When 1+1=1
Meeting dancer/writer Gabriela Condrea

Have you ever watched a couple dancing when they're falling in love? It doesn't matter how familiar they are with the music playing, nore the dance steps designed for it. Does the man lead, does the woman? Does it matter? Their dance is created by a chain of split second agreements. They can dance the night away totally improvised. Nothing feels wrong, everything feels good, because all is done with the intention to have a hundred percent contact and communication.
This is what I thought about, when I read Gabriela Condrea's phrase "Without the connection you have nothing; with it, you have endless possibiities".
My friend Yiyi de la Mota sent me a note that this young moldavian dancer/teacher is in Amsterdam in the weekend of September 24, 25, to dance tango and to promote her book When 1+1=1. What is this book about? Does it teach us a method, steps, exercizes for better communication? Is it one of those many stories about the 'mistery called tango', after reading it all, still leaving us in the dark about how or where to find this treasure?
You may have the same questions about the book that I had, so I'll be happy to share them with you, all answered by Gabriela.
For the full picture, don't forget to click the links overthere! --->

Rob Nuijten

Editor/publisher of torito.nl

Gabriela Condrea
When 1+1=1 (the book)


When 1+1=1, the book +reviews
Tango is about the connection

Click images below to read some pages

More pages you find here

Robs questions

The book may be a 'celebration' of 'the connection', but is it also a guide on the path towards this connection, and if so, how does the book do that?
Gabriela's answers

In my book, I try to communicate my path toward seeking a deeper connection with my partners and with myself.  It's not a recipe, but reflections and experiences.  I hope that my own introspection and general philosophizing about tango and it's intersections with everyday human relationships will highlight the human aspect of this dance that is so organic.  It's so accessible, so simple, yet so sophisticated in it's simplicity that we sometimes miss these nuances because we seek the more obvious, the things we can see and measure.

Does the book make the reader do some self investigation, and if so, how?
I offer my own experience, my passion, my thoughts, not as a template or a map, but as just an idea, an example of some possibilities.  I think that tango is about forging your own path, about making it your own.

How do you teach about this connection in your classes? I am a strong believer in learning by doing.  In my classes and workshops, my goal is to create a feeling so that my students can leave with muscle memory and ideas beyond specifically "what" to do.  I focus on the "how," the how that creates a quality that I like when I dance.  My inspiration for the workshops I design comes mostly from my experiences on the dance floor - from what I like and what I think could make the connection more fluid and more pleasant, what I'm working on and what I would like from my partner.  I am constantly look for ways to create this experience for my students, to share what I love about sharing an embrace and a space with my partner and those around us.

When dancers are not connected, how will they discover they aren't? I'm not sure that I would like people to discover that they are not connected.  If they are dancing together, they are connected, at least in some way.  I try to focus on the positive and build upon that, like my teacher Rodolfo Dinzel.  I think that tango is much more inclusive than we often approach it as.  It's about finding ways to be more attentive to one another, to be more giving, more open - that doesn't necessarily mean throwing everything we already do out the window; it means building from what we already know and developing that.

How many text pages does the book have?

There are 204 pages, but probably 196 or so are actual text.  It is a compilation of short vignettes, memoir-style stories with reflection, and some poems.  The style is conversational and the words are not complex.  My intention was to make it casual and accessible to many people; my hope is that what my reader is left to contemplate are the ideas.