Thursday, March 20

through the widest of windows

I cried out aloud – it was through the widest of windows -
"Please don't walk on the grass!
Don't trample those! Please do let them be!"

Time ...just before another moon rise, cutting through the clouds
Once more...
the young blossoms greeting the dark...

Why do blossoms come of age so early?
Why would they not want to slow down?

Some never learn,
Some make friends with every breeze.
What is it about 'the death-wish' ?
- breaking these many of young hearts -
"... old news...", these tire my soul.

These burdens - too heavy.
- "How can we hold?"

- through the widest of windows - I cried out aloud:
"Blossoms! Beware!"
"Mind every breeze!"
"Don't play! It is a can you see and not learn?!"

- In the morning after -
The massacred blossoms laid all over that lawn

I cried out aloud - through the widest of windows -
"Please don't walk on the grass!
Don't trample those! Let the dead blossoms just be!"

The only cat who loves you back!

Wednesday, March 5

Who is teaching whom?!

It is difficult but I will try what I can and speak of another controversial issue, namely "Who is teaching whom?!"

The other day, in a very amusing conversation with some friends we were informed that somebody who is to be known here as "The Character", has set up shop and is now teaching dancing tango. This individual who keeps insisting that "he dances with his heart" unfortunately has always failed to realise that "Tango is danced with our feet too" and that tango is not just for engaging the soul but the body too. "A heart alone, without some body, will sadly not do!" this never seems to have occurred to him to be true.

I, honestly, would like to give him or anyone else like him the benefit of the doubt. If their heart is moving with the music when dancing then perhaps in their mind they can not realise that the body and feet are being needed. The embrace, the techniques, the understanding of any partner's involvement, the connection, the balance etc in this "couple's dance" i.e. The Tango!, may look as secondary and as unimportant issues to them but they are essentials. If their mind tells them these and other similar essential matters do not require their attention then it is only in their mind that the truth may stand to be what it is seen to be by the rest of us watching them!

However, a heart, alone, moving with the music when the feet are still visibly and totally confused to what they are meant to do, will not suffice when it comes to dancing tango in public and even more significantly if one intends to teach the tango. I would have thought even a short few months for anyone to have been present at the tango scene would have been enough for this message to reach home but no, it never did. Instead there soon came "the t-shirt", the over exaggerated accent, the self-promotions, stickiness, the gluing of oneself to various venues, the DJ's desks, and to be seen to associate with individuals who run them, forcing oneself on others' generosity of time and attention when they are simply being too polite or even too embarrassed to shake such characters off.

As strange as it sounds we now hear that such a person has set up shop. Yes, He introduces himself as a "Tango Teacher", and that he is officially teaching tango!!!

Personally I am not against anyone wanting to make a few handfuls of bank notes from "any bizarre bazaar", be it tango or any other trade. If some one has some talents they are entitled and should be encouraged to use it. The rewards are theirs if they can get. In fact the more tango activities, classes, milongas, exhibitions, concerts etc there are, the richer the benefits and rewards are for all of us. However these should not be extended so thinly that taking people for a ride is to be seen as a talent and therefore for us to be fine with it.

On the other hand the shocking truth might be that this individual or people like him may really see themselves as qualified to teach in their own mind and by those who have never been taught. In such cases, these are acts which are at the very best due to self delusions, but I fear the worse that there is something else here at play, a fraud and a con.

Looking around us here we can see that there are some highly skilled, dedicated tango teachers whom we know to have spent many years studying their trade, delivering the goods and polishing their acts. There are also those who may not be the best at teaching tango but at least they are very polished performers and appear where a public face of tango is required in the media. Perhaps there are some we can best call the unsung heroes too these are the teachers who have never managed to claim a great deal of public fame but, despite of that, their successful implementation of teaching techniques and use of knowledge have consistently produced very good dancers and we all take more pleasure with them at our milongas.

So... what are we to do with "the character(s)"? By entertaining the personal delusions of grandeurs of such individuals, or worse allowing the con-artists engaging their trade in our community, I am not sure who would lose out most. I do not have many ideas on how such enterprises or people can be stopped although I do know this that by ignoring these we will all lose out, in our own ways!

The only cat who loves you back!