Gavito and Duran: Dance of Intentions

More from Un Tal Gavito, DVD Volume 3. I like this at least as much as the first DVD, but I think that both volumes are essential. What I liked so much about this portion is after they do their initial demonstration dance (shown in the video above), the scene changes to Gavito and Duran sitting at a small table, with Gavito smoking as usual, and they discuss the dance, the intimacy and intention of it.


This last dance was a dance of intentions, a dance of a silent language, of movements that don't exist....

It's a way of moving from the heart...

This is for me, like trying to describe music, which is an abstract thing. It's extremely difficult to express, difficult to evoke, and I think, like I said in another conversation, if music is abstract, I think poetry gets at this, and there are some beautiful tango lyrics that say this poetically, so when we dance I think we're like painters that paint with the music.

We paint on the floor, with small brush strokes, what the music says to us.

What we just danced is an emotion. That exactly what we danced, an emotion. So these things are very difficult to teach and I think that really can't teach them. I think you can feel them, and express them.

I think it is the hardest thing in the tango to really let go.

If I did [outside] what I do here on the dance floor they might put me behind bars; maybe it's too strong. But what we really wanted to do is to give free reign to the emotions and express them just as the are. This doesn't mean you have to do it like that. But if it's honest, it's from within, it may be more reserved but you get to the same thing.

A girl said to me recently, "Maestro, so if I want to feel the tango, it would be better if I close my eyes and dance?" And I said, "No, it's the music, or it's your partner together with you and the music, that makes you close your eyes. It's exactly the same thing only backwards - it's not that I have to close my eyes to feel the music."

What we just did was a very intimate moment; the externalization of a feeling and maybe in a milonga you'll dance this same feeling but in a more internal way, without letting it out so much. But in order to believe in this moment of intimacy, there has to be a feeling of trust, a sense of trust with your partner. This "embrace without embracing" is not only a language of the torsos or the arms, it's a language of feet, of the eyes, of the glance.

And speaking of this same dance, the simplicity . . . Sometimes I talk about the simplicity of the movement. I think it's really beautiful when you dance a tango simply, listening to the music, the rhythm of the music, the lyrics, the poetry, the prose, because it's really there that you dance without worrying about remembering the movement or the step you want to do.

Sometimes, even if it isn't a choreography, the steps can be a little preconceived; you learn them, everyone learns the steps, and we dance them from A to Z, when it actually doesn't need to be that way. There's not a reason for it to be that way.

1 comment:

Mark Word said...

Great insights from the Maestro. I like especially: "...the steps can be a little preconceived; you learn them, everyone learns the steps, and we dance them from A to Z, when it actually doesn't need to be that way." The music/one's partner/one's life makes the steps. If it is preconceived or something one just learned...then where is the music? One's partner? Most concerning where is one's life and emotions? Sure, we have a vocabulary from classes, but is our syntax, ideas, expression our own or just parroted pieces from a tango teacher? Thanks for sharing a bit from your own study of this great art we call tango.