I've been thinking about the boleo for the last few weeks. And I've been thinking about beauty.
Two weeks ago I sent you my Thursday practica/no practica announcement with a video of "Rose Vine Tango Diva" Natacha Poberaj with Jesus Velasquez performing over a decade ago in the world famous show, "Una Noche de Tango". I asked you to look with me, as I identified the various types of boleos they perform.
The boleo is one of the elements that most brings the awareness of beauty in tango to observers. And boleos, when done well, feel beautiful to both partners.
Since I was a child, beauty has always been important to me. Beauty in my enviroment gave me a sense of wellbeing, even when I wasn't conscious of the need. I had a gift for and loved making beautiful things. I loved art since I was old enough to take books from my mother's collection off the shelves and I'd pore over the reproductions of great paintings for hours, losing all sense of time. Dance performances took my breath away. Each Spring I would find my wellbeing by standing in front of the big lilac bush in back of the house, studying the pale purple bossoms and inhaling the intoxicating fragrance.
I am sure many of my readers can relate to this. If you weren't a lover of beautiful things, you probably would appreciate neither my writing about tango nor the videos I choose to send you. Of all tango's marvelous characteristics that people value, beauty is to me perhaps the most important.
I changed hairdressers a few months ago, leaving the delightful stylist of whom I was so fond, in favor of one with an expertise in curly hair with her own line of organic hair products. For the first time since I returned to the U.S. from Italy, I rediscovered the beauty of my own hair, which I'd been pulling back into a tight ponytail for over three years. I started a daily ritual of caring for my hair in ways I hadn't in many years, and this spilled over into other aspects of my grooming.
At first I was shocked at the degree of time and attention I was giving to my appearance. But then it occurred to me that by beautifying myself, I am honoring the Universe! I made the connection to my early spiritual life: I learned growing up in Judaism of the concept of "Hiddur Mitzvah", meaning "beautification of the commandment" - voluntarily bringing an extra level of beauty to the daily acts and rituals prescribed by the ancient texts.
I find the concept of beautifying almost anything beautiful in itself because the act of beautifying comes from an individual's creative inspiration! While rituals easily provide opportunities to beautify the doing of them, and I'm sure you can think of examples that are close to your heart, we all find opportunities to beautify our otherwise everyday acts as well: like when we set the dinner table with great care; like when we choose very special pieces and colors for our home or office - things that make us feel wonderful when we see or use them; like when we keep our environments clean and orderly so the beautiful things in them stand in their glory; like when we take extra care in our grooming before we leave the house; like when we lovingly tend our houseplants and gardens; like when we go beyond the basic drive-through car wash and choose auto detailing!
Finding and creating beauty in our environment and in our daily acts uplifts us and those around us, especially when the act of beautifying springs from desires and sensations deep within us.
Creating beauty in our tango uplifts us.
I would truly love to hear your thoughts, and to know what acts of beautification are meaningful to you! Please share your comments.