The lights are dim, there is dead silence. We come together into a neat hold, and adjust our shoulders to hold our line. He clasps my hand and pulls me in closer, then rests his other hand on the arch of my back and leans in to dip me to the side. The opening pose alone, sends chills down the spine.
El Tango De Roxanne starts to play. The sharp strings of the violin serenade the air and force us to action. Slow, slow, quick quick slow… the basic tango sequence. We lock eyes in between steps and hold a gaze with the pause of the music. We begin another quick succession of steps. The power play has begun. The tango is a dance of desire, seduction, love, jealousy , aggression which fuses into an explosion of passion. It is love and hate on the dance floor. When at its best it’s like walking in on a steamy session of passion between lovers .
The tango takes you through the extremities of all emotions, and forces you to practice control in all your movements on the dance floor. It means moving smoothly but sharply too, always being alert! The music stops, we break our hold. I have to seduce him- a sinister sway of the hip lures him in. He regains control through his tight grip and sharp movements, He hoists me into the air and puts me down into a side step. We move sensually across the dance floor and slow down into a lunge step. I slide down lower and up quicker into a gancho. The rest of the dance is filled with gasps, pauses, embraces and ends in a soft panting.
The beauty of dance lies, in its ability to tell a story solely through the language of the body. It is an art form where the stomping of a foot, or a sway of the hip demands power. It is in the intimacy of understand each other without having to say a word.
If you want to go on the ride of your life, try the tango!
Written by Kea Mooka
Photos by Sameera Soorjee Photography