Tango Argentino > About walking...

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by flyingwind66, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    Not to be contrary, but is this really so among more experienced dancers? For example,

    On what beat in the music does Tete step side at :40? By my count, it is on the and of 5.

    Throughout this piece he leads/steps off the compas, and lands off the compas. I have the impression that this was much more common among the milongueros of yore, who perhaps danced as much to the melody as the rhythm, than modern dancers who come to Tango with more of a rhythmic (think rock-n-roll etc.) musical basis than the golden age dancers.

    Thus the man/woman can't always rely on the music to compensate for imprecision in his/her lead.
  2. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I hear a distinct end of a phrase, followed by 1 when he steps front across and then onto his right (sidestep) on 2.
    If someone IDs the song title, I'll look at the sheet music to see if I got it right.

    Whether it is 2 or the and of 5 doesn't matter, however, since we(?) aren't trying to fit patterns of a predetermined length into set intervals of music. "We" are free to dance anything that fits with "the music," whether it is the underlying rhythm of the piece, the melody, which does not exist independent of the rhythm, or something that just "fits" with phrasing.

    Can't say that I agree that
    , although he does seem to be playing with the timing at times.

    My answer to your question...
    is... yes, the rhythm or compas... (is) the vital clue which, together with the velocity of the man, enables man and woman to move in synchronised distance.
  3. tangomaniac

    tangomaniac Active Member

    I was taught that tango is 4/4 time. If this is correct, there are 4 beats to a measure. How do you come up with 5?
  4. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Oldguytango is the one to ask, since that was his count I was using; but I guess my answer is that it would be "count 5" of an 8 beat "mini phrase."
  5. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    Which naturally leads to stepping at times which are not on the beats, which was part of the point I was trying to make.
    Perhaps for some, but it is not how I lead nor what I expect from my partner. I actually lead the weight change every step, which is what allows us to move a synchronized distance. With a half-decent partner, one can dance without any music, synchronizing steps via the connection. Also, I not infrequently lead my partner in a step of a different length than mine. For example, if I step outside partner in preparation for a simple 180 degree pivot. I lead a short step while I take a long one.
  6. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    As Steve points out, we dance to the 8-count musical phrasing, not the (artificial) 4-beats to the measure that corresponds to 4/4 time. I almost never hear 4/4 music phrased in 4s, and most dancers I know count in 8s. Even the dreaded "8-count basic" acknowledges this.
  7. koinzell

    koinzell Active Member

    Lorena definitely turns in when she steps backwards. She steps on an imaginary tightrope keeping her thighs tight and knee hidden. We're not talking ballet here, but the foot is turned in compared to 4th position. Also, turn in/out starts from the hip joint. The turn in was something learned from Nito and Elba.

    I don't expect many people to comprehend Osvaldo and Lorena's technique, but I want you to at least understand the crusada. Do you still think it doesn't look good with the feet turned in?
  8. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    First, when the guy in the demo is in the cross, his feet look parallel to me, not turned in. When he "turns his heels in" while standing, he is only doing so relative to the turn-out he demonstrates. This allows him to achieve parallel feet in the cross.
    Second, where I dance, the cross is not usually performed as a series of little tuck behinds as in the demo.
    Zoopsia59 likes this.
  9. koinzell

    koinzell Active Member

    Yeah you're probably right, the guy in the demo doesn't know what he's talking about. There are 2 types of teachers, those that teach technique/concepts and those who teach steps/figures. I'm guessing you're more familiar with the latter.
  10. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    I don't think you know me, or my background, or my instructors, or my dancing well enough to be insulting. In over ten years of dancing, with way too many privates from high level woman dancers, Argentine, European, and American, ranging from straight-on close embrace (Susannah Miller), to a more liquid embrace (Juana Sepulveda) with way too many stops in between, I have never heard that the follow should walk with turn-in. Tight rope, yes, turn-in no. Tight rope is what pulls the thighs together, not a pigeon-toed, turned-in walk.

    And I pay attention to woman's technique since I follow as well as lead, and have taken entire workshops either as a follow or alternating lead-follow roles, including woman's technique classes. I even, sometimes, wear high heels. My wife insists. On the dance floor :).

    BTW, there are clear images of footwork in "Asi se Baila el Tango" - Osvaldo Zotto & Mora Godoy. She does not step back with turn-in. And although I suspect that you may not respect Cecilia Gonzalez since she is among the world of liquid embrace dancers, perhaps to be considered a 'step-peddler', but she is a woman with whom I have studied (privates, not just workshops) woman's technique. In "Tango Fundamentals" with Fabian Salas and Cecilia, they show her footwork in slow motion. She does not walk backwards with turn-in. Tight rope, yes. Turned-in feet, no.
    Zoopsia59 likes this.
  11. koinzell

    koinzell Active Member

    It's a matter of semantics. Turning in or out happens from closing or opening the hip joint, respectively. What pulls the thighs together during a step is opening one hip and closing the other. If this was a discussion about "turn out," would the image of a 180 degree first position appear in your mind? Of course not, so I don't know where this idea of a pigeon-toed walk came from.
  12. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    Sorry if I sounded a bit defensive, but it might indeed be an issue of semantics. When one says turn-out in tango, I think of hips slightly open and feet in a slight V. Not balletic 90 degrees, or whatever, but still a slight V. When one says turn-in in tango, I think not only of hips closed, but also of feet in a slight A. Slightly pigeon-toed.

