Zeroes & Ones
Tango is a language. It is a grammar of opposites, a language of unity.
Steps and pivots are its nouns and verbs.
It is a binary code of zeroes (circles) and ones (lines).
It is a respiration of opposites: movement/rest, leader/follower, masculine/feminine, the individual and the milonga, silence and the music, the non-dance state and the tango connection.
As in the body with Left and Right, Yin and Yang are not opposing forces but rather complementary opposites that are interdependent and make up a greater whole.
It is said that Yin/Yang, Light/Dark, Shiva/Shakti, the spiritual and the material allow life and the world to be created by their interaction. Likewise tango’s frame- the contrasts of the dance- create a world, a space in between, where we can both inhabit those opposites and their unity simultaneously.
Chakras, the energy centers in the body through which kundalini (life-force energy) flow, turn in opposite directions as they ascend from one to the next throughout the body, and they turn in opposite directions for men and women. The energetic system of the male and female are a mirror unto each other. When we stand in front of one another and activate the embrace, we create an integrated whole, which amplifies the frequencies of each individual system and of that unity by virtue of perhaps the most powerful property of the dance—resonance.
Resonance is strongest when the frequency of ‘the stimulus’ (partner) is the same or nearly the same as ‘the natural vibration of the system’ (your vibration in the dance). This means that there is a type of vibration in which dancers put themselves in order to be vibrational matches to one another. Therefore, there must be a type of ‘tango vibration’ dancers learn to inhabit. Just as long-term mediators can put themselves into a state of active receptivity and enter deeper states of meditation very quickly or directly, so dancers learn to clear away the dissonance in their systems and enter the receptively active ‘tango vibration’ upon initiating the embrace.