Reality is a hologram. There is a thread of kinship that runs through it all and ties it together. Universal truths are uncovered in miniscule particles and mighty oceans gently cradle the most fragile of creatures.
Great truths run through every discipline - the same truths - and whenever or wherever we find them they bring light and wisdom to our area of focus.
Dance is our choreographed embodiment of the rhythms of the universe. When we dance we draw in all the music of the spheres and assist in their moving together. Mysticism flows into philosophy which flows into physics which flows into music...
… which flows into tango...
Sir Isaac Newton, sits under a tree until an apple falls on his head. He then runs off and writes the definitive text on physics for the next 200 plus years that gives us equations for understanding everything from gravity to calculus to how objects react in relation to other objects: Cause and effect, force and resistance, solid objects bumping into each other and careening off in predictable trajectories.
That was a long time ago. The world of physics has moved far beyond the calculations of Sir Isaac. Not that his world-view was wrong or irrelevant. It still guides us through the basic functions of life, waking us up in the morning with a hot cup of coffee and warm shower, getting us into our car and starting our internal combustion engine.
Newtonian physics is based on the presumption that objects are solid with impermeable boundaries and fixed characteristics that differentiate and separate them from everything else. It is a clear-cut, mechanistic world of cause and effect where you can predict how things move with precision. This model works perfectly well a game of curling or snooker. But it won’t get us our latest facebook posts or cell phone calls or heat our breakfast in the microwave. All that is a gift from new physics, the world of force fields and subatomic particles and relativity and quantum mechanics.
Back to Tango.
Unfortunately, we often use Newton’s model for describing how to dance, tango especially. We teach partnering in tango as two objects relating in a mechanistic, sequential, cause-and-effect, lead and follow, manner, e.g., I put my foot out as a block (parada); you stop, collect, step-over. You are aware of yourself and your specific roles and responsibilities as distinct from your partner. You focus on maintaining your balance independently. You cling to rigid expectations of how each step sequence is to unfold and you judge your dancing and that of your partner as to how well you have followed scripted steps. Everything calculated, premeditated. The trajectory of the dance planned with precision.
Not that this is wrong. It is instructional on an elemental level. It is just that it is limited. It doesn’t take us to the deep dance, the melding of soul and spirit, the unity of two moving as one to the motions of the music. It leaves us sitting under an apple tree waiting for something to fall and wake us into the 21st century.
Back to physics.
Truly modern physics has lost interest in how objects relate to objects and is instead preoccupied with subjects relating to subjects. New physics (which has given us everything from microwaves to computers to atom bombs - lest we forget) starts where Newtonian physics stops. There are no longer any hard and fast objects with impermeable boundaries. Everything is interconnected, participating in the same awareness, sharing space and energy and atoms, moving in and out of possibility and position.
New physics represents the world as soft, mutable, indeterminate, flexible. A world of unlimited possibilities and potential with no certainties. We enter into an understanding of our world not as detached, objective observers but rather as subject to subject, growing in appreciation of similarities and connections.
Now envision how new physics might shape your dance: Two subjects with permeable boundaries melding into the consciousness of each other and co-creating something multi-faceted and beautiful. Expectations and judgements and certainties are displaced by the indeterminancy of potential and possibility.
Consider a dance where listening and spontaneity are valued over anticipating, fluidity over rigidity, attunement over judgement, responsiveness over expectations. We move together into mystery and creativity, each embracing the generosity of sharing axis and lead, losing awareness of where you end and your partner begins.