When I was in college studying art we were asked to answer the question, “What is art?” Many of us gave the same answer, that art is meant to communicate. Although now, I think this is oversimplified. Art communicates but is also so much more. Art is a feeling, an expression, it’s new, unique and inspiring.
Dance is also art. And with any art form, one needs to become technically competent in the craft before attempting to truly create. But not every technically skilled person is creative. You may have experienced dancing with someone that initiates every movement perfectly, but when dancing with them it feels as if something is missing. Even though most people dance tango for the social aspect and not necessarily to create art, most of us do strive for that “amazing” dance. The “tanda” that leaves us breathless and satisfied.
And then there are those who dance to perform. They practice their craft so others will experience joy in watching them. But when does a performance become truly creative? When does it become art?
Art happens when each dancer’s collective experience is combined with music that brings out the creativity in each of them. With the right combination, something magical happens. Both partners can feel it and anyone watching can see it too.
To be truly creative one needs to be inspired. Creativity feeds on inspiration. I find I’m unable to write unless inspired. Inspiration can come from something we hear, see, experience or even someone we meet. It’s what gets us excited and motivated.
Recently I watched Steven Cantor’s documentary “Dancer” about Ukrainian ballet dancer, Sergei Polunin. Sergei is not only an incredibly technically precise dancer he is also very emotionally connected. When he performs he becomes the dance. (Watch “Take me to Church” video here.) Very few in this world will reach his level, but we can be inspired by him to dance to our fullest capability. We can practice consistently and with dedication. And when we dance socially or perform, we can give ourselves fully to the dance.
There are a few tango couples who have not only reached a high level technically, but are also incredibly creative and inspiring, known around the world as Tango legends. And occasionally there are new partnerships that bring something unique and special to the dance. I am speaking of Maria Filali and Gianpiero Galdi.
Maria is based in France and Gianpiero in Italy, and this April will be their second visit to San Francisco. As professional partners for the past four years, they have been teaching and performing at renowned Tango festivals all over the world, as well as creating and producing artistic projects.
Here is a wonderful interview about how they started their partnership: https://youtu.be/Gdkf-slIsoI
In this interview they talk about how they are inspired by each other. They each bring their unique gifts and personality to the partnership and this combination is truly remarkable. They say they not only chose each other, but the public chose them.
Maria and Gianpiero’s dance is based on their belief that the encounter between two different personalities and two life trajectories complement each other when sustained by shared values — this makes their tango a constant dialogue. They teach tango through holistic approach with focus on developing presence, body-awareness, technical precision, and musicality for creativity and expression.
Read more about Maria and Gianpiero: http://www.filaligaldi.com/aboutus
They will be in the Bay Area April 18th to 24th.
See their schedule on Facebook.
For private lessons contact Yumiko: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Booking in advance is highly recommended.)