Live with Tango

The Tango Festival is finished. Most dancers have returned to work, their home cities and countries. New friendships are established, favourite partners have been found for the next time, in Kiev, or another country.But the local milonga dance evenings in the Ukraine continue, so after a few stops on the Metro and a walk beneath the stunning, floodlit St.Andrews church, the heat of the busy ‘coffee shop’ can be felt in contrast to the cool night air.

The DJ starts playing the music and dancers flow between shoppers looking to buy the delicious Lviv Handmade chocolates or order hot chocolate drinks. Tango music has different moods so we flow to tango, tango vals (waltz) and milonga.

The Ukranian women maintain the close embraces between songs, pausing for the next one, playing with the music, pausing, flowing… A game – when both are willing to play.

Then comes the dramatic music of Osvaldo Pugliese – dancers respond to the music with real feeling like professional contemporary dancers. The man leads and the woman follows, but the art of tango is for the leader to show off the follower as a flower, to show off her skills and beauty.

We pass again and again the beautiful chocolates on display with time to read some of the exotic names… Heart of Lviv, Vienese, Bong, White Veil, Charmer and Nutty Paunch (surely they meant Nutty Punch!!), and appropriately High Heels.

The man needs to keep eyes open but many women close their eyes to appreciate the deepest feeling of the dance. Tango is connection (with the music and the partner) and disassociation (keeping hips facing forward as upper body turns).

Tango is described as a succession of three minute love affairs, and as a social dance it is expected that the men invite any women to dance. There is no room for jealousy as couples should wish their partners to have the best experience on the dance floor – a good lesson for life. Freedom not chains!

Tango brings life into three minute segments. There is respect in the embrace and dance, but by mutual, unspoken consent there can be love, emotion and passion as the dancers connect and sometimes the chemistry really flows.

Finally, it is the “last tanda”. Couples come back together for the last dance. Good-byes are said, shoes changed, and we may meet again in any tango city in the world of this beautiful dance.