only legitimate way of dancing. They encourage us to believe that the only real differences between dancers are that some dance better than others. They encourage us to prioritise looks over feeling, aesthetics over expression, technique over musicality. Whereas, in fact, it is far more complex than that. Our dance isn't standardised. And that is a good thing.

"It is far more complex than that" Image: https://zenov.wordpress.com

I'm full of admiration for the dedication, hard work and technical expertise of many of the competitors. Some of the past winners have developed into amazing dancers. And I am really happy that the competitions attract so many visitors to Buenos Aires.

But I don't want to live in Gattaca.'

Quotes from Gattaca: https://zenov.wordpress.com