Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Beer

Recently I was at a local bar when I stoke up a conversation with a Belgian fellow drinker. Turns out he has been brewing his own beer at home for a while. I hear stories of people brewing beer with all kinds of weird flavors and that led me to ask him for his wildest attempt in the brewing experience. In the spirit of this upcoming Halloween he decided to try pumpkin beer. What surprised me the most was that this is his first attempt to go out of the norm. His reason for waiting was simple: it is very very easy to screw up beer. There are so many factors in the brewing process that not mastering the basics can easily lead to unwanted consequences. Brewing is a demanding process better done with the helping hand of a friend who also knows the process. The result of a successful brewing experience is of course the shared joy with good friends.

What is it that moves us while watching a good tango performance? And why can we sometimes stand in awe after a beautiful dance by master instructors that did not involved many crazy moves? Why can some experienced dancers do all the crazy moves and still manage to look funny? almost clown-like?

A lot of the enjoyment in Tango comes from mastering the fundamentals. The beauty in a perfect connection and an elegant step only comes after years of polishing the basics. Tango is too a complex endeavor where a small deviation from simplicity can greatly affect its tone and value. The acrobatics will catch the eye of many, they serve a function and I am not going to deny they are fun and exciting. But without a solid foundation things can quickly go awry especially while performing. I believe it is ultimately this magical simplicity that makes the dance so compelling. We should honor it by cultivating it. Cheers.

1 comment:

  1. October has been a slow month at the blog, in stark contrast with, September, the most prolific month in the blog's history to date. I guess September had enough posts containing too much bitching about whatever bothered me. October is usually a bad month for me personally. Even though I like Fall with the crunchy dry leaves of all sorts of colors and the bright blue sky that comes with it, I also dislike the dropping temperatures that come as a sign of coming attractions of the winter. For us in the northern hemisphere, far from the Mecca that is Buenos Aires, it has been a hot summer, with a lot of warm embraces despite the oppressive heat. Now instead of bitching of the cold weather that is to come, we can now enjoy warm embraces because of the weather, not despite it. This time of the year marks the point where we need the warm embrace of tango to maintain our body heat. In fact, I don't know if it's a myth, but I've heard that body contact is the best way to keep warm. Maybe I'll try a topless embrace in the middle of the winter with a hot tanguera who ideally should also share my topless-ness.
    Anyway, I completely agree with this post on the fundamentals of tango. For me, caminata y abrazo, i.e. walk and embrace, are the very basics, the most important things. Musicality and elegance in the walk, and corazon, feeling from deep down in the embrace. My best tandas are not ones where I have successfully led a bunch of impressive moves to try to get some "esa!" from the audience, but ones where I am in perfect harmony with my partner and the music, with a nice embrace and a nice walk, and I am overcome with emotion by the whole experience. I remember once I nearly cried at the end of the tanda, such was the emotion of "Recien" by Tanturi c Campos........ for me, the emotion is an important part of the fundamentals, to be infused in the abrazo