Sensualidad y Dramatismo
It is obvious that Argentine tango is a sensual dance,
but what is sensual? Is it the same as sexy? Or sensitive?
According to the dictionary, sensual is relating
to or affecting any of the senses or a sense organ; sensory. Sensuous:
highly appreciative of the pleasures of sensation. Sensual is all that
reports to a sense, all and everyone existing in human life. Sensuality,
also sensualness, means all that reports to any forms of sense one that
can recognize, say, “sense” it.
Sensualism relates to the search for beauty,
amazing beauty, and the cruelty and pain that often accompanies that
beauty. In tango, Borges refers to the beauty of the panther, the leopard
or jaguar. Cruelty is a part of the beauty.
Sensuality refers to subtle, interior
sensations. Such as, a tattooer who falls in love with a girl after
just seeing her foot, as in Junichiro Tanizaki’s story, "Shisei" (Sisei,
Si-Sei, The Tattooer, Tattoo, Irezumi). Much "sensuality" can be
found in Japanese literature: Yukio Mishima, Yasunari Kawabata, Baku
Sexyness, sexiness, sex appeal or being sexy
is about an exterior appearance. It can be related to self-perception,
self-awareness, self consciousness, ego. A feeling of self-consciousness
occurs when we realize that we are being watched or observed, the feeling
that "everyone is looking" at us. When feeling self-conscious, one becomes
aware of even the smallest of one's own actions, self-objectification.
Much of human sexual attractiveness is governed by physical attractiveness
which Ariadne von Schirach calls "Der Tanz um die Lust",
wrapped up in desirability. Attractiveness involves the impact one's
appearance has on the senses, especially in the beginning of a relationship:
Visual perception (how the other looks). Audition (how the other's voice
sounds). Olfaction (how the other smells, naturally or artificially;
the wrong smell may be repulsive). Olfactory signals, or smell, can
influence the perception of attractiveness. Physical attractiveness
is the perception of the physical traits of an individual human person
or a group, race, or type of people, as attractive or beautiful.
Sensitivity, sensitiveness, sensible, sensibility:
mental responsiveness and awareness, refined sensitivity to pleasurable
or painful impressions. Sensibility seems to have a particular
literary sense, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It refers
to a cluster of attributes, amongst which you can include the display
of "elegant and graceful" emotions and tastes, exhibiting
a careful attention to detail, etiquette. Hard to please, demanding.
You can click at each picture at the right, it opens another
way of looking at tangos.
on 'The Gaze'
tango is passion
then it aims transformation.
Deep in the nature of theatre is a sense of ritual
Transformation uses persuasion. In fact, the woman cannot be treated
as an inert substance. She has the abilities and capacities to sabotage,
to delay and to dislocate the effect of leading. This gives the man
a dynamic dimension of uncertainty. How higher he aims, the greater
is the capacity of the woman to neutralize the intervention of the man.
It constitutes a serious problem.
also for the man it is necessarily that persuasion appears as strategy.
For the tanguero, to persuade is to seduce. To persuade is to exert
an influence cognitive and affective. To persuade is to influence by
word and gesture, it is to seduce the mind and the heart at the same
In this direction, tango is true labour. It demands coordination between
the mind and the arms, between the mind and the legs and also between
the mind and the shoulders. It looks simply physical but this work demands
that the person provokes or suppresses the emotions and that he demonstrates
an exterior control capable to produce a state of particular spirit
in the woman. She needs the feeling that she is taking care of and can
move in a pleasant and safe space. This asks deep and integral individuality
of the man. Then there are the extreme games of seduction, Casanova
and Don Juan.
tanguero like Casanova wants to seduce all the women. Casanova is essentially
a being of instant-pleasure. He likes the pleasure that he provides
to the women. However, Casanova is not a strategical seducer, he does
not plan or calculate. Casanova is a surface being, whose exterior is
confused with the interior and whose present is the now.
How Casanova seduces?
In a very simple way: he gives without reserves. If he is possessed,
the women feel in it the animal fever. Therefore a casanovense tanguero
has little technique of the conquest and the seduction. Its secret is
in the sincerity of the desire, in the elementary expression of a gotten
He is not demonic, it remains in the surface; it is the body of them
that he wants, not the soul. His relations with the women are really
loyal, because they are simply of sexual and sensual order. It does
not provoke a catastrophe. It made many happy women and he did not make
none of them to be hysterical, none are suicidal or in compleet desperation,
her interior balance is not disturbed, it is a conquest without destroying.
However, in tango people like the body to be passional, sin limites.
So, we speak of seduction as an instrument of transformation of the
other in the context of a dance of passion. Now we have Don Juan.
