Archive for March, 2007

Fond Memory of Javier’s class

Posted in Dance, Music on March 29th, 2007

Louis posted one of my favorite tango performances – “Poema” by Javier and Geraldine on his blog. I have watched this clip many times but I am still touched by this dance every time I watch it.

This clip reminds me one of Javier’s classes I took in Taipei (2nd Taipei tango festival 2004). This class was on the same day this lovely dance was performed. It was in the late afternoon; Javier was giving a musicality class. He made us listening to a song, and asked if any of us knew the name of the orchestra. We were all silent, he got a bit disappointed. Javier told us that this song was played by Francisco Canaro’s orchestra. He played the music again and he guided us listening to this piece of music… here the violin is flying, the orchestra comes together at this point, then a special remark from the piano, and here comes the singer… In fact, it was more than a guidance, he shared his love to this music with all of us. After that, he showed us how we could put some steps into this music. All the things he showed and suggested were simple and basic – walking, ocho, ocho cortado, turns, but he just put all these elements perfectly on the music, so much so that you can see what he was dancing on – the violin, the orchestra, the piano or some special moments in the music. I remember I was wordless and touched by what I had seen. At the end of that class, we didn’t walk away with any steps and figures, but our ears and minds were opened.

Then later that evening, we heard the same piece of music again, it was “Poema” by Francisco Canaro. We saw Javier performed this song on stage with his partner Geraldine. We saw the same elements that he showed us during the class, the dance was not flashy at all when compared to many tango performances in general, but it reached everybody’s heart. Again, we could see what he was dancing on and what she was dancing on. Their dance “visualized” the song and after that night, everybody remembers this piece. While many professional dancers try to impress people with challenging moves and tricks, Javier made us understand that a great dance only needs two things – good connection to your partner and the music.