Jan 25, 2009

The Art of Embrace

I am clueless on the topic of dancing. So, there was a genuine fear that going to New York on a very very cold day could eventually feel like a lost battle. As it turned out, that was not a problem. Historias Breves (Brief Stories in Tango) is of exceptional choreography and belongs to the category of art that everyone finds beautiful.

Tango is known to be a difficult. It has to be executed in an almost continuous embrace, and often with speed. It requires coordination and footwork. In fact, much of it is about footwork. The dance originated in Buenos Aires, but now has many variations attributed to other South American countries and other places. The Argentine Tango follows a style where the embrace allows greater freedom of the legs, and therefore wide movements and flourishes (see the video to the right).

It is clearly not easy. The fitness, and sheer strength required to even attempt such an exercise is something to envy. The dancers however, manage this smoothly with an absolutely careless ease, wearing high heeled shoes! Guillermina Quiroga has been doing this for decades. The unearthly elegance in her style is only one of the things to admire. She also choreographs and directs it. She has been choreographer for movies and figure skating as well. I would like to find videos of those sometime.

The event that we saw was Historias Breves. Arranged by the World Music Instistute at NYU's Skirball center for performing arts. Instead of trying to describe any of it, I will just put in the youtube link to a snippet of the show from two years ago. Remember to watch it in high quality :

I found several videos on youtube, here are a couple:

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