Juan also wants to seduce all the women. He likes to walk from one relation
to another and does not like to be motionless. However, far to love
them as Casanova, he wants to win them. The women represent a species
of challenge, a conquest object, tanguerre.
is the beauty, before everything, that attracts Don Juan. However, the
same beauty that fascinates him, reflects his proper death. So, Don
Juan is the capricious one, the corridor, the traveller, the one that
is always of departure, he is always in movement. He is not able to
be faithful. This would mean defeat, to deliver the weapons to the feet
of the enemy, that is the woman. It is necessary to win the woman before
being looser. Therefore, contrariamente the Casanova, Don Juan prefers
the seduction of women is a Machiavellian pleasure, not so flirteo.
Donjuanismo is much more a passion of the spirit of that of the instinct.
Don Juan elaborates diverse strategies to win its adversaries. In his
cold technique, the women start to see in him the proper devil. They
detest him with all their passion.
important difference between the seducers is the relation with the time.
With Casanova it tends to last, while Dom Juan pledge his energies in
enjoying the last moment of the fall of the victim. He pursues an objective
in the long run, Casanova lives the instant. Don Juan looks something
that is beyond the relation. A vision, only then.
extremes appear clearly: the exclusion of the seduced person or its
conservation in the game. None of the women seduced by Casanova is excluded
from the game after an adventure. In contrast, all remain being potential
partners for new departures. On the other hand, the game of Don Juan
precipitates them for the deepest desperation.
Kiss & Tango
Marina Palmer's book "Kiss & Tango:
Looking for Love in Buenos Aires" (2005) is the story of her personal
infatuation with the tango. Her autobiographical writing is honest and
frequently humorous. She points out that tango dancing invites close physical
contact, which often evolves into feelings of lust. She is quite frank
in discussing her experiences in this regard such as wondering "if
people realize how difficult it is to dance tango while on the brink of
Tango isn't just a dance, it's a grand metaphor for sexual pursuit. The
many dance halls of Buenos Aires are open around the calendar and around
the clock. Men and women eye each other dancing in crowded, usually poorly
lit rooms and use subtle signals to indicate their interest in becoming
partners. There are rituals used in going to a woman's table and certain
gestures to invite her to dance. When paired off, a couple usually dances
a tanda, that is a set of four or five successive tangos. Thus beginning
with a nod from the man, signifying his desire for a particular woman,
tango continues in a series of moves resembling stylized foreplay. In
time, dancers get to know who goes to which dance halls, who are the best
dancers and who are regular partners. These change as some dancers disappear
for "gigs" in Europe or New York. There is always an atmosphere
of temporariness and the possibility of change.
Marina Palmer arrived in Buenos Aires in March 1999, picturing a career
as a professional tango dancer. As Palmer was 31, about 10 years older
than the partners favored by male tango professionals, she would have
to work extremely hard. She took ballet lessons three times a week to
improve her flexibility, studied tango with various local masters and
hit the milongas every night. Exploring Buenos Aires by day and seducing
sexy Argentines on the dance floor by night, her tango obsession ruled
her life. She spent almost every night until dawn dancing at various venues,
occasionally bringing home a partner, and her trials on the dance floor...
aching feet, battered ankles. After absorbing five years of diary entries,
readers will feel at home with Buenos Aires street life and almost accustomed
to the retrosexual politics of the tango scene, so when Palmer says things
like, "I wish all men knew how I long to be treated like an object,"
they sort of know what she means.
And so it goes, from auditioning for the extravagant Broadway hit Forever
Tango, to becoming a street dancer on the infamous calle Florida.
For five years Marina lives and dances in Buenos Aires, making friends
and contacts with other dancers and absorbing the life in Argentina, but
she refuses to let her mind rest on the idea that she was getting too
old for the dance without a partner and that making a living dancing was
getting to be impossible. Only when the political unrest in Argentina
finally erupts in front of her small apartment building does she have
thoughts of leaving, even though her latest dance gig is on the street,
doing the tango for donations in a hat. She comes close to finding the
love she seeks. After fleeing Argentina during the financial collapse
(the moment this book ends), she lives there now.
Tango is playing with fire, it's all pursuit, all foreplay with sexual
frustration making the dance vibrate with tension. Completely a liberated
modern woman, Marina unfortunately couldn't help but still search for
"The One" partner, the man who would make all her hopes and
dreams come true, the man who would make her life whole, both on and off
the dance floor. But as no man seemed to possess all of her long list
of requirements, she's left tangoing from one partner to the next. Some
she drops and some drop her, leaving her open to heartache and tears.
In the end of her amour fou search, Palmer concludes: "Tango
thrives on ambiguity. That's what makes it so addictive. ... Desire is
awakened but not quenched in an endless foreplay — a foreplay that
is never consummated by sex.".
The tango is always about wanting that which you can't have.
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