A tanguero’s frustration.
He sees “perfection” in the couple before him. A “master” leader able to lead a beginner to dozens of graceful movements while he could not walk her to the cross. “Perfect,” he whispers.
“Do you think so?” I ask. The follower’s face is blissfully light, animated, as if astonished at feeling suddenly gorgeous.
“Obviously – look at what she can do in his arms. He’s a master! He can lead anything!”
He is watching the follower’s legs move fluidly from step, to step, weaving in and around her leader.
I am watching the leader’s face.
The master leader is engrossed by his follower’s movements. And there it is – a quick change. He had meant to go one way, but her response changed his plan. He smiled, led her comfortably, gracefully into something else. He pays such close attention and never assumes she will be where he led her. Yet there is no furrowed brow, no impatience in the lines of his mouth. He only smiles, raises his eyebrows – tries something else.
“The mastery isn’t that this Maestro can lead any move to an absolutely beginner – it is that when she doesn’t follow what he has led, he adjusts to her. Meets her where she is. Makes something beautiful with what she provided for him. On the fly.”
This is tango. In a dance of improvisation, against what could we possible judge perfection or imperfection?
a single song,
a shared breath
Gemstones made more beautiful by occlusions, not less. Improvisation bending the light in unforeseen directions.
from My Tango Diaries