Three tellings of the same sweet story…
We encounter many souls in our lives. Some we are not inclined to spend much time with. Others we meet and find we are immediately enamored with. Others we greet as old friends, as if we remember them from another time and place. Some surprise us with a slow connection and one day you realise you just adore them.
I was reminded the other night of a wonderful example of the fleeting connection that is long lived, a meeting of souls that must already be long familiar. The Dutch pragmatist and I drove past a beautiful olive grove and private residence that stirred especially fond memories. The owner of this property now lives overseas but her extended family live there and run the olive oil business and she returns to holiday. She is a tango dancer and the last time she returned she brought with her an Argentine teacher who she is very good friends with. We have never met before but are introduced by a mutual friend we all get on like a ‘house on fire’. The teacher is a true Maestro and gentleman. They arrive in the height of summer so there are several large Milongas (tango social dances) while they are in town. We become a tight group having intense conversations and much wonderful dancing. From the first dance I have with the teacher he is praising myself and my partner and encouraging us to teach. He complements me in a unique way, acknowledging my ability to adapt to each different lead and style of dancing. For me this is high praise as I see this as the ultimate aim of improvisation. I partner another teacher for some private lessons with him. Then he invites us all to have a final get together to celebrate our mutually enjoyed time. When we arrive there are three male dancers and two female. Olive oil introduces us to her sister and explains that this day is the anniversary of a third sisters passing and that this sister was the one who introduced her to tango. They ask if the teacher and I will perform. We do and it is heaven. We drink good wine and eat and dance. It is an intense evening for me as the men are all playing with ideas and I am their tanguera as Olive oil is more a beginner. We dance into the small hours and in the end just the teacher and I are dancing as the others have moved onto conversation and there has been a lot of wine… We are in our own world, reduced to the music, each other, and the floor. It is very intense he communicates with great subtlety what minimal changes he wishes; a tiny movement in his hand upon my shoulder and I know he wants me to soften here, just so. This moment of suspended dance is etched forever in my soul. We dance very different styles yet we found each others essence and communed. The dancing eventually came to a natural end he held my eyes, deeply smiled at me kissed me chastely but fully on the lips returned me to my man and sang my praises to him begging us to promise we will start to teach, that we come see him in Buenos Aires and that we remain as connected as we are. This is the true essence of tango spirit.
Trece amigos. Dos Tangueros, un Milonguero y Yo. A farewell, a performance and an extended improvisation.
Primero embrace tasted through his distinguished eyes. Words pass his lips full of genuine and lavish interpretation, concise compliment to my movement; entiendas. Prophetic words astonish mind. Taking offered hand, accepting instigated connection. Stranger embraced as lover, intimate conversation, souls seeking tangible. Seen. Known. Danced. Flush of pure dance pleasure. Ending, continuum, lushness flows within all dances. Satiated, overflow, seeking the core of every connection. Night passes, more enjoyed, none as sweet as the first or the finale. Our farewell in a prolonged dance, subtle articulation, gestures refine perfection. Endless flow, música drives deeper, extending within, without, innocent harmony. Finally, speechless mouths thank with chaste lips. Returned to lover, gratitude shared, intimate inquiry lush with ripening. Body memory never to be lost.
Aida Denis ‘Anoche’