Another year went by, and the new year is moving in at a frightening speed. If history repeats itself, we are now well into the second half of another one of tango’s forty-years cycles. Which means it might be downhill from here on. We’d like to say it ain’t so but who are we to tamper with time and fate?
The current cycle in tango’s reemergence as a worldwide attraction, began roughly in the 1980’s, rising up from the ashes of tango’s decline at the end of its prior forty years cycle, which peaked during the Golden Years. The musical Tango Argentino is credited with getting the current cycle going, and soon after, city after city, country after country, new generations of people began to fall under the spell of the tango and its power to bring people together. Same as before, at first there was a wave of romanticism, militancy and a genuine appreciation of the priceless contribution of the elder dancers from the previous cycle. Then the music of the Golden Years became available on CDs, and gradually displaced the madness and pretentious sounds of a tango that didn’t want to sound like a tango but demanded to be recognized as tango.
Eventually, as the dance reached this point, it also became the subject of divisiveness as opportunism and a desire for instant gratification unleashed an entire new cadre of “promoters, teachers and musicians” proselitizing entire communities. Even those, who intently chose to ignore the deep roots, solid trunk and rich sap which constitutes the body of tango traditions, have fallen under the inexorable truisms recorded in hundreds of lyrics by dozens of well known authors. That is perhaps, why we are not surprised, much less disappointed, at the freelance insensitivity, selfishness, chicanery and unethical behavior coexisting alongside mutual respect, bonding friendships, camaraderie and sincerity.
Just in case the end is near, if we are to believe that the tango indeed rises and falls in forty year cycles, it behooves us to make some resolutions far and beyond the ending of the Eight Count Basics. Over the last couple of years, this publication has failed to adhere to its self-imposed monthly schedule. Blame it on the traveling, blame it on the teaching, blame it on the dancing, blame it on the enjoyment of a new home base and blame it on a desire it to do it all without being able to stretch the twenty-four hours constraint of a given day.
Rather than trying to delude ourselves into believing that the world of tango needs us to do it all, we want to focus on the areas which we enjoy at being at our best. Teaching and dancing are at the top of our list. Creating opportunities for others to share the fruits of our teaching and partake in the enjoyment of dancing together, follows right in line.
Although writing has been part of our contribution to educate, the time and costs involved in putting out this publication are excessively inefficient in achieving its original purposes. The creative juices of an artist can not be turned on and off at will, so as inspiration strikes, a couple of book projects may now have a chance to be brought from the back burner to fruition, along with an largely overdue series of instructional videotapes.
Even if we are to be moving into a down cycle now, enjoying this moment and this tango should have the effect of riding the wave so we can be ready and full of experiences should a new cycle begin in the foreseeable future.