Tango is a cultural good. Tango makes sense of the world by making something of the world. And if culture is the activity of making meaning….then tango is a cultural good.
I was reading a book called “Culture Making” by Andy Crouch and want ya’ll to buy it. Yup. It’s $8 and some change. CHEAP. So enough of the shameless plug…. Crouch refers to culture as somethings that creates a public: ” a group of people who have been sufficiently affected by a cultural good that their horizons of possibility and impossibility have in fact been altered, and their own cultural creativity has been spurred, by that good’s existence.”
I think this is why it’s so easy to get the “take home messages” from tango that we apply to our every day lives. The “don’t anticipate, just enjoy the moment” ‘s and the “make a mess of things and clean it up later” ‘s. Tango assumes that the world should be embraced. That we should strive to maintain a physical connection to one another because this plethora of virtual connection just doesn’t cut it. Tango makes cultivating a community that recognizes our ability to create something new possible. The beauty is in the passion of the dance. It’s shared. And by being an invitation, tango makes it possible for others to cultivate and create culture as well.
So go on, spread the love. Creation is relational. We can create something with someone in tango; a new move, a fun spiral, a fluid bit of vocabulary that eases into a different bit of vocabulary. Let’s keep this physical closeness important. I wonder what tango would assume of the world then, once it’s become a way to be connected to others that is more satisfying than a text or phone call? Culture starts small. Try it with your 2 closest friends. See what it changes.