Tango Argentino > ABC's Definition of Tango

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Me, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. jfm

    jfm Active Member

    If it workswith themusic i.e. they'vemodified the movementsso that it fits the rhythm andthephrasing it is called"dancing" if they haven't it is called neobolero/chacha/wcs....

    oooh aren't i awful...
  2. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    hee hee... "neo waltz" danced to a chacha...
    (from lady to partner: "You have to Waltz faster, they're playing a fast 'neo chacha'").

    Ya gotta luvit

  3. jfm

    jfm Active Member

    OK huge apologies,i just watched the sytycd clip and yes you can dance to tangomusic (although it was pretty loose) with a partner without it being tango!
  4. spectator

    spectator Member

    jfm You are turning quite cheeky...

    anyway i thinkyou'll find that your imagined explanation was eerily close to sytycd. a daft bint in a bra dancing at a creepy guy with a fan and apparently rubber testicles looking at that gancho.
    looking back at that other thread "why are there so few hot young men at tango classes/milongas?" it doesn't seem so puzzling.

    yes I know that'snot what they did on dancing with the stars... but still it all contributes to the mis apprehension that tango is a dirty dance. You would be suprised (or maybe not) by some of the things people think tango is after watching those programmes. my parents are extremely laid back andliberal but my dad did say "oh i hope that's not what you do" when he's seen some tv facsimiles. Having said that he was more concerned about my potential partners seeing as he knows most of the guys i dance with are quite old "oooh me back! ah heard it click!". Yes I dance with John Shuttleworth.
  5. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Not even closely true-- one cannot paint a broad brush--e.g.--spin turns and whisks, may be crossover variations in 2/3 different dances- yet they do not define the dance .

    It comes back to the old teaching--- adage--if someone was behind a glass window, and you could not hear the music , and they were dancing a box step ( beginners ) could you identify the dance ?---

    The technical is -Yes- IF they were applying all the correct techniques--cuban motiion -- Rise and fall , etc--if not -- impossible .
  6. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    This was the only advice given when taking the adjudicator's exam...perform the movement as if one were watching and could not hear the music, but could still identify the dance.
  7. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Point taken. (Although I'd argue...if the couple dancing the box step...which could be waltz, of FT, or rumba...is having a good time...why should I give a darn?)

    But I'm talking about AT. Different critter, altogether, from ballroom...where I'd agree with you. But we're talking about AT.

    If I see a cruzada, or an ocho cortado, or a volcada, and it's led correctly...I don't give a flying fig what the music is...or if it's done in close or open embrace...

    Those are quintessentially AT steps/moves...ergo, y'all, I consider it AT.

    Or, another way of how I think of it...I'll know it when I see it. It can't be defined, necessarily, by music. It can't be defined, necessarily, by embrace. It can't be defined, necessarily, by technique. (Ideally it could be, but there are plenty of people out there...myself probably included, if people want to get persnickety...who manage to dance something with no technique.) I can't be defined by any number of things...except that certain steps are inherent to AT. IMHO, and just IMHO, it doesn't matter...define it by steps. At least when talking AT.

    Although, to be fair...I don't much care. It's dance. It's all good. If people are happy, and they're not hurting themselves or others...I don't much care what they call it. It's not as if people will live or die by the definition...life is too short to get caught up in arguments over something like dancing. Just dance, already. IMHO.
  8. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    So integrity in a given dance , is not important ?

    Lets take your hypothesis to the next level --- everyone dancing whatever they wish ( step wise )-- what would you suggest, we professionals should start teaching in our class and private world ?

    I am a great believer in improvisation-- providing --- context is in keeping with the fundamental principles of the dance in question . If not-- why bother to name any dance ? or any movement specific to that genre ?---- let chaos reign ( the world of salsa is kinda in that state to a small degree )

    All art, from the Old Masters to Bach etc. still had guidelines, and tho straying ( in some instances ) out of those parameters, still retained the essence of their craft .

    Understand this-- I will NEVER tell you what you , may or may not include in your interpretation , that is most decidedly your opinion and choice . From a teaching standpoint , it just wouldnt fly !!
  9. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    I was going to say exactly that. Then thought, why bother.
  10. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Interesting-- how pros and amat. often differ in perception . Their right, of course , but someone has to keep the " train " on its rails !!
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well, I for one appreciate your keeping it on the rails ;)
  12. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    And nowhere did I ever say a word about integrity, or things from the teaching standpoint. Don't put words in my mouth.

    I'm not arguing that. All I'm saying is, there are so many variables to consider, that I choose to define AT by it's steps. End of story. And that I don't much get hung up on details and arguments such as this thread, because all we're talking about is dance. Not life or death. That's all.

    Whatever. I don't have a dog in this fight, and should have listened to my own instincts and stayed the hell away from this thread like I'd been doing. Y'all can go back to arguing over this, let's just leave me out of it.
  13. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    I certainly hope that you don't stay away. I agree with you that some of the posts have seemed, shall we say, just a wee over the edge, every now and then something of value comes through. For example....

    You are right, there are many variables, which is precisely why one should not try to learn AT by the steps. One of AT's most valued assets is that its variables forces us to learn dance from the inside out...incl. of movement, musicality, and feel...and not from the outside in. This is often lost in other dances. And,

    You are right again, all we are talking about is dance, but 1- dance is the only art/sport that offers as many life diciplines/benefits, and 2- considering how much we all love dance, isn't everything worth doing worth doing well?

    Stay around. We like you, here.
  14. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Again, I'm not talking about teaching/learning it. On that side of things, I wholeheartedly agree with you that steps are not the way to go.

    I'm talking about defining it.

    Embrace isn't a good way to define it--close or open? Milonguero parallel or Salon V? Canyengue? Fluid?

    Posture isn't a good way to define it--bent knees of Canyengue? Straighter legs of Milonguero or Salon? The fluidity of Neo? Or Fantasia, about which I know nothing?

    Music isn't a good way to define it--Guardia Vieja? Neotango? Piazzolla? Electronic? Alternative?

    Timing? Well, hell, timing of all things can't be used to define it. Unless you call the lack of definitive timing of movements a crucial factor in AT...which I could probably agree with.

    The lead? Plenty of ballroom peeps will say they lead the same way, with the chest. Plenty of ballroom peeps will say the ballroom frame isn't stiff...although I'd be inclined to argue that the "least stiff" ballroom frame is still way stiffer than AT.

    What do you call it if someone is dancing Salon style to Alternative music, does that cease to become AT? Or, horror or horrors, dancing any style to Piazzolla? What do we call that?

    And this all assumes that the dancers in question have something resembling identifiable AT technique. What about the older couple who gets out on the floor and does AT steps, but they have absolutely no technique? (I can think of several couples offhand like this.) Is it, then, not AT...because they don't have the walk, or the posture, or the technique? What do you call that, then?

    In the end, at the end of the day, the only thing I see which ties together all of the various scenarios, combinations, and permutations is...the steps. In what other dance do you find a giro--no matter how poorly done, or to whatever music, or with whatever hold? In what other dance do you find an orcho cortado, or a barrida, or a gancho? In my limited experience...none. Those are AT steps. Ergo, when I see those things, regardless of anything else...I consider it AT.

    Again, not to say I think it should be taught this way. Ideally. (There are some people who aren't interested in technique. As much as it grates on me, I think there is a value added to just teaching them the steps and letting them go on their merry way. If it makes them happy, and doesn't hurt anyone, why should I care if they're "no good?" Well...I don't.)
  15. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Actually-- there are a couple of variations that probably would qualify - one in Intern style ---- back ocho, which is a swivel reverse -- and in Amer "style " there are also some, that would fit the bill.

    The major difference, may be their execution, but the physical aspects are very much alike ( guess they were purloined! ). After all, the other "styles ",were modelled on the
    original form.
    Again, to me, its the music that has been chosen , in which to perform these alternates, that really makes a departure .

    PS-- The gancho has made a surreptitious entry into the Intern style .
  16. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Again, talking about AT, not ballroom tango. (Which, while it may have had it's roots in AT, I now consider to be a completely separate critter.)

    And, while ballroom tango may have taken some steps and fitted them to ballroom dancing (the gancho you talk about, the back ochos)...ballroom steps can also be fitted into AT. I've done, what for all intents and purposes is a corta jaca (as I understand it), in AT. I've done something very similar to and ECS basic in AT. One of the reasons I love my teacher is that his philosophy is, "It's all dance," so everything is fair game to be worked into AT, if he can.

    But still, to me, AT is generally defined by it's steps. Other things may be worked in (like by my teacher), but there is a generally accepted body of steps which are quintessentially AT steps, which don't show up in other places in the normal course of events. People "dancing" to mostly quintessential AT steps = (IMO) AT.

    Besides, in the realm of AT...what would you then call AT steps danced to non-AT (aka, alternative) music. It can be done, much to the chagrin of purists everywhere. But I've danced close embrace milonga to verifiable salsa music...what do you call that? You're stuck with coming up with a different name for it and considering it a separate dance (or, at the very least, a separate branch)...or conceding that it is, indeed, AT. I prefer the latter.
  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Meh. Whichever. You say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to.

    BOT...I think the ABC definition is a questionable, disney-esque story about the roots of the dance. I think the definition is pretty accurate for ballroom tango. I've got no beef with it. I don't see where they ever claim it's characteristics of AT (in which case I'd have real issues), and IIRC the contestants never danced AT, only ballroom tango.

    So, really, I don't get the hoo-hah of this thread.

    Just dance, we know what we're doing (and not doing)...let the historians and book writers sort it out...I'm too busy dancing to be concerned.
  18. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Well, I've developed a giro move within Modern Jive, which works quite nicely, and I'm now working on porting it to salsa. But yes, I'm probably an exception (in many ways :) )

    However, I don't think those steps are the core of AT - to me, the core steps in AT are forward, back, side and turn. It's quite possible to do AT without using giros, and definitely without using ocho cortados, ganchos, boleos and whatnot.

    So a definition of AT as "a dance with [those] steps" doesn't feel right to me. Maybe using those "core" steps (forward, back, side and turn) as a base would be better?

    Hmmm, tricky one...
  19. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    First came the music-- the actions that followed ( steps) began to define the dance--ergo-- change the music-- same dance ?
  20. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Just about any dance, if you break it down enough, ends up as forward, back, side and turn. There's hardly anything there which would distinguish AT from QS, if you break it down that far.

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