Tango Improvisation: presence, expression, connection

Saturday 23rd October 2021, 2:00 - 4:00pm.
Brighton Unitarian Church, BN1 1UF

We would like to invite people who practice some form of mindful movement to participate in a workshop exploring tango dancing as a mindfulness practice. We will be using tango techniques as the form, but there will be no need for any prior experience of tango in order to participate. Many mindful practices, e.g. meditation, yoga, are done solo, but partner dancing gives us the opportunity to mindfully interact with others. Dancing tango with conscious attention can benefit our personal development and interpersonal relations on and off the dancefloor, by improving our communication skills and self-awareness. Tango is a physical dialogue, an exercise in non-verbal communication, where we have to pay close attention to our partner, know when to listen, when to respond and how to express ourselves, in partnership with another person.

During the workshop, participants will be invited to engage in some tango movement and some mindfulness practices. It will be a participatory group experience, exploring how tango and mindfulness can help us be more present in our daily lives by paying attention to 3 aspects of our experience: physical feelings/thoughts/emotions, and at 3 levels: self/partner/surroundings

By dancing tango as a dialogue, we can avoid the patriarchal paradigm often observed in partner dancing - men leading and women following. We will refer to the two roles as ‘initiating’ and ‘responding’. One person initiates a movement, the other listens and responds, then the initiator listens and responds, and a dialogue takes place in a sort of feedback loop. It's not only the content of feedback that's important, but how it is given and received, especially while learning to dance tango as a couple. During the workshop participants will be invited to share about their direct experience, with a focus on listening.

Our long-term goal is to assemble a practice group to learn how to dance tango together.

In accordance with the church's Covid safety measures, please do not enter the building within 14 days of you or your household having had a positive Covid test or experiencing symptoms of Covid. To comply with their social-distancing guidelines, face masks must be worn if capacity goes over 20, so we will limit the number of participants to 20, which means wearing of masks remains optional.

Additionally, we expect participants to satisfy one of the following conditions:
- to have been double-vaccinated
- to have been infected with Covid and recovered more than 14 days prior to the event
- to have had a negative LFT on the day

Some of the exercises are intended for working in pairs, but they can be done without physical contact. It will be a matter of choice as to whether participants want to swap partners or stay with one person throughout. We will respect everyone's preferences, which we can discuss openly on the day.

To confirm your place, get free ticket from Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/182458697877
For further information, email: mindfulmilonga@gmail.com
Click on the link to the facebook event …

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Panel Discussion

Connection in Tango. What is it and how can it be achieved? How will we reconnect after lockdown? These and other questions were discussed by a diverse panel of dancers and bodyworkers on Thursday 6th May 2021. Your contributions can be shared in the comments of the Facebook video.

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