Sunday, October 15, 2006

More about El Abrazo...

All ballroom dances are danced by a couple in an open or closed hold. In the Estilo Milonguero or Apilado, this dance position is transformed into a close embrace, which is more than another dancing style.

An embrace, also called abrazo, is a living moment, less a rigid freeze posture. It takes a certain amount of time and relaxation to make it work. It opens the quality of being spontaneous. Respect is the soul of the ritual. Being close doesn't yet make it an embrace, the other person isn't an object. The primary focus is to provide an emotionally satisfying atmosphere, a pleasant and safe circle in which one can move. Inside this dance-hold which is a spiral, the partners feel their circular movements. The tanguera follows by "feeling" her leader's chest-movements. Inside the energetic circle of the close embrace, she's aware of his moves which must be clear and simple, giving one step-direction at the time, and he should go about it with a quiet and relaxed manner. Relaxed does not mean slow, in fact, one has to be relaxed to be fast.

The critical first step toward a calm peaceful harmony of motion is tranquility. Muscular relaxation increases the mental attention, memory and performance. The heightened sensory levels also play a role in a dancer's effectiveness. An erect but relaxed posture provides more energy to put toward a new exploration. In dance and yoga, an efficient posture is one that reflects the proper alignment of one's backbone. It is as felt as if the tips of its three curves would all just touch an imaginary vertical line drawn down the center of the body. It includes the most efficient placement of the head on its axis, so it is balanced in relation to gravity. Alignment of one's backbone allows the force of gravity to travel down the body without placing stress on particular areas of the back or neck. The bones may rest on each other, requiring minimal muscular work. The nervous system responds and the organs function with minimum restriction. Spinal alignment affects the vibrational level of the body, it increases the mutual vibration resonance between people. Torso movement reflects a readiness to interact. Postures do not just reflect internal states, but can produce them. Postures affect both the one assuming the posture, and those who are observing it. When the posture is seen by others as attractive, they are more committed to involvement.

A quietness in the soul is the magic. It makes you able to become aware of your body and how it is affected by its surroundings. Then you can look inward and choose values that are true to your inner self. Detachment is an ability to draw back from the physical impact of unnatural conditioning. It is like creating an island in the stream. The passage of time is often seen as such a stream. A pushing river that flows and flows faster day by day and on which we always have to catch on. Music too can be seen as a stream of notes. The dancer has to keep up with the mechanic time-pitch of a metronome. His consciousness is strongly fixed on potential outcomes. However, music also has the power to make contact with your inner self. When concentrating fully on the music, a whole range of subtle impressions will begin to set. It overlays the image onto another image on each existing instant as it occurs. If one can learn to relax enough, the body will naturally take care of itself, so performing the movements with a gracefull naturalness, easiness and spontaneity. It improves the ability to perform without apparent effort. An embrace has such power of peaceful harmony too. It is an island in the stream of time.

The embrace also acts as a vital center, an energy knot. It's immobility is not the absence of movement, it hides overlapped movements. The stimulations which they cause overlay each other in perfect compatible mutuality, in it grows the impulse to move. It grows from inside out and it's energy is driving the steps. This means that there is a 3th beat-pattern dimension. Underneath the rhythmic traspié-steps and the living pulse of the music, grows a dialogue of rhythm in the couple's organic interaction. What one is witnessing is a sort of living impressionistic painting which continues to have an appealing draw to one's imagination.

Inside the close embrace circle, the opposites do not "come together" in synthesis as if losing one's identity, the paradoxes are maintained and sometimes the extremes reappear clearly in the dance. Without a contradiction within your action you can't develop a structure of motion. An obstacle makes the objective visible. Contrast, the opposite, a contra-point is needed. Opposites must be shaped separately. You can't dance unless you are who you are. When there is magic in couple dancing, it's key is self-knowledge.

People dance more easily when the other person is able and free to be playful. Only in playing one is able to be creative and only in being creative one discovers oneself. As tangodancing is a creative, communicative experience where subjects meet, it is not wholly the domain of either participant. Within the safety of this close embrace which is a living playground, an embodied space, the couple can do it's play of passion. It evokes a state of high sensitivity and mutual understanding, so creating a wonderful connection with your partner and the music during an exclusive moment. In some way, the public sphere is the obstacle.

