Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 2:28pm
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The relationship between a person’s notion of self-hood and the openness of their body schema to another human being hints that perhaps it’s no coincidence that tango, which takes entanglement to sublime heights, originated in a culture that orients toward interdependence.

Surprising results show the fluidity of the "body schema"

Among dance forms, tango holds a unique and potent allure. It showcases two individuals—each with a separate mind, body, and bundle of goals and intentions, moving at times in close embrace, at times stepping away from each other, improvising moves and flourishes while responding to the imaginative overtures of the other—who somehow manage to give the impression of two bodies answering to a single mind. For performers and viewers alike, much of tango’s appeal comes from this apparent psychic fusion into a super-individual unit. Michael Kimmel, a social and cultural anthropologist who has researched the interpersonal dynamics of tango, writes that dancers “speak in awe of the way that individuality dissolves into a meditative unity for the three minutes that the dance lasts. Time and space give way to a unique moment of presence, of flow within and between partners.”

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