    The follower technique classes I have taken emphasize that, in a walk, the follow walks straight back. Tight rope, with no wobbling. Each moving foot brushes past each standing foot and then reaches back onto the tightrope and lands with a bit of turn-out consistent with the path the foot has followed in moving through collection and then to the floor. Maybe 5 to 15 degrees of turn-out. The turn-out helps create stability so the follow is able to manage her own weight and balance without leaning on the lead
    Zoopsia59 likes this.
  13. brunoalfirevic

    brunoalfirevic New Member

    No, what you responded to was indeed pretty rude.

    That is exactly the meaning of those words that I got too, and I would be willing to bet it's the same for most people with tango experience when talking in context of tango (and not, for example, ballet).
    rain_dog, oldtangoguy and Zoopsia59 like this.
  14. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I don't agree with your analogy. Just because we aren't talking about 180 turnout when we say turn-out doesn't mean that we aren't talking about pidgeon toed for turn-IN. If the toes point inward at all, it is turned in (and often called pidgeon toed), just as it is turned out if the toes point outward at all. If we are going to use the term "turn-out" to mean, not ballet, but having the feet forming any sort of V at all when together, then we therefore would use the term "turn in" to mean any sort of inverse V. There are only 3 choices: Turned in, turned out, and parallel.

    I know some teachers who say the follower should walk with her feet parallel, and others who teach to use a little turn-out. I don't know ANY who teach the follower to turn IN, even a little.

    Really, the follower should be using a position of her feet that is natural from her hip being used in a fairly natural way for the anatomy of her legs. For instance, my feet point outward when my knees point straight ahead. If I made my feet parallel, my knees would be turned in. Mariella Franganillo tried to get me to use my feet parallel, and it felt awkward because it turned my knees inward and also wasn't anything like my natural movement. At the time I was a beginner and was attempting to achieve more turn OUT than was natural for me either (holdover from ballet), so she was trying to correct that.

    But in the end, I realized that keeping my feet parallel wasn't going to work with my knees as they are. You are correct in that turn-out comes from the hips and not the feet, and the goal is always to have the knees go over the toes. It's just that sometimes, that isn't what the body does.
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  15. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I still disagree. She is not turned in. She may be parallel with her right foot, but it is NOT turned IN. Her left looks turned out to me.

    Believe me, I understand the Crusada. I've been doing them for over a decade. I also expect that more people than you give credit to can understand O&L's technique (what's with the condescending tone, anyway?) While some followers land in la crusada with their feet parallel, most I know land with their heels apart and toes together. ie: turned out.

    The video you posted here has nothing at all to do with a follower's back walk to the cross. The circular movement to bring a leg from the front around to the back in a tuck for a pivot (not a weight transfer or even a placing of the free foot down) is completely irrelevant to the technique for walking backwards and placing the free leg behind (not beside) the supporting leg (taking a step) or even coming into a front cross position with the free leg.

    Although, having said that, I get lead frequently to tuck my free right leg in behind the left and then transfer weight to it, and my leg starts slightly turned out (its natural state) and as it circles around, it usually goes more parallel, and by the time I've placed it and done the weight transfer, my feet are fairly parallel. I don't even think about it (in fact I had to get up from the computer and do it to figure out what I am doing when led this step)

    Of course, I'm not on both feet hardly at all, because typically my right foot (now in back) is led to land slightly forward of my left, which displaces the left in order to complete the step.

    I don't consciously turn in my free leg. I don't actually turn it in at all. It just naturally goes parallel by the time it gets tucked in.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
    oldtangoguy likes this.
  16. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    In this system you are describing, is it expected that the follower is walking on a single track? To me, the tightrope image implies that both her feet are traveling on the same line (track).
  17. tangomaniac

    tangomaniac Active Member

    It's time to recognize that the list is not a perfect forum to explain what we mean.

    Nerves getting frazzled, like on Tango L. We've crossed the insult line once.
    This might be a good time to lock up the thread before somebody detonates a nuclear blast.
  18. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    Yes. More or less. I could be wrong, but I'll bet you walk more like you are on a tightrope than you might think, unless you have studied videos of yourself walking relative to some fiducial. First time I was videoed walking backward in alignment with the hardwood floor (some technique class) I saw that I walked essentially on a single board. So, not exactly a tightrope, but close enough for an old guy.

    It may be a little different for a woman due to hip width, but if you do step in two tracks corresponding to your hips, you might need to either sway (okay by me :) ), or wobble (less okay :) ). But I would be curious as to what you, an experienced follow who is (perhaps?) not a show tango professional, do find when you study your walk.
  19. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    I should also add that when I walk forward, in my ordinary "lead-walk", I walk in essentially one track. This keeps me from wobbling and either pushing my follow off balance or having to shift my connection to compensate. I, of course, still need to walk with torsion, even in (sorta) one track.
  20. koinzell

    koinzell Active Member

    You're definitely not wrong! Ideally the follower always wants to move in a straight line. I'm pretty sure you already know that this is the reasoning behind the cross. If the follower is walking in a straight line (whether backwards or forward) and his/her hips are diagonalized, then he/she has to choice but to cross.

    Check out the move demonstrated twice from 3:25 to 3:45. He opens his shoulder left while leader her to step to his right, then moves out of the way so she can continue moving along that tight rope. Yeah, I know this stuff looks simple and boring but to me, it's brilliant!
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015

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