Regular readers will know that I do tend to poke a little and provoke an argument. I do this because I know that many long held opinions are not held through a logical argument but simply because that is the view we have always had or because of some principle or other. I have even been known to start an argument with an opinion that is contrary to my own, just for the sake of debate.
Debate, you see, can be a useful way for us all to question our own beliefs, because if we are not challenged we simply believe that our views are right. In this way lies extremism.
So I welcome any comments that challenge my views, as much, if not more than those agreeing with me.
I see it often on forums, someone has their views challenged, and because they have no real argument they resort to insults and threats. For me, at least, this is the point where the argument is lost. The beauty of forums of course is that, unlike face to face arguments, you can go away and research every answer before you reply. This should mean that the arguments there, are more thought out and fact based, yet time and again I find myself insulted and threatened. Not that this bothers me at all, after all the other beauty of forums is that you are largely anonymous. I just wonder why anyone would feel the need, unless of course their arguments are so weak to start with (and maybe their intellect as well) or they just cannot be bothered to do any research.
I carry on with the forums because I enjoy the cut and thrust, also I like poking fun at people who express views on something of which they have little or no knowledge. There will always be those who think that they can bully the rest of us into accepting their views, but the amount of people who come back with solid and well thought out answers gives me hope.
So because I get so few comments that contradict me, I thought that I should spend some time on one that does: Anna, I am sure will be happy to enter debate with me, but feel free if anyone else wishes to come in.
I first learned to tango in a very showy way. The dancing we did looked good to anyone not in the know, and we were taught that you could tango to anything, if you were any good. It took two tango festivals and a fortnight in Buenos Aires to convince me of the error of my ways. A routine, however well danced cannot be a good reflection of musicality, and what we did was pure routine.
Whenever we see anyone who dances “Big” or in the Nuevo style, they have little or no regard to the music. There are good reasons, of course. Firstly, if you dance to just anything, the music is unpredictable, unless you know it very well you cannot know when it will change cadence. Secondly when you are dancing big, every move takes time, so that by the time you realise that the music has changed you are already doing something not fitted to the music.
I have no doubt there are people that dance well in the Nuevo style, but usually they know a particular tune very well and only do their bit to a limited repertoire.
I know people who love to dance to Pugliese, the early stuff I can cope with, but later music is too Avant Garde for me. The people who love it listen to it avidly and know its every change and mood. This is fine because they know it well they can dance it. Me? I can’t cope, that is a failing on my part of course, but for me there is so much unexplored music from the Golden Age that I can live with that. I will leave Pugliese for now, and may be in time I will be familiar enough, who knows some day?
There is much confusion about Nuevo, in close hold, milonguero style you cannot see very much of the participants and almost nothing of the lady. That is why Nuevo was invented, the open style and big moves are specifically designed for the cinema and stage for the participants to be seen. Much of what we see masquerading as Nuevo is just anti social dancing, not done for the stage, but someone trying to show off to an audience who are just not interested, or some poor woman who is struggling to keep up with some very poor leading.
If you want to be seen, dance Nuevo. If you want to show off dance Nuevo. But are we not dancing for our own pleasure, for the pleasure of our partners, the joy of the music and just for three minutes of stolen bliss? Don’t ruin the moment by caring what others may think, feel the mood, forget steps, just drift away to the strains of some of the best musicians who ever lived.
And finally, if you disagree with anything I say, or just want to provoke debate, please comment, surely Anna is not the only person out there who occasionally disagrees with me.