If Mencius Danced Salsa.

25 May

The following references are from “Mencius” », translated by David Hinton:

Chapter III, Par. 6:
Mencius said: “… Suddenly seeing a baby about to fall into a well, anyone would be heart-stricken with pity: heart-stricken not because they wanted to curry favor with the baby’s parents, not because they wanted the praise of neighbors and friends, and not because they hated the baby’s cries. This is why I say everyone has a heart that can’t bear to see others suffer.”

Chapter III, Par. 6

Are salsa gigolos inherently good? There is so much temptation in salsa, that it is a challenge at times to not be reckless with a salsera’s heart. Sometimes, I take too much.

Chapter VII, Par. 15:
Mencius said: “Nothing reflects the person so well as the eyes. The eyes won’t hide the evil in a person. If a person’s heart is noble, their eyes are bright and clear. If it is not, their eyes are dark and cloudy. To hear a person’s words, look into their eyes — then they can hide nothing.”

Chapter VII, Par. 15

One thing I like about salsa is what it does for my eyes. Salsa tends to make my eyes feel brighter, clearer; less dark, less cloudy. In salsa, there’s nothing more noble than to care for one’s partner, to make a good dance. Remove ego. Restore humility. Try not to take too much.

Chapter VII, Par. 27:
Mencius said: “The substance of Humanity is nothing other than serving your family, and the substance of Duty nothing other than obeying your elders. The substance of wisdom is to understand these two things and cleave to them always. The substance of Ritual is to shape and embellish these two things. And the substance of music is to infuse these two things with joy. Once joy wells up, how can it be stopped? And if joy can’t be stopped, hands and feet soon strike up a dance of their own.”

Chapter VII, Par. 27

The main barrier for me and Argentine tango is the music. Tango music is serious, and somewhat lacking of joy, whereas, even the saddest salsa music can sound joyful and upbeat. Maybe it has something to do with music theory and what key the music is played in. Maybe I haven’t listened to enough happy tango music. Still, I’m drawn to the look and the idea of the dance.


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