Tango – Estile de Americana del Norte – James Brown and Luciano Pavarotti

November 15, 2015

First Day in Buenos Aires, standing in front of the Congreso National…an absolutely beautiful sight that projects lots of things if your feelings are sensitive and aware enough to pick them up.!  … yeah, I know – my clothes are baggy…lost lots of weight – guess that is better than them being too small 🙂

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When I first went to Buenos Aires, I had no guide, no expectations and very few assumptions…probably a good way to approach life!  However, I did connect with Tango Alejandro Gee before I arrived; and, he literally became my guide so that I could find what I was looking for during my time in country – literally, experientially, and spiritually.

Sitting at dinner and a Milonga with Alejandro, he shared some excellent wisdom.  Alejandro said that an older Milonguero once told him, “in Tango, you have to learn how to walk in the dark.”  For me, that speak volumes of wisdom.  It solidifies how Tango has many analogies that can be used in our lives.  A story in the bible that is often repeated is how when the storms came and everyone was afraid, how Jesus spoke to the waters and said “Peace be still.”  For me, that wisdom is not just for the storms in the ocean or those in the sky – it speaks to the storms of the soul.  For those storms of the soul are the ones that really need to be changed into peaceful situations….not to mention the darkness faced by those struggling with the reality of mental health conditions.

One of the challenges of writing a public blog is that when you make your writings public, then people can read into your psyche.  But, sometimes we need to expose what is in our psyche for our own benefit and the benefit of others – so that those who may have the storms of life on their journey may also learn and benefit.

So it is true, we do need to learn to walk in the dark.  One of the things I find so interesting about Tango are the analogies that can be developed – being able to stand with balance; to develop our posture; to walk in spite of; to make sure that we don’t take steps that are too big or awkward so that we don’t throw ourselves off of our axis; to become aware of what we believe in, and to continually stand on it regardless to how groundless our situation becomes; to develop relationships based upon these principles; and to breath and lead with the heart.  Not just the physical heart, but our emotional center.  And, how this heart has to be used in maintaining our connections with others.  Sometimes in Tango we make mistakes – there may be a separation, we may step on toes, we may get lost; but, don’t stop…just accept the mistake and keep dancing..keep living….keep your heart aligned with….(you fill in the blank)….and continue on.

Just as these things inspired Tango originally – what is your passion(s) – what do you source to drive the power of your existence – what compels your passions to come alive – to thrive – to evolve – to give comfort – to bring you together with others – to build relationships – what is the inspiration of your passion? What happens to your passions – is there always joy, is there pain, loneliness, loss, happiness, camaraderie, family, love, the loss of love?  With El Beso – has your soul ever been kissed to the degree that when you smile it isn’t the mature adult smiling – but, it is the smile of a child – your inner child.  What happens with your passions – is there always peace or do the storms of life come along and you are in need of the words – ‘Peace be still.”

It is unfortunate that often times, movies about emotions are considered chick flicks. This indirectly undermines an understanding of the actual nature of the emotional capacity of men. Maybe one day, someone – whether it be a man or woman – will right that wrong and let chicks know they haven’t cornered the market on the expression of human nature. 🙂

With that said, it is absolutely wonderful to go somewhere where you can’t speak the easy language of words…you are forced to use the human language – a language of patience, of compassion, the language created when you stop projecting your own internal inadequacies and actually seek to understand.  This is the language of humility, patience and hope that a respect for humanity is met with respect.

I am being careful here with my wording as I don’t want to trigger stereo-types (e.g. cognitive shortcuts). So, without repeating the cliché that Tango was born in the brothels, let’s focus more on the river plat region. During this time very little interaction between the upper class and immigrants or the poor took place. And so, the Tango culture was basically born in how the immigrants and the poorer interacted together. Much of this social interaction took place at night, so let’s just say that the night time culture of an urbanizing environment brought together the people of the night who were from ALL walks of life. Those who frequented these establishments became known as Milonguero’s…the dancers, singers, musicians, and those who made a living during the night 🙂 … if you know what I mean – so let’s just say that if we are talking about brothels, we are also talking about pimps, prostitutes, thieves, and others that work in the night. There is a story I was told about a Milonguero who was a thief. The organizers still invited him to their gathering. But, they also knew to take everyone’s valuables and lock them up in advance. By engaging in this act, they could enjoy the Milonguero’s contribution to their social gathering, while also dealing with the reality of protecting their stuff!! 🙂 Consequently, when a Milonguero says, “to dance Tango, you have to learn to walk in the dark,” then hopefully, you get my drift 🙂 I got it…

What stands out though, is that these individuals from all walks of life were not just seen as some pariah. They were a part of the intricate mix of those who made the origins of Tango, of such, that it lasts the tests of time and continues to support people socially by bringing them together – not separating them. This says quite a bit about how being overly judgmental ultimately undermines the quality of our own interaction with others…not necessarily that of the person being judged….

and, the fact of the matter is – when people come into your life – they bring their life – the good and the challenging – judgement isn’t a useful tool – so, can you see there humanity – do you have compassion for them – if you can answer the question of why, does that build understanding – if they are willing to dance the dance of life – then, help them dance….

As I bring this specific trip to a close….being here, I was looking for something specific…looking to connect to the inspiration of Tango…to understand!! …. that is my learning process….Thank you to Alejandro Gee and Erzsebet Tamas (Jou Jou)….I found it…and now that I found it, I know what to connect to…Tango music, if they have words, are sung mostly in Spanish…but the relationship between the words, music and environment doesn’t always make it necessary to understand the words – if you can connect to the inspiration (some of us need that – and some of us don’t).  But, after being here and connecting to the inspiration…I can give you an example of what it means…click on this link, and listen to the words and look at the convincing expressions…and feel the emotion of what is being conveyed, and you will know for sure…what this trip was about….and what was found…

James Brown

This is a Man’s World

and now compare….

index

Luciano Pavoratti & James Brown

Do you understand it now…?   Whew….I do…..!! 🙂

This trip was exceptionally amazing and I have to share and give thanks…thank you to all those that inspired it…you know who you are.  But, also thanks to those who give me instruction in Atlanta, Georgia – Angel Montero and April Parker!!

Usually after I travel abroad, I start to think about where I shall go next.  Well, in this case…I already know….with respect to Buenos Aires – in the next few months – Voy a Volver!!

2 Responses to “Tango – Estile de Americana del Norte – James Brown and Luciano Pavarotti”

  1. Malik, Your blog and travels are amazing and I look forward to your many new adventures!

    • paulspadaforafans…thanks so much, I am glad you enjoyed it. I will most definitely be on new adventures…a life passion I’ll say…hope you are enjoying yours as well. Much Appreciated 🙂

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