Traveling The Dance-II
Someone once said once that “Music must be swallowed by movement.” Yet, I could add to this that travel may as well help one swallow music and whole part of a culture as well.
Floating on salsa steps may as well be at your reach while visiting countries like Cuba and even Columbia, the country declared by most people “the world capital of salsa”. It could be stated that in such countries salsa gets to be eaten on bread or consumed by itself or that the people of these countries have salsa in their veins. In countries like these salsa got to be transformed into a lifestyle. Why not make it yours for a few days or more?
Much like Nietszche said “Every day I count wasted in which there has been no dancing.”And because I wish by all means to avoid this and hope you may wish it too, I would next carry you by making use of intricate dance steps to the lands of Argentina. And this only because when dance gets to be the subject of our traveling intercourses, there is no possible way in which tango should be left outside, standing at the door. Knock, knock! Who’s there? Tango! There certainly comes to be a lot of sensuality in this dance, sensuality which can be as well discovered in many of the people inhabiting the capital Buenos Aires, the place of origin of tango. Most of us envisage this dance as being perhaps the most voluptuous one, much like what we have seen in movies. As such, when closing our eyes we often envisage “a handsome, macho Latin man with slicked-back hair and a long-legged sexy Latin woman whose dress is open all the way up to the hip”. And these two do not simply sit there doing nothing but instead they entangle their bodies in perhaps the most passionate dance ever. Tango gets to certainly be the reason and at times the one reason only for which thousands of people choose to include Argentina and Buenos Aires in particular among their travel destinations.
Much like Margaret Putnam defined this dance “Tango is the Everest of social dance. Impossible. Demanding. Intricate. And therefore irresistible.”It all started in the brothels of Buenos Aires and it step by step danced its way to the legendary, passionate dance it is today. I consider it a play of passion, rejection and afterwards getting together. August would be the proper time to encounter tango, by attending the World Tango Festival, nowhere else but in Buenos Aires. Yet, before embarking upon a trip towards those lands, Naomi Hotta lets us know that there is a “Warning”, one should be aware of, namely that “Tango contains highly addictive ingredients, such as pain, pleasure, passion, excitement, connection, freedom, torment, and bliss. In seven out of ten cases it takes over a person’s life.”
And as you encountered passion, a whole lot of it by now in countries like Argentina, Spain, Cuba, Columbia, you may as well wish to become a sheik of your own or a beautiful, marvelous odalisque enchanting a good looking sultan and thus you may need to travel by making use of some belly dancing. And where better to do this if not in Egypt? I know today Egypt is simply striving to get the affluent of tourists it once had and perhaps they will get to convince you by means of some belly dance. This dance will carry you on the waves of eroticism and womanhood. It is a dance that certainly had its impact on the cultural background of Egypt.
Moving our bellies or keeping them still, we may as well move our feet towards New Zealand, getting to encounter there a traditional dance known under the rather ferocious sounding name of Haka. Wish to express yourself? In case you consider yourself a warrior heading towards a battle which came to be cancelled (due to unknown reasons) then haka dance allows you to express whatever warrior intentions you may have. There is sound there, facial grimaces and stomping of feet as well as “body slaps”. When first witnessing this dance I could not but love it. You may see it too clearly interpreted by New Zealand’s national rugby team every time they prepare themselves for getting entangled in a game battle, a battle carried against a different opponent.
If passion, warrior intentions and all the rest didn’t convince you then perhaps entering a trance state will. You may achieve it, or better said witness such an attempt by visiting Istanbul and being a spectator at whirling dervishes. It may make you dizzy and I have to admit this was the effect this swirling dance had on me, merely by watching it, yet it looked nothing like this when considering things from the perspective of those performing these moves, namely the members of the so called Mevlevi Order. Therefore, while in Istanbul, walking on its venues you may as well look for these swirling movements.
Dizzy as you may end up feeling once you’ve left that venue in Istanbul, Turkey, you may perhaps feel like leaving it all, waltzing your way to Vienna. Mainly because as Martha Graham once said dance gets to be all about discovery: “Dancing is just discovery, discovery, discovery” and what better way to discover various parts of the world if not by simply discovering their culture, their dances and the music that makes them dance.11