27 September 2009


All of a sudden, the nights here have got really cold. I stood outside talking tonight, and I realised I could see our breath! There's a great song by the Divine Comedy called "Don't Look Down" (chiefly notable for its excellent explanation of why not to believe in God - spoken to God), in which the singer describes a terrifying situation by saying, "The air gets clammy, and we hold each other's breath," and I thought of that, thinking that if I reached out my hand and grabbed, I really could hold the other person's breath.

BUEno. My friend O. herself has a friend, a man named U. He comes to tango, and he's obviously had a lot of experience, because he's very good. But in addition to this, I think he's perhaps the most beautiful dancer I've seen. I don't mean he's physically beautiful (although I do find him attractive). I mean his dancing is beautiful.

First of all, he has this hand. He holds his left hand in a way I've never seen in another leader: he curves it around so that the woman holds his thumb and his fingers are wrapped around the outside of her holding hand. Maybe it's wrong, but it looks beautiful - like a twining vine , fluid and curved and elegant. And then he has a way of stepping at certain moments. He steps into the woman's space when he leads a giro, and that too is very elegant - and very unexpected, which makes it even more elegant.

Mostly, though, it's his posture and his face. As far as I can determine, one thing you have to have to be a good male tango dancer is a straight back. If you hunch, or if you lean in, it doesn't look good and it doesn't seem to work well for the dance, either. This guy has a back so straight that he suddenly makes me understand what the expression "upright" means, but he somehow looks simultaneously upright - drawn up - and comfortable being upright. It's hard to explain. He looks as if he's making a point to stand upright, but as if that point is a pleasure for him. And his face! He has one of those straight noses, and when he dances he flares his nostrils, and appears to close his eyes: he looks as if he's filled with the spirit, and as if that filling leaves him simultaneously filled with satisfaction.

And the thing is, he's nothing special really. He's not elegantly dressed and suave in the dance, like my FTT, and he's not tall and unexpected in the hips, like my VTTT. But get him on the dance floor and I could watch him forever. So beautiful.

Speaking of elegantly dressed, here's a DC video I found unexpectedly tonight. I wish the men I knew dressed like Neil Hannon in this: that's a suit so sharp you could cut yourself looking at it.

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