Sunday, October 15, 2006

Dance Gesture Drawing

The origin of the word "Dance" suggest that it can be compared with the act of drawing. Dance - Origin: F. Danser, Dansn to draw; akin to dinsan to draw.

Drawing can exist on two levels: action drawing and gesture drawing. Gesture drawing is related to action drawing, both involve the principle of movement, but it goes further than action drawing. Action drawing only deals with physical movement: the action line, the axis. When you do a drawing of what a figure looks like, your drawing can be correct and competent but it will only be what the figure looks like, its appearance without a deeper emotional content. Physical movement however, has a nonphysical counterpart: its essence, its movement identity. Gesture drawing involves not only physical movement, but a deeper concept of essential identity, a search for the internal, a deeper spiritual meaning of things. When you do a gesture drawing of a figure, when you strive to capture the essence, its energy of being, the figure becomes alive. Carlos Gavito's dancing is such a way of gesture drawing. The music is touching him emotionally and he puts that nonphysical content into his movements. Through use of his own sensory and perceptual experience of the music, he is telling an emotional, narrative story.

Such inner liveliness and longing is needed to give dance a soul. It is the active, introspective process that gives content to act of dancing together. One can only make contact if an appearance shows a deeper emotional substance. Being drawn to each other, relates to a metaphysical reality: being drawn out of ourselves toward the other, goes beyond the physical act of coming closer...

Between 1853 and 1930 Argentina got 6.000.000 immigrants. As 70% of the immigrants were masculine, a demographic imbalance was produced between "Damas y Caballeros". A way to overcome this powerful gap between the sexes and coming closer to women was Tango. Men were being drawn to it.

A lot of baroque can be seen in tango, especially in the shows. Spectators mostly "witness" classic beauty, as if it's harmony is in another world, on stage is made no effort to seduce the audience. Baroque however, contrasts openly with the ideal of harmony that the Renaissance advocated. The baroque artist wishes to create constant sensation of movement. Barock rocks the spectator, touchingly and affectingly shocking the public. Dynamism is el ideal artístico del Barroco. The barok leaves the classic serenity symbol and wants to express a world in movement and agitation of the senses. Baroque is the time of the feeling. Personages appear in very dynamic positions, with very expressive faces and gestures. The time spirit in which it grew was that of a changing society. The misery in the field dragged to many farmers towards the cities, where they hoped to improve their quality of life, but they ended mostly in delinquency. For the baroque bourgeois who desires for sky and land like a compadrito, the only compatible attitude is duplicity, double-dealing, acting in bad faith, deception by pretending. Thus, the spectacle has the intention to act on the viewers.

"L'arte barocca aveva il compito di toccare direttamente l'animo e i sentimenti della gente e per far questo era necessario che essa assumesse forme grandiose e monumentali !!"

History suggest that tango encounters were an intense competition between men who sought to win the bodies of the women and it was also a catalyst for racial and class tensions augmented by the invasion of European immigrants. Between 1853 and 1930 Argentina got 6.000.000 immigrants. As 70% of the immigrants were masculine, a demographic imbalance was produced between mujeres y hombres. European prostitutes were imported, Franchuchas and there was also a women-traffic from Warsaw, from the ghetto de Varsovie et les villages juifs de la Pologne, but this mixture is the port-story of La Boca. The coloring chemistry of all this makes the suburb, orillero, the expanding border of the city of Buenos Aires. Yet the outcome, tangodance, is more than a symptom, magnetic material lives inside the unexpurgated core and is longing to come at the surface, yearning for an occasion, a perfect habitat such as in 1900.

How did tango arouse the public mind? How did its popularity spread? Does it express the secret fantasies of society as it is? These fantasies of indiscreet bodies are a drive behind entertainment in nightclubs, Hollywood movies, tourists acts, dance costume making, radio, television and other media, enlarging the sex appeal of the event and making the spectacle more teasing and thrilling.

There is nothing more "tango" than nylons, seamed fishnets tights. They are just the thing to put on for a special date like tango. Sexy nylons lengthen the leg and are super soft to touch. In tangoshows, the hot seduction of the Forties comes back in seamed pantyhose with a seductive pointed heel. The traditional show themes play on old stereotypes from the red light district, featuring male dancers dressed in faux 1940s tough-guy garb and women in their fetish fashion, outfits like the symbolic fishnet stockings and porte jarretelles, highheels and skirts with a long slit. For some these appearances are outdated clichés but a cliché is more complexe than it seems. These costumes alter an appearance, the clothed body refers to conscious and unconscious uses of disguise. Dressing is a ceremonie, an extremely effective heighten up technique, an act of re-imaging an entity, masking the so-called original, masquerading till a new authentic identity is acting.

In the beginning however, not only those of the high classes rejected tango, any family which claims to be respectable closed its doors to it, those of the middle and working class as well. To dance tango was to contaminate yourself with its origin as a brothel dance, a scandal for the families. A scandal however, like the attraction of shameful gossip, is a also weapon of mass seduction and a money generating business.

The immigration wave did the Buenos Aires city population rate swell with lonely men, resuling in a demographic sex ratio population of 1 male to 0,6 female in 1914. Approximately 30.000 garotas were working in 2000 brothels. As tango was related to the brothels, it was a scandelizing act for a woman. The fact that it was danced by prostitutes broke dancing habits. In this way, their provoking behaviour anticipated an emancipation.

The worldwide spread of the tango came in the early 1900s, when rich niño bien's of Argentine society made their way to Paris. The young, loaded Latin men introduced the tango into a sophisticated society eager for innovation and not entirely averse to the nature risqué of the dance, so creating an unexpected lust, a longing for the touch of their savoir faire. The scandal effect, or perhaps the scandalous mind, made tango an extending phenomenon, an issue of cosmopolitan import export. Like in Paris, cabarets, night clubs were opened in Buenos Aires. Tango gradually advanced from the obscurity of the bordellos to the multicolor lights of city night life. Giving reality to a phase in the immigrants' dream of "hacer America", from La Boca to Broadway, a way out. Thanks to the tangoshows, tangodancing survived. But does tangueros have a rose in their mouth? Is Moulin Rouge true tango? Have images ever posessed any claim to reality? No, but the imago works. An idealized image is something that seduces, it has the quality to seduce.

Regarding seducing, Jean Baudrillard brings out the similarities of persuasion and seduction when he points out that the seducer typically thinks he is the active party but in fact is in bondage to the seducee, in slavery. The genuine seducer has to devote all his attentions to the seduction for a period to accomplish the seduction, and in the process, is effectively enslaved by the seducee until the seduction is successful. Seduction is about the creative use of weakness, temptation. An individual's inevitable exposure to images, confuses his attention and priorities. The images gain privileged access to the backdoor of his mind. The teasing of the imagination obscures any sort of critical awareness. The old self can be said to be murdered by the self-induced delirium. It exploits and effects weakness and this is what gives seduction its power.

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