Taking enough time is time manipulation. What we perceive, we perceive as present, as going on right now. The now is always present. The perception and experience of temporal duration is bound up with memory and related to expectations. It has also a choreographic effect in the notion of perceiving an event in relation to the environment. It is seen by others as if there is something more going on than just dancing, something that generates suspense, arousal... Why stretching time. Why making it extremely more present ? Why whet the appetite ? It's about communication. It's about expressing emotions, sensitivity and the desire to obtain real time control. To make true contact in a dance, the feeling must have the time to be explored and experienced by the own body. There seems to be no essential difference between the language of seduction and the language of performance.

Perceptions of performances are mostly seen from the point of view of the audience, reducing it to the privileged senses which are sight and hearing, reducing the act of dancing to its elegant and stylish visual image. Intensity however, relates to all senses, they are all engaged during dancing. All of them play a shining part. The silence of the close embrace allows them to enter the relationship even more brightly. It becomes a thing in itself.

In sexual matter surely one thought that the sculpted bodies and the sensuality were the irresistible magnets. But there is a sexto sentido, the smell in the interpersonal relations showed that alone smelling clothing put on from other individuals - we can establish their sex, their age and, if they are more or little attractive, or even evoking a repulsion. The sex appeal actually goes to natural substances called feromonas.

Feromona is a word that derives from two Greek words: pheran to (transfer) and horman to (excite). This substance is the one that the animals produce and that affects the reproductive behavior of another animal of the same species, and it acts distantly. Men and women produce variable quantities of "masculine" feromonas - the androsterona and the androsterol-, but only the women secrete the "feminine" feromonas of the coitus. Though we are not conscious of the feromonas of another person, we them cannot " smell " in the traditional sense, they have an important impact in us. Feromonas seem to affect the general impressions of the people.
The ferormônios are distinguished from hormones, because hormones are set free internally and exert influence on the metabolism of the individual, while that the ferormoni are set free external, with activity on individuals. The property that characterizes these "skin extracts" is that they are in a position to provoke a sexual excitement also in absence of consciousness. The feromonas send signs which are catched by the vemeronasal organ (OVN), it is inside the nose. The órgano vomeronasal transmits these messages to the part of the brain that governs the most basic human sensations, as happiness, rage, love, hate and sexual awakening. The vomeronasal organ consists of a pair of very small graves that are to both sides of septo nasal. This structure is a sensorial organ. Plastic surgeons also are interested in the controversy around the órgão vomeronasal. After all, sometimes they surgically remove this sixth sense when making the perfect nose sculpture.

Sensations of the body affect the spirit. Bodily postures express, reinforce and can even challenge inner attitudes. Do I feel inside what I am expressing outwardly? Enacting inside feelings somehow makes them more real, they are experienced bodily, processed cognitively and observed visually. In a way, all inner feelings can be iconographically displayed in nearly obligatory postures. In addition to expressing, creating and sustaining inner temperamental and changeable moods, the act of dancing can accomplishing something else. It can make you recognize as if remembering scenes and meanings on a bodily level as physical postures, gestures and temperaments. As a dance has origins, the ritual symbolism of tangofigures goes back to the environement in which tangodance is born. This exhibit recognition is associated with certain sensual attitudes and relations towards the other. The contact with the power of this embodied culture can evokes a bodily feeling from within, a true sensation like discovering something very much lost. When it is repeated, they can become bodily automatisms and transform a person. So in a way there is a complementarity. The person enters the dance, and vice-versa.

Despite or perhaps because of the fact that in today's social life there is a rejection-culture of significant bodily contact, an increasing number of young and older people turn to couple dancing with it's safe environmental conditions. Everybody experiences it differently, most of them are being drawn to it. They find dancing exciting, especially tangodancing has a boom, like Ivan and Allison's tangoing in the TV show "So You Think You Can Dance"...

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