Psychoanalytic Approach to Tango
As a psychoanalytic tool, we can liken the tango to a game.
As a game, the dance of tango allows us to put ourselves in
touch with our unconscious: bodies that speak, and bodies
that are heard.
Incarnate bodies, in which life manifests. The dance of tango,
is a meeting with one itself, that allows us to stand up,
to support our proper balance, our axis, to be able to meet
We see tango as a phenomenon, much more profound than a simple
diversion in which we move the body... we speak of an activity
that helps us to minimize the loss of that first basic relation
with our mother and/or the conscious or unconscious losses
of our romantic dreams, our illusions of freedom, of power,
and of safety.
Our losses, as they are universal, make tango a universal
instrument that facilitates a way of overcoming loss. We believe
that all of our experiences of loss return us to the original
loss - that primary loss in the relationship between mother
Our search of this relationship, for the mother-child relationship,
could be a sign of loosing balance or of health, could imply
a shy withdrawal from the world, or a will to expression on
it, could be deliberate or unconscious.
By means of sex, religion, nature, art, obviously where we
locate ourselves with respect to the tango, we try to erase
barriers that separate us; we try to escape from the prison
of our condition as individuals.
It is held that the tango is the dance of sexuality, because
of this it was prohibited and censured. Yet we know that the
fusion that sexual union represents brings with it the identity
of our infancy.
In our effort to theorize the practice of the Tango, it becomes
necessary to consult experts such as Winnicott to be able
to support the position that this potential space that existed
between the baby and his mother, between the child and the
family, between the individual and the society or the world,
depends on the first experience that taught us to trust or
The search for the mother's gaze, for her embrace, for her
contact, is the response of the child expelled from paradise.
It leads the adult to find the unlimited pleasure in the dance
with another, one who returns the gaze, one who embraces,
one with whom to return to paradise, to recover a joyful place.
All human beings in the world of all nationalities, colours
and religións, carry the mark of that primary relation
with the world and with themselves through the universal mother.
We affirm, as it is written in the famous tango of Alfredo
Lepera, "Volver", that:
"We always return to our first love"
(1 ) "El tango
y el mundo Psi" (M. Peri)