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Bailarín Compadrito

Hollow dancing bothers me.

I didn't see it at first. You, in your designer jeans with your great big steps. Or you, in your fancy white shoes with your flashy boleos. Or you, with your sculpted shirts and swizzling enrosques. I saw the image you guys present, and I took you at your word: I took you for badass dancers.

But you took me in, con tu gomina y tu arrogancia. I thought you were the best. I thought that's what tango was. But the more I look, the more I see that you don't get it. You are compadritos. You have a dance, and you may be the kings of it, but that's not the tango that keeps me up nights, staring into the stars, trying to understand the universe. Yours is a nail-polish dance; it's glossy and shiny and stays right on the surface. And like nail polish, it chips away real quick and then there's nothing underneath it.

You look formidable, standing there owning the doorway, or nonchalantly slouching with your friends. But then I watch you dance. You're having fun, and that's wonderful. But you're not giving, and you're not searching. You're not admitting or allowing or exploring, or doing any of the wonderful, horrifying things that are why we dance. You are not dancing from your scary place, because if you did that, you might not look so good, and we can't have that. You have athleticism, rhythm, and cool moves. But I don't give a shit, because I look at the women who dance with you, and they don't look like unhinged, transported, feral animals. Therefore you have failed.

You guys stay in your comfort zones technically and emotionally, and what kind of dance is that? What kind of life is that? You dance your 007 tandas and when everyone sits down, they sit down the same people they were ten minutes ago. I prefer to associate with people who are on journeys, regardless of where they are in those journeys.

Give me a compadre. Or at least, give me the myth that swirls around the compadre generation.  Give me a dancer who values honesty, honour, and emotional courage over what brand of shoes he wears. Give me a dancer who lets the moment take him somewhere new, no matter where that somewhere is. Give me a dancer who, more than anything, wants to embrace the woman in front of him, and doesn't care about fancy pre-planned strings of steps.

Give me that, and I'll give you the world.

Bailarín Compadrito

Miguel Bucino, Oscar Larroca, Alfredo de Angelis