Tango Argentino > Videos > Alternative Milonga

Discussion in 'Videos' started by dchester, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

  2. jantango

    jantango Active Member

  3. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Seems to me they're having fun (especially Oscar Casas).

    Perhaps as Argentines they know how far the rules can be bent, and they don't need expats to act as tango police?
  4. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Honestly Jan, applause, mickey mouse, and flippancy were actually brought nearer to me by argentines. Move to Europe finally, the last retreat for what you are seeking is over here!
  5. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I was at that festival. It's hard to explain the excitement that performance generated, but it was very well received.

    I hope that the performances for the next night get posted at some point. There was a performance by Esteban Moreno & Dana Frigoli that was so good, I think even you would enjoy it.

    I think that sometimes, it's OK for a performance to be just be entertaining and generate some fun. One doesn't have to be serious all the time, do they?
  6. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    My partner always preferred milonga because he said Tango was always so serious and melancholy while milonga could be playful and fun.
  7. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    Fast money is to be made from "fast food tango"

    They advertised a "tango festival" in Chicago, and the participants spent money for it. I believe they should get what they paid for -- tango. If you, David, were satisfied, that's fine; you like to be entertained. You don't realize yet that Argentines laugh all the way to the bank because Americans will hand over their money to anybody from Buenos Aires who shows up claiming to dance tango.

    It's sad to see Argentines dancing to other music just to get the audience excited. Is that really necessary? What about demonstrating good dancing to social dancers? There are those who will try to copy what they see in exhibition and use it on the dance floor. Is that helping social dancing?

    It's lack of respect for tango. There is more interest in making money than improving social dancing. It's one thing to see Americans doing weird things and calling it tango. It's quite another for Argentines who profess their admiration for the milongueros to dance for laughs. What does that contribute to the improvement of social dancing?

    An Argentine with an invitation to Europe will travel at the drop of a hat. They know that the Euro is worth six pesos. It doesn't take anyone more than a second to accept a contract to teach. A taxi dancer of BsAs is now teaching in Europe. Do they know he's not a teacher? Do they know he can't dance? It doesn't matter. He's Argentine, good-looking, and speaks English. It's a done deal.
  8. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks a bunch for posting this, dchester.
    "Blue Suede Shoes" is the first song I've found that I could work on consistently as far as something to play on the keyboard. Now I'm working on it on an inexpensive electric guitar.

    Historic note that the song was written by Carl Perkins and was actually a bigger hit for him than for Presley. Elvis (who had recently moved to RCA after leaving Sun in Memphis) promised Carl that he wouldn't put his version out until Carl's version had peaked on the charts. (It was VERY common in those days for there to be multiple versions of songs on the charts very soon after they came out.) The Presley version is the one is most remembered.

    More about Shoes here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Suede_Shoes

    At an end of a trek party in Nepal, our support team of Sherpas and