Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Abby Green . . . on the Tango

Ask and you shall receive, right?

Yesterday I said here that I'd love to have Presents author Abby Green come visit and write a "guest blog." This afternoon what do I get in my email? Abby's guest blog!

So, without further ado, here's Abby -- teaching you all about the tango.

Thanks to Anne McAllister who is letting me leech off her blog! I’m going to talk about tango…tango dancing. To me, it embodies the very essence of what Presents books are all about, the intense passion, aching melancholy and the subtle, eye wateringly sensuous steps as the man and woman do more than just dance together. They communicate on a level that seems so private and
personal that watching two dancers sometimes seems indecent, or voyeuristic.

In the words of a Tanguero here in Dublin who wrote a little booklet on
Tango etiquette: Tango is a dance, the music a melancholy, the embrace a hope…how beautiful and evocative is that?!

I’ve been learning how to dance Tango for about two years and as yet am nowhere near the level of being able to evoke those emotions in onlookers. It’s enough to try and remember the steps, to avoid going arse over tit!

And, to make it even more challenging, it’s not choreographed. You learn the
steps and then learn how to follow where the man leads. The only Tango that is choreographed is the dance you might see at a show Tango event.

beauty of the dance is in learning how to be led. Which can be very
difficult for headstrong independent women! I know one woman who had to give
up simply because she felt as if she was giving all her control away. But..if you persevere, you discover that while it’s about being led, it’s also about the way the woman entices her partner to follow her.

Speaking as
a woman, as you learn more, and get better, you learn more and more complicated steps, and embellishments. The man can lead you to do a certain move, but you can in turn block his moves, make him go another way.

your own power and dominance.

The start of a Tango dance is like the start of an intense Presents romance,
the man appears dominant, strong, unyielding. He leads the woman to perform exactly as he wants her to, to follow his steps without question. But, as the dance progresses, each step he makes is followed by a counter move from her. He blocks her foot, so she slides her own up his leg in a provocative display of dissent, before allowing him to lead her on. When he crooks his thigh under hers, she delivers a quick flick of her leg under his, as if to say, not so fast…!

One of my Argentinian teachers describes the man as the stem and the woman as the flower. The man is there to make the woman bloom, to make her look beautiful. And if you’ve ever watched Argentinian Tango being danced, you can’t help but agree.

There are moments during a Tango, even for a relative learner like me, when the music, the embrace sweeps you into another place, where with your eyes closed you simply follow the steps without even knowing what you’re doing. And when you stand apart at the end, if feels like something monumental has happened. And it has, this dance teaches a level of intimacy not encountered every day.

In the salons of Buenos Aires when a man wants to dance with a woman, he will look across the room and merely communicate his desire with his eyes. If she acknowledges him, then he will come over and ask her to dance, if she turns away, he won’t.

Within one three minute dance, you can witness a whole aching love story being played out. Enjoy!

* * * * * * * *

Check out Abby's first Harlequin Presents, Chosen As The Frenchman's Bride, an April 2007 release. Imagine the relationship between Xavier and Jane as a tango. It sizzles!

Thanks, Abby!


Blogger Yvonne Lindsay said...

Abby! What an awesome description of tango. I could see in my mind's eye every nuance of the dance as I read your guest blog. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration.

13 March, 2007  
Blogger Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Abby, passion, being one with one and you are so right, it's a dance like no other and what Presents is.....wish I could dance the dance. I've had dance training since I was very young and love to dance but never mastered the Tango and I so envy you. I've heard all about your wonderful execution and grace.....BRAVO, dear friend and thanks for sharing!

13 March, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Marilyn and Yvonne! The link at the end should take you to a tango video but I'm such a technophobe that it only takes you to the youtube site, but if you do get there, put Tango in the search box and you'll get plenty of videos to look at!
x Abby

14 March, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok just trying something out here if Anne doesn't mind too much! Try hitting on this link:
if it doesn't work then I give up!
x Abby

14 March, 2007  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

I don't mind at all, Abby! I tried the link you sent me the second time, and it just defaulted to the main page as well. Maybe cutting and pasting this one you've just sent will work. But what I did is what you suggested -- go to the main page and put in "tango." Lots of amazing videos! Wow.

Thank you for being such a great "guest blogger!" I have a much better understanding of both the Tango AND Presents now! Thanks!


14 March, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CarolC said...

I came here after Yvonne's recommendation and it's a fab description. Loads I didn't know - good luck with getting your expertise up Daisy/Abby.

14 March, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yaaay! It works, if you copy and paste it into your web adress thingy at the top of your page and hit return it'll come to the video. Now that woman, is she not a heroine straight out of a book?! Hmmmm, ideas, ideas...!
x Abby

14 March, 2007  
Blogger Anna Lucia said...

Gah, Blogger killed my comment!

I was trying to say, ABBY - that was a wonderfully evocative description of tango. I was holding my breath!

And the Rozanne tango scene from Moulin Rouge is just... mesmerising!

14 March, 2007  
Blogger Annie West said...

Abby, thank you! Your description of the Tango was so wonderful. So evocative and intense. I now begin to understand a little more of what it's all about. It's incredible to watch but reading your post explains so much.

No wonder you're so enthusiastic about this dance. Wow! As you say - the dance version of the Presents novel - that's hooked me.

Have you thought about a research trip to Argentina. I'm sure you could scope out some possible Presents heroes while you indulge in your passion for the tango.


14 March, 2007  

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