If you’ve been following my work for the last year you know I am fascinated by tango and what it has to teach us about life. Tango has given me a whole way to stay rooted in myself as an equal in relationships. I wrote about that here in my first in a series of posts about what tango has to teach us about life.
Tango is a representation of sexuality, and never sex itself. Tango can open us to a sensuality that is like sex, and yet not be sex. Tango can even can take us back to the experience of being an infant in our mother’s arms, or even our mother’s womb.
When I lived in Buenos Aires in 2013, I found my tribe of kindred spirits in Psicotango. Psicotango is not tango for psychos. It’s a very special group of people of all ages who met weekly at a school to investigate tango as a personal search for connection and meaning in our lives. I first became involved in Psicotango when I joined the translation team for the book Psicotango: Danza Como Terapia. I want to bring these psicotango ideas to more English speakers.
Here is a passage that I translated from Spanish to English that always takes my breath away. I hope you enjoy it too.
“Tango is a very special dance made from the pain of a whole generation that missed their chance to create a family.
The immigration (to Argentina) was more than anything masculine and there were few women. The brothel was a solution, there was at least some sex.
A writer (who does not deserves to be mentioned) that said what in tango one dances vertically what one does horizontally. Tango is sexual relation made into a ballet, a ballet of sensuality. Tango has the subtlety of the sexual relationship, the exchanging of breath.
There is the delicacy of the male lead with all of his body. As in the sexual relationship, the man initiates the approach, in a subtle way. It is a polished subtlety and sensuality.
It is an erotic game. It is the relationship, exchange, dialogue of bodies that is the most important. Usually dialogue is made up of words, but in sex, one dialogues with the bodies, with skin, as we talked with mom and dad when we were little children.
The sexual relation is the only way to recuperate that most beautiful, deep thing, richer than words: the dialogue of the skin, and tango has something of this. It cannot be danced naked, because it is representation; it is not the sexual act, but the evocation of sexuality.
Like all art it is a metaphor: in its procession with all its choreography. The man walks and even invades the woman’s space, and of course, there is the proximity of the bodies. This does not appear in any other dance. For example, in the tarantella, one lets go; in cumbia, it is the sensuality of one dancing oneself, or in the Charleston, it is the joy after the war. Each dance has its location and its historical expression.”
Want to experience psicotango? Check out the Solo Chica Tango Adventure.