Tango Conversations

Igor Polk, 2005 October 10

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How it works is clear to me: man leads first then he steps. A woman reacts to the lead first, then she steps. A man's step happens after the man feels that his woman reacted and understood his lead. The woman's step is a movement totally in sync with the man's movement or intention. And a very important moment: she puts her foot on the floor after he puts his or he himself puts her foot on the floor. And even more important moment: He does not lead the next step until he feels that the woman finished her part completely.

As if the conversation goes:

He: - We are going to do this. Are you ready?
She: - Now I am, go ahead. I am willing and waiting.
- Here we go!
- I am with you!
- Done.
- Confirmed.
- All right. Now..

( How many steps is this? One. )

But this is on the level of words. We leave in the physical world. How, how the word "lead" translates in the language of cinematic ( movement ), dynamics ( forces ), even visual images? What is that magical thing which clearly indicates intension, and readiness?

Should I start talking about it here? Will I be understood?

More to it. Dancing is a flow of motions. It is not start-stop process. Even in Tango where stops are essential. How it is established and maintained, the continuous communication?

- Now we do this..
- It is wonderful!..
- Here is the surprise for you..
- Oh..
- And here is more..
- More, more, do not stop..

Here is another "conversation":

- How about this?
- Well, it is sort of boring, everyone does it.
- Eh-hk, eh-ck, I am trying to lead you to the cross..
- Oh, really? Well, here it is.
- Back step, side step..
- Can you do something more interesting? Come on, make some molinetes..
- Lead to cross, resolution, back step, side step..
- umph, can you at least lead some ochos?
- here they are..
- Hey, hey, do not rush, give me some time to pivot!
- ..

It comes out pretty funny, isn't it?
What about this one:

- Well, let us see. Here we go. Ssssstep. Oho!
- Damn! Where to put the leg?
- Ok, I see. Dear, the free leg should.. go.... behind....... the leg you stand on!
- What is he doing? Is it a parada? Mammy! I am lost!
- Umph. All right. Let me lead you to the forward step. Here. Hello-ow! HERE! Here the space for you!
- Ah?
- Ok, I'll pull you. Here!
- I am falling down! What a stupid leader!
- ..


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My name is Igor Polk. I dance Argentine tango in San Francisco.

Copyright©2003-2006 Igor Polk
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