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on July 21, 2005
OK, the bad first. This book is terribly edited. It is full of typos -- egregious, conspicuous typos, like missing periods, and some really awkward phrasings. It isn't just the copy editing, though. The writing sometimes takes a sort of self-help infomercial tone that is both funny and painful: "You are in the future, looking back at yourself... Tango Awareness was the best decision you ever made." Give me a break!

That said, you should *definitely* read this book if you dance tango, no matter your level.

It's worth wading through the typos and the painful writing for the gems of insight and advice throughout the book -- advice that is spot-on. This isn't a book of steps or specific body techniques, but rather a way of thinking about dancing, about learning to dance. It nails down many things I'd half-discovered in the dance, but hadn't fully realized -- and it points out many things I'd never even thought of. His sections on the neurological basis of tango communication and on active following are each worth the price of the book alone.

I'm giving the book -1 point for the shoddy copy editing and -1 point for the occasional silliness of the writing -- but that's starting from a score of 5 for content.

So forgive the silly bits, forgive the bad editing, and read this book. It's worth it.
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on November 29, 2004
I am a Tango Discovery Teacher and had the privilege of editing this book.

If Mauricio's first two books, Tango, the Structure of the Dance, Vols. 1 & 2, are the "How" of Tango Discovery, Tango Awareness is more like the "Why."

Tango Awareness is the core philosophy that Mauricio has brought to tango with the introduction of the Tango Discovery method. The roles of leader and follower are not that one is active and the other passive, although this was certainly true in the old ways of dancing tango. One active partner and one passive partner is not the best recipe for pleasure. With the introduction of Tango Discovery, Mauricio Castro brought the roles of leader and follower up to date with modern understanding of human communication and movement technologies. Tango Awareness is the interpersonal communication aspect of Tango Discovery.

This book is a must read for Tango Discovery students. For anyone interested in tango, it is a refreshing perspective on the dance, its history and its future. Maybe the best way to summarize the book is to quote the author, "The focus of this book is the exercise of changing old beliefs as the basis for faster dance evolution."

Ravi Khalsa, Tango Discovery Certified Master Teacher, [...]
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on March 6, 2005
Extremely well written by one of my favorite tango authors.

It demystify de dance from the regular tango stereotypes and gives new depth of understanding on how to learn this beautiful dance.
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on January 22, 2005
It is an excelent book. The history part of the book is a refreshing perspective, very different from the usual. Also the incorporation of new technichal unerstandings is great.
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on June 20, 2012
Easy to understand, hard to do...You have to change the look to the tango rules:Posture,balance,leader,follower,steps,etc.Actually,there are so many rules which make us forget about the truth:Maybe it is better not to challange our nature.We are trying too much to adapt what we have been told and loosing how to enjoy the music and the dance.Being relaxed is coming after reading this book...So,I mean,nice work.
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on October 26, 2007
I do not recommend this book. It purports to deepen one's "awareness" or theoretical appreciation of tango but, instead, it mires you down in almost unintelligible concepts and distinctions. It was not enlightening at all, largely because it speaks in gibberish and sophomorish ideas. So, look elsewhere for some intellectual stimulation regarding tango.
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on March 19, 2005
When I got it I couldn't stop reading it until the end. I was enlightheWhen I got it I couldn't stop reading it until the end. I was enlightening and fun to read. It describes the dance with very easy examples. I love it !
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on June 28, 2008
Disclaimer-- I don't tango. I've dabbled in it. But I'm a novice, at best. I was attracted to this book because my wife and I considered learning tango... And I liked the fact that some reviews like Mauricio Castro's approach as more systematic rather than rote memorization. As an internal martial artist (which I do actively aspire to master), I was doubly interested in Castro's approach of expanding one's awareness to more fully appreciate your partner and become a more fluid dancer.

So, that being said... this book was difficult for me to judge in its utility to dancers from the standpoint that I am not a dancer and don't know how much/how little Mr. Castro's approach represents novelty or not. From an internal martial arts perspective, Castro's approach to what Peter Ralston would term "outreaching" (mentally expanding one's awareness of your partner/opponent's body) is old news and rudimentary. It was fun to read about an approach to this concept from someone who is not a martial artist, but there is no huge revelation here. For dancers really interested in "outreaching/feeling awareness" type concepts, go to the martial arts literature. In fact, Peter Ralston's latest book "Zen Body-Being" which I have just about finished, is awesome for all interested-- martial artists and non-martial artists.

So, in addition to being rudimentary. Castro's book IS hard to read. He is clearly not particularly fluent in English. But he writes well enough to convey what he is talking about, and tells some interesting stories and gives some interesting anecdotes. Still, expect to feel like you're reading a book written by a 4th grader... ignore grammar and paragraph structure and all that. Focus on what he says.

Also, this is not an instructional book. It is all conceptual. There are no exercises, really, to improve awareness, just an approach to use while dancing. Anecdotes to think about. There is no dance step instruction, either. No pictures (no point), just text.

Bottom line? Don't buy this book. If interested, try to find it at your library.
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