Tango Principles by Artem Maloratsky

“Why write about tango? Words cannot come close to describing the experience of dancing. The main reason I started this project was that I felt a lack of common vision of practice and improvement among even the most serious tango dancers. I wanted to articulate some general principles for myself, my students, and for some fellow dancers who were also interested in the topic. I have written and rewritten it all many times, and eventually I felt reasonably comfortable exposing the present state of it. This website is the result, though it is bound to keep changing as I learn and understand more.

Tango is a relatively young art form. Potentially, it can have as much depth and cultural significance as music, painting, or the best of martial arts. But, so far, there has not been sufficient clarity among the dancers or among the general public on how to explore this potential. I am not a tango “master” – I still have a long way to what can be called mastery of this dance. I am just a serious student who over the years has been piecing together a working vision of how to approach tango as a progressive artistic practice, and of possible ways to develop it into the fine art that it can be. This vision did not come easy. It took many errors and frustrating periods during which I was stuck and confused, losing my enjoyment of this dance, in spite of studying with many reputable teachers. I have seen a number of dancers who were initially in love with tango become likewise frustrated and even abandon it altogether. Quitting was not an option for me, as I had become a serious tango “addict”, so I spent a lot of time and energy learning how to get “unstuck” and how to continuously improve my experience of dancing. Many key insights came from outside of tango circles – as a result of my explorations of Eastern martial arts and philosophy, studies of various systems of bodywork, and a psychological self-examination. One of my main objectives in sharing the information and producing this website is to help a potentially serious tango student who, like myself when I started, intuitively perceives the possible depth of this art but does not find clear ways to pursue it. Especially since I decided to stop teaching for the time being (for reasons I explain in the Personal Background and Tango and Conscious Evolution sections), I feel like giving tango students and fellow dancers an easy access to the information I have accumulated over the years. My other main objective is to help foster a dialogue between existing tango dancers, to help develop more of a common vision of how to take tango to higher levels. Everything here is subject to dispute and frequent revision, as I intend to continue learning.”

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