Delirious Milonga



Milonga lesson with Daniela Arcuri and "Latigo" Daniel Ponce 2/13/11)

When I watch this video from my typical analytical perspective, I cringe.

I regret having Dennis record it.

Every time I know I'm being recorded, I get nervous and forget everything I knew 3 minutes before the camera started rolling. This time was no different. I was exhausted, having stayed far too late all week and most especially the night before, and it shows. My balance suffered. My posture was crap. I wasn't able to keep my center/core firm. I was so tired that my knees felt like I was walking through water. I'm off the music in several places. (And of course there's that usual self-critical voice saying, "Christ-on-crutches is that really my butt???")

Now for the part you can't see - the reason this video is up here at all. The reason I don't truly regret Dennis recording it.

What you can't see are the tears streaming down my face from the pure bliss of dancing that afternoon. Daniel () and Daniela put me through my paces and the lesson was incredibly useful - but the best part of the lesson was the part you see there. Just dancing milonga - so tired I don't know how I was even standing up, let alone dancing, and nearly delirious with joy. Daniel told me he could feel my joy in the music clearly (and he responded in kind) - and that was more important than anything else.

So I posted the video for three reasons.

I wanted to share what a lovely dancer Daniel is. Truly, if you have the opportunity to see this man dance, or better yet dance with him, take it. His emotion simply radiates from him.

I wanted to see what I need to work on most - especially when I'm tired.

But most of all, I wanted to remind myself of the most important part of tango - the part no one can see, but your partner can feel, and that's the love of the music and the dance. Everything else is secondary to that. I may not always be able to give great posture, perfect balance, elegant musicality - but I can try to give my love of this experience every time I dance.

7 comments:

Christine--RHP said...

Bravo Mari!! thank you sharing this!!! I watched the entire vid before reading what you wrote. I love that you posted it anyway despite your concerns, yes, I can see that you are tired, and somehow super relaxed and super happy and that is one of my favorite songs ever.
You nailed it! ~everything I love about this dance in your last paragraph.
p.s. and you appear to be approx. 18 years old~see what tango can do!

Frances R said...

You cringe??
Very nice foot action, your follow is soft, musical, your embrace looks cozy.
You should congratulate yourself!

Fred Ferate said...

Beautiful, Mari! You don't look tired to me. (Please try to moderate your self-negative reactions. I do this; my daughter does this; an awful lot of us do this. It is unfair to ourselves, and it robs us of so much joy in life!) Fred

La Milonga Del 126 said...

Greetings from Buenos Aires! I love the part where you wrote " ...the most important part of tango - the part no one can see, but your partner can feel, and that's the love of the music and the dance. Everything else is secondary to that.

Tango Therapist said...

Mari... tears of joy are what some folks never get to. It's the highest level of dance. I say, "¡Silencio!" to those demons of inner critic! Few tango bloggers have the courage to upload a video of themselves. Suggestion for the next video: "Mari on 5 glasses of wine." You will have a lot of hits on your blog if you try that!

The Accidental Tangoiste said...

I don't see the flaws here either; just lovely dancing and joy. Congratulations--and thanks--to you for being brave and sharing the videos!

Mari Johnson said...

Christine - I think the age effect has more to do with the blurry recording than the effects of tango, but I'm happy to go with your explanation LOL. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a lesson more. :) :) I just have to remember to carry that feeling with me and not lose it.

Frances - thank you so much for your comment. I usually stop cringing after the first couple of times watching it lol. There is actually a lot that I like about this one, and the other one - it just sometimes takes me awhile to see it. It gets easier every time.

Fred- You're exactly right. I do need to work on taming the inner critic. I'm less critical of myself in a milonga setting because I don't view the social dancing situation the same as the class/workshop/practica situation. So when I watch a video of myself where I was actually working on something specific, and I still can't see the results I'm looking for of what I was working on, then I get frustrated. I'm getting better about it, but it's, as you know, a hard habit to break.

La Milonga Del 126 - Thank you. I try very hard to remember (with varying degrees of success) that good technique is a means to end - not the end itself. The love of the music is ultimately why I'm here and why I dance.

Tango Therapist - Mari on 5 glasses of wine would be a very boring video indeed, as I would likely be asleep on the floor lol.

Accidental Tangoiste - Thank you very much for your comments, as always. Even though watching videos of my dancing is one of the least comfortable parts of my dance experience - I find that it's the only way to really see what I'm doing well and what needs more work. As I said above, the cringing eventually wears off lol.