As in all her books on tango, Camille Cusumano presents the reader with a glorious battle. Who will win, the earth or the sky? The book is such a wonderful blend of the ephemeral and the earthy, leading to an irony that pinpoints all of life.
As she states early on, this struggle can be felt and witnessed in any activity that is pursued with passion, but somehow is much more painful and poignant in Argentine tango.
The author takes us through a journey at once dramatic and comic. Her lovely sense of humor is not wasted, especially since it is so needed when the ego clashes with the sublime. Her focus is always on the blessed Tango Moment, that instant when the bounds of earth are loosened and the soul is momentarily allowed to fly free.
All this is majestic, but as in any High Art, the ego is desperate to invade. Cusumano not only speaks dearly and reverently of her own Tango Moments, but of the struggle of others to achieve this bliss. Gifted as she is in dance and free spiritedness, she's more than able to aide those who seek the sacred moment. She talks in a warm and understanding voice of those who seek her counsel as they slog through the ego debris which compromises so many tango parties, referred to as milongas.
As a tango dancer myself, I can easily identify with the many emotions that swirl wildly at all milongas. I've seen everything from breathless grace to behavior that could only be called juvenile. The ego demons would not be entwining themselves to the dancers so tightly were it not for the fact that to achieve tango grace is an extremely difficult task, made much more painful by the obvious fact that the "Self" is on open display. This can and does make humans insane. One may experience a dance so powerful with a partner that you could willingly dissolve into oblivion. You could then encounter that same partner on another occasion and feel nothing at all. Why does this happen?
No one knows. But Ms.Cusumano fully realizes that the solution to this irony can only be found in surrender. Not the surrender of submission, but with open eyes to jump from the cliff and pray that another rescues you. Tango is a woman. She is the "Carmen" of the dance floor. If you seek to possess her, like Don Julio, you will only face tragedy. But..if you let her run freely, as the Toreador did, she will fall into your arms.
God, and tango, only knows what revelations Cusumano will bring to us next in her quest for the human heart. I plan on being the first in line.
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|Listening Length||1 hour and 52 minutes|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||21 January 2016|
|Best Sellers Rank||
297,882 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
4,037 in Humourous Fiction
26,648 in Humorous Fiction
377,211 in Children's Books
5 out of 5
1 global rating