Tango is a dance in which touch is paramount, touch moderated by technique and decorum. As well as producing the sensuality for which tango is celebrated, touch also leads to other kinds of intimacy and awareness. This book looks at the theme of touch in representations of the dance in the internet film Perdizione, the iconic song ‘Volver’ sung by Carlos Gardel and a poem on the bandoneón by Mario Benedetti. Some of the wider implications of touch and tango are caught in a series of short poems. This book explores the extraordinary possibilities of tango as an expression of desire, longing, connection and loss.
I encountered tango some twelve years ago and was captivated by the quality and range of the music, the subtlety of the dance and its never-ending challenges. In this personal testimony I reflect on the culture of tango and offer some snapshots of my own experiences.