Two by Two : Tango, Two-Step, and the L.A. Night
Forget Arthur Murray, or those dreaded dance classes your mother made you take. Two by Two is a fast-paced swirl through the dancing scene in L.A., where Leonardo DiCaprio has been know to swing at The Derby and Sandra Bullock salsas at El Floridita. Eve Babitz, a writer known for her hip, off-the-cuff, idiosyncratic style, spends two years of her life, ruins nine pairs of shoes, and goes through countless dance partners learning to appreciate and master all the hot dances from foxtrot and two-step to lindy, tango, salsa, and swing. Along the way she meets obsessed dancers and listens night after night as they pour out the secrets of their style -- who the best teachers are, where to find the perfect dancing shoes, and how to fall in love with your partner. Though the entire country is engaged in this dance revival, the L.A. scene is particularly alive, Babitz finds, because there have always been people in Los Angeles who insist on going out and being "in the scene," and plenty of music, charm, colorful groups of people, and adventure to lure them. She attributes the dance craze to the fact that singles bars died when people sobered up and realized just how abysmal that scene was. Drawn by the vivacious and electric dance scene, people now meet others who come for lessons, and immediately embrace the ambition to be as one with the music, the night, and someone, maybe you. Eve brings the flirtatious energy of dancing alive like no other writer. She describes salsa as "a dance of contradictions," "On the one hand, you want to 'be small,' as people who lead you will say if your steps are too big. But on the other hand, you want to stagger your competition by the immensity of your intensity. You want your own smoldering pride and divine fire to consume the room, and yet you want to hardly move." Two by Two is not a book that teaches you how to dance, but it will surely make you want to learn once you've read it.
- Hardback | 207 pages
- 134.62 x 213.36 x 25.4mm | 181.44g
- 22 Nov 1999
- SIMON & SCHUSTER
- United Kingdom