My first contact with Argentinean culture and tango happened when I lived in Argentina in 1985. After a tough military dictatorship, Argentineans were emerging again as a vital & vocal nation. The country was bubbling with energy. Much of it was expressed in the arts. What had been repressed during the military dictatorship was now invading every part of the collective unconscious. Art was performed in theaters, auditoriums, and the streets. The public life sphere became the arena for a deep reflection on the human condition.
Living in Buenos Aires in the 1980s was exhilarating, and Argentina’s cultural history fascinated me & revealed a lot of aspects of human nature that I was trying to decipher in my own life and through my academic studies.
Tango entered my life at a street dance in San Telmo, Buenos Aires, during the carnival in February 1985. It was a sweet encounter, I was charmingly included in the crowd dancing to the tunes of old recordings. Elsewhere in the world, the first hit show, Tango Argentino was conquering the world. The show had a most impressive line up, among whom my favorite mentors & dancers, Eduardo Arquimbau, or the satirical Carlos Borques, both of whom have had a lasting influence on my psyche
When I first came across it, tango represented something sweet, communicative & harmonious. Whole families would go out together, eating & chatting, saying hello to neighbors and friends. The atmosphere in the neighborhood clubs was like that of an extended family get together. It was strange and wonderful to see hundreds people get along so well, through words and also through simple, polite, and respectful dancing. The dance floor was flowing like a symbiotic mega organism, harmonious and self-sustaining. Humanity as a collective was possible, and it was beautiful.
Although I didn’t start loving the dance at first encounter, I certainly loved what it represented. As I moved away from Argentina I started missing that feeling of solidarity among strangers, these warm embraces & that ritual of uniting with one person for 15 minutes, and then letting go & savoring what they’ve shared with me.
Where was I going to find that degree of warmth? It turns out that the need for closeness sprouted tango dancing all over the world, and wherever I went to work, there were tango clubs, and tango aficionados. Tango gradually became vital in my life, the dance that I preferred among all the other dances. On an emotional level, it reconnected me with my feelings and intuition, sensations and sensuality. It agreed with my character and with my values. It was the space in which one sought harmony & groundedness........................................................................................................d ddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd