Tango Argentino > About walking...

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

  1. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    I love old moves too and I am using quite a lot time to learn and maintain those figures. Osvaldo has past away but some other old dancers are still traveling and teaching.

    I have learned this figure but as two separate parts and by different teachers. Osvaldo and partner put it nicely together here.

    I just wonder if you can use this style of tango in your milongas? Here the dancing has taken different direction and other styles and ways are more popular. I have two followers who can accept this style so we can train together sometimes.
  2. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    The only conclusion I can come to is that you can draw no such conclusion.
    I'm not prepared to analyse Tete who, it has to be said, was something
    of a law unto himself, sometimes disaparagingly described (apparently)
    as "just" a rock'n'roller. It seems to me that there is a mis-synchronisation
    between the music and the (slightly late) video. For Steve Pastor's information,
    the music is Canaro's Poema.
    This is social dance not performance. I accept of course that here
    Tete was of course performing but his performance was an
    exaggeration or enlargement of his social style.

    In social dance (I might go as far to say any social partner dance)
    rhythm is (the main) part of the motivation to dance and provides
    another sensual connection - aurally.

    Established couples can do what they like and what works for them,
    one reason to be wary of teachers who only dance with each other,
    but for those who regularly change partners the music and its rhythm
    is at the core - both partners listen and dance to the music.
  3. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Now that I know what you're talking about, IMO, Yes, it looks bad the way he twists his foot/leg during the back crossing step before he straightens it out when it lands.
  4. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Clearly, he wasn't stepping on the beat (nor with the melody) there. I suspect it's nothing more than a mistake, as he certainly doesn't dance with the precision that a performer does (although no one is always perfect).
  5. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    I never got a feeling of a connection with Tetes dancing and music when I was watching his feet. It was just a mishmatch all the time for me. Then one day I covered his legs and just followed the shoulders and there I experiensed a connection between his movements and music.
    Could you check if you find the beat in his shoulders instead?
    oldtangoguy and Zoopsia59 like this.
  6. koinzell

    koinzell Active Member

    Yes, this style is prevalent in my community. Whenever I visit milongas in major cities, I encounter many followers in that "different direction" category. It reminds me of long ago when one of my teachers said this to me, "Remember these words long after I am gone. There will come a time when you can do all these moves, but when you get to that point...you won't want to"
  7. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    Yes. As you observed, sometimes the milongueros don't honor the compas in the same way most of us do today, where we frequently simply dance to the compas and not the entire orchestra.

    I'll let a better man than I point out and describe a couple of examples where the compas is honored, but the dance is performed to the entire orchestra, sometimes floating through the beat as the vocalist does:
    1. http://www.tangoandchaos.org/chapt_5video/26pocho.htm
    And even more interesting for me,
    2. http://www.tangoandchaos.org/chapt_5video/20hector.htm

    To quote Rick McGarrey, in this second video "Hector is putting two steps between the strong beats of the dos por cuatro. Technically, (probably too technically) he is stepping on the strong beat, and then instead of quick stepping on the weak beat, he steps twice, once on each side of the weak beat. To me, the result is like a very quick badabump drum roll."

    The compas is thus not used to compensate for poor leading, where one might rely on the beat to tell the woman when to step, but rather as an element of play, but only one such element.
    Zoopsia59 likes this.
  8. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Or.. instead of watching Tete's feet for musicality, watch Sylvia to see when his lead has prompted HER movement to the music.

    So much of Tete's lead doesn't result in steps of his own.
    oldtangoguy and Steve Pastor like this.
  9. tangobro

    tangobro Active Member

    Exactly what I was going to say! When taking a class with Tete & watching him dance with different women, I noticed the same thing - he "danced the woman" as I've heard it described. He seems to follow the adage that a young milonguero (nearing his 50's) told me he had learned from the old milongueros "the man is the flagpole, the woman is the flag". You see the man's dance by watching the woman.
    Zoopsia59 likes this.
  10. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    When in a weight sharing embrace with a woman who presents a definite axis and takes definite steps, her steps feel like yours.
  11. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    I'm not sure what you mean. Could you explain?
  12. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    A weight sharing close embrace, that I would call apilado, facilitates a sort of faux proprioception (the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement) in which the movement of your partner is clearly perceived in your torso.

    The ability to perceive your partner's steps, momentum, axis, can be muted if her body is "flexing" and making her axis indistinct, or if she is not cleanly moving her weight from one foot to another as she steps.

    Rather than use the analogy of the man waving a flag, it really is more like one or two of the legs of the couple, who are joined as one, are in motion. And it doesn't matter who the legs belong to.

    "Close embrace" without adequate weight sharing does not facilitate this feeling of I can feel her steps nearly as well as my own.
  13. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    "The music is the third member of the couple, keeping the movements of the hearts and feet integrated." Denniston "The Meaning of Tango..." page 111
  14. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    Ah. Thank you for the explanation.
  15. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    I suspect that we all agree that the music is "the third partner." What we may, or may not, agree upon is the way in which the music drives the dance. In rhythm dances, the beat, the rhythm, is so very dominant as the third partner that it is by exception that one does not step on the beat. Yes, one can certainly phrase the dance to the music, but they are still called "rhythm dances" for good reason.

    As we all know, tango allows far more latitude and more readily accommodates dancing to the piano, the bandoneon, the violins, or, my favorite, to the vocalist. In particular, many of the tango singers are not simply vocal versions of d'Arienzo's driving beat. They float across measures, even in d'Arienzo's Orquesta. They start and stop at times which are not where one might step if dancing strictly to the compas. A very interesting exercise that I do sometimes is, when the vocalist is singing, step only on the last syllable of the last word of the vocal phrases. I'll pick, say, Cambalache for this. Then Canzonetta, and then Remembranzes. Etc. I also play other similar games, dancing so that I adhere to the feel and phrasing of the vocalist, ignoring (sort of) the rest of the orquesta.

    For me, this creates a very different feel that just stepping in the compas. This is what I was trying to get at earlier. Not that the music wasn't important, but rather that it is so much more important than just the rhythm. Although the music is (usually) recorded, I try, not always with success, to dance as though I am having a conversation with both my partner and the orquesta.
  16. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I have come to regard the music as being of primary importance. I share my connection with the music with my partner and she shares her connection with it with me. Together, we create the dance. No music: no dance.
    oldtangoguy likes this.
  17. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    The rhythm dances I know of are not called that for the reason you state.
    I'm not at home so cannot look up my book which describes
    rhythm dances but from memory they are actually simplified
    dances without complicated movements but they are
    to exactly the same music. The social foxtrot is one.

    Rhythm is what drives most dancers, especially natural ones,
    to dance and is what links and synchronises partner dancing.
    And while tango is no different the sound of the rhythm
    of tango is different and you can certainly respond to that.
    Tango neither "allows" nor "accommodates" any such thing.
    You can dance as you like, but in my dance scenes
    you might have a hard time finding partners.
    You can do both, dance the feel of the orquesta and observe
    the compas. That is what the milongueros did. What many did
    not like was vocal performance tango where the vocalist was
    at the front. There were some who didn't like vocals at all.

    Golden age tangos tended to have curtailed lyrics
    with the singer joining in the last half or less of the recording.
    The best vocal arrangements incorporated the singer into
    and as an instrument the orchestra - they sang with the rhythm
    and so that the resultant music was definitely still dance music.
  18. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    In agreeing I want to add to this.

    The necessary connection does not add up to weight sharing,
    it is a comfortable, stress free embrace emphasising
    connection at the upper chest, as evolved by the Argentines.

    Not only moving cleanly, strongly and immediately from one foot
    to the other but also from axis to axis. The best men do the same
    and then they can really feel the woman's steps and they are
    in unison. There indeed is a physical ideal to facilitate all this.

    Feeling her steps is vital since the man concentrates on his partner's
    steps and axis, not on his own at all - his own body will naturally
    take care of those. While he has the feeling of dancing through
    the woman she can have the feeling of hearing and dancing the music
    through him. He concentrates on her, she concentrates on him.
    Like all the best partnerships both have to fulfil their own role
    to the best of their ability.
    Steve Pastor likes this.
  19. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    Interesting. Every dance scene is different. In mine, it is easy to find partners (women) who like to dance to the piano, bandoneon, etc. This might be because most of the follows here come from ballet or modern dance backgrounds, and one of the primary teachers in our community was a professional modern dancer when she was younger, while another was a ballerina. Very few women (none?) came to tango from ballroom, or other partnered dances.
  20. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    And I find this interesting!
    What a can of worms this opens up.
    Ballet is mainly a solo performance, choreographed at that.
    In other partner dances I have found the ballet dancers
    to make absolutely the worst partners and there seemed
    to be attitudinal reasons as well as an inability to let go
    in order to dance with another. They can be very independent.

    Modern dance is a sort of modern equivalent but about form
    and bodily expression and rhythm is often not much part of it.
    My ex-wife was a modern dancer, she had no clue about
    what was necessary for partner dancing. We never danced.
    oldtangoguy likes this.

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