Tuesday, July 14, 2009

On traffic.

On more than one occasion, I have been told, whilst baffled and have subsequently have told to the baffled, that tango dancing is very reminiscent of something such as "glorified walking." It involves keen sense of balance, considerable consideration of weight negotiation, and proprioception.  It also begs for some small inkling of what I do not have when it comes to walking, glorified or not, through urban sprawl: intrepidity. 

This occurred to me quite stoutly when I was crossing the street last week to reach a lunch destination (which was quite delicious).  Anyone who has strolled with me knows that once the little walking man has pranced out of sight and an orange hand appears, I heed the sign.  No sprinting across the street. No frantic bounding to the other side.  These are both permutations of something I and I'm certain most people are acutely fearful of: looking stupid. Plus, cars are bigger than humans on the whole. (I imagine that I can overturn one of those smart cars if exceptionally enraged).  There is something so intensely bothersome to me about sneering disapproval or even thin filmy veils of disparagement: from people I know, from strangers on the street, as well as dance partners. Perhaps this is also why my leading efforts in tango have not been so successful: I've been terrified of being hit and seeming hopelessly maladroit. 

Im leaving for China on Sunday and will come to a new type of milonga, one of honking cars, overcrowded buses, innumerable bikes: a whole city of drivers.  Although I will seek to cut a rug in studios and shake a leg in clubs to be sure, this time will be a thoroughly new exercise in driving and leading myself in this foreign metropolitan dance. 

a tango nuevo indeed.