Tango and its relationship to my life, reminds me of so many things…
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Today I am thinking of the calm feminine and the frantic masculine energies. The calm feminine has always been the port in the storm. The arms of mother when a knee is skinned. The warm supper at the end of a long cold day. Verses… the frantic male that can fight off a wild animal or run down supper with nothing but a spear and a loin cloth. Or the endless hours of toil to grow the crops and tend the domesticated animals.
Frantic Masculine and Calm Feminine
Even the incipient moment when life unites to make a human. The frantic sperm swimming and searching and wriggling to find its destiny. The calm female egg that sits quietly in the center of all things waiting for the moment when the fertile joining can occur – calmly waiting on the frantic male.
The woman brings her calm grounded energy to the dance while the man brings his energetic frantic movement. The woman’s centered grounded energy calms the frantic moving energy of the man. In tango so frequently, the man wants to dart here and there trying to keep moving to the beat of the music no-stopping always moving. But the woman wants to stand right here and do boleos y adornos. The woman wants to stop and make a line and draw a pose.
The woman is static and the male is ever moving. When I feel the quiet stillness of the feminine energy I don’t feel stasis, but rather a very slow steady beat like the pulse of the womans heart beat in the embryo. I feel this and it calms my desire to always be moving to the beat. But first I have to feel the woman in my arms.
In turn the woman can get her movement from the frantic male energy – I said: “Movement” not power, steps or balance, but she gets her movement from the masculine. She can allow the movement of the masculine to flow into her calmness as it becomes her grace and flow. But first she has to feel the man in her arms.
Women are better at noticing their partners in the early stages of tango. But later when she develops the notion that he doesn’t know where she is or what she is doing, she is likely to step back from the partnership and begin to not notice what exactly he is about. Then the man begins to have a broader sense of the lady but by now her habit of knowing he doesn’t notice her must be broken so she can now join the dance in a deeper way than was available previously in the partnership.
I have learned to listen and use the energy of the woman…
What to do? How do we find this balance between the frantic male and the calm female? Can we surrender to each other instead of just the woman surrendering to the man? Can we both surrender fully and still have a compass or destination in the dance? These are concepts I abstractly play while I am dancing. Frequently I can tell the lady is so preoccupied with how she/we look that she can’t feel the ebb and flow of my lead, into her body and feet and back out again into my body so I can follow her to the next step. All to often in the early days of my tango I was so self absorbed with a step, pattern or some learning event inside of myself that I had no idea where she was going next, we were going my way and that was all there was to it.
This co-mutual yin-yang energy balancing and awareness is there from the beginning but quite frequently our minds are blocking access to deeper resonances within our body. However the more we move and the more we trust the movement the better we are to pick up the signals of our partner and move together without control but with surrender.
I have learned to listen and use the energy of the woman to calm my moving dominion over the her body. Joanne has learned to temper her desire to be grounded and stationary with a listening to the invitations of movement and react at the speed of sound.
Exist in the gap between thinking and not thinking… between moving and not moving.
All the while during this masculine/feminine energy dance, the music calls and beckons the partnership into a state of coupling and moving that is the perfect blend of grounded, franticly, calm, movement. So move, and observe each other as you move. Slip into the gap between thinking and not thinking as you listen to each other moving to the music. Let yourselves move into the gap in between your mind and body – exist in the gap between your body and your mind, between moving and not moving. Never completely still and not always moving.
Now dance!! Don’t think, don’t plan be aware of yourself of your partner and dance.
Love & Light,
“The body is your instrument in dance, but your art is outside that creature, the body.”
~Martha Graham ~