Monday, 24 December 2007

Ho ho ho

Merry Christmas all, or happy solstice, hannukah, divali, whatever flavour your midwinter festival is. And a happy new year: may all our tango dreams come true in it.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Terpsichorean haiku

Two climb a mountain
My poor heart
Isn't used to this

Apologies for the current radio silence. I'm up to my ears in preparations for going away; finishing off bits of work, putting my stuff into storage, etc. Yesterday I started retrieving my scattered belongings from the places they've been stored for years. This involved a lot of excavating dusty attics, moving heavy things, and tears. I'm an emotional bunny at the best of times, and digging up the past is guaranteed to make me weepy. Amongst other things I rediscovered a notebook containing some haiku from the very beginning of my last (recently ended) relationship, nearly ten years old. We used to just make them up on the spot as and when we felt moved to do so, and I'd jotted them down later so that I wouldn't forget them. We had the metre wrong, and some came out better than others, but it didn't matter. Each one was a snapshot of a tiny, precious moment in time, and I sat in the dust reading and sobbing. I highly recommend improvisational haiku as a means of recording moments for posterity. Much better than photos.

Tangos are much like haiku, I think, but as we can't write them down they just fade into the mist of memory. Each one is a perfect snapshot of its own moment, characterised by our mood, our partner, and the music; so, like haiku, a place where external and internal factors meet, and each informs the other. In haiku we are moved by our surroundings (the weather, that view, this cherry tree) to say something about how we feel at this time, in this place, both in ourselves and in response to those surroundings. In tango we are moved by music to dance something about how we feel in this time, in this place, both in ourselves and in response to each other and the music. Our steps describe both beats: that of the tango and of our hearts. And the particular combination of those two things for any given tango will never be repeated. So some dances may come out better than others, but each is a unique expression of its moment, and therefore infintely precious.