Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tango Reads 1

I finally found a way to merge my love for books with my new-found passion for tango.

Last Sunday as I indulged at Fully Booked at Rockwell, I made way to the arts shelf, after finding a pop-up edition of my all-time favorite, Antoine de St Exupery's The Little Prince. [Check out my other blog, LIVING BY THE BOOK, to see what pop-up heaven is all about.]

As I slowly went through all the titles on the leftmost shelf of the arts section, I saw the dance books on the first and second tiers. While most of them were too technical or too classical, I stumbled upon a memoir by Maria Finn. What grabbed me was the cover, a top shot of a man and a woman in abrazo, with the camera angle focusing on the outstretched limbs of the pair.

But what will enchant you is the way she has captured the tango and tango. Her words echo the maestro's lessons in more explicit and visual terms. The words of her first instructors and her partners add shades and nuances to tango, as dance and as life, in a manner that this student can relate to.

From Chapter 1: El Abrazo, The Embrace

"... Tango, in its strictest definition, is a form of music and dance. In essence, though, it is a way of being---and it lures you... Tango is a journey for those who want their lives to change course..."

Maria Finn's Hold Me Tight & Tango Me Home is a memoir about how tango lifted her out of her heartbreak and showed her a new way of living. She spices it up with meaty morsels of tango history and delicious dashes of music and must-reads.

While her writing is light and very readable, the substance itself must be savored, not to be devoured in one sitting. Even if one wanted to. For tango does not rush, and this book should not be rushed either.

A must-read. As tango is a must-do.

"You have to breave [breathe] to feel the music," Graciela said. "You have to feel the music to dance tango. And when you make that connection with your partner, it is a pleasure you will never want to leave."

So that is why I tango more and more. And I didn't even see it that way yet.

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