Strictly 2020 Week Five: Argentine Tango

Another week without Paso Doble performances, but my sadness quickly dissipated when I saw all the magnificent performances this week. Which was your favourite among all the great options?

I’d like to dedicate this blog to Ranvir and Giovanni’s Argentine Tango. Personally, I have only ever dabbled in the Argentine Tango unprofessionally. But it’s one of the social dance I miss the most at the moment, because it’s such a wonderful dance for forgetting the world around you and truly being in the moment and at one with the music. The last time I danced it was actually around this time last year.

Ranvir Singh and Giovanni Pernice Argentine Tango to When Doves Cry by Prince

I mean, what a dance!!! The choreography and musical interpretation were stunning. I was drawn in and magnetised by Ranvir and Giovanni’s connection and energy. And I’m in awe at her for doing such a difficult dance after she admitted in week four that body image and feeling comfortable in her body were challenges for her.

What’s so challenging about the Argentine Tango?

I have seen that some of the press has committed the silly but to be expected mistake of seeing the Argentine Tango as just a hot, steamy dance. It is soooo much more than that. If someone gave you the instruction, “be intimate, extremely sensual and hot”, what would you do? It’s not that easy to achieve this result. Let’s look at the details for a moment.

  • A high level of physical strength in the core and postural muscles plus the arms and legs – to move with such control and precision requires lots of strength that need to be built over time. It’s not a dance a complete beginner could do. I’m amazed that Ranvir did so well in week five.
  • A thorough understanding of stance and posture – in the Argentine Tango the couple leans towards each other. This is very hard to do for beginners without sticking your bum out. Ranvir had excellent posture in this performance.
  • Musicality – we see a constant mix of very suspended movements and extremely fast leg movements. Musically you need to feel both the large units of music and the details.
  • High degree of physical ability – creating the suspense and high-speed leg action does not just need strength and musicality. It also needs lots of practise and getting used to the contradictory movement qualities. I would love to see Ranvir and Giovanni perform the Argentine Tango again in the final and see how her understanding of this will have increased and the ganchos that Craig mentioned would be much sharper, looser and more precise.
  • Focus and trust – how to put this into words? You need to physically listen to your partner and be extremely attuned to their movement. You move as one and yet both have control over your own body and movement. It’s a fascinating tension.

The heat arises from amongst all of the above. It’s not just there. It’s a magic you neeed to conjure up.

A word about sensuality

It’s possible to see a lot of sex and sexual stuff on TV, in film, etc. But how much true sensuality is depicted? We’re not exposed to it with the same frequency, relentlessness even, as with sex.

In the 21st century, with men and women redefining the meaning of life, seeking purpose and wanting to have a positive impact on the planet and each other, I think sensuality is an extremely important element. It’s not my area of professional expertise, but seeing Ranvir’s journey on Strictly this year makes me reflect on what it means to be a woman, how we connect to our physical sensations and fulfill our emotional needs.

Thank you, Giovanni and Ranvir, for investing in your dances with such dedication. It means the world to me and, I’m sure, to lots of other viewers. It is truly inspiring!

And now, let’s enjoy that wonderful performance once more.

Week six is on BBC One tomorrow at 7.15 pm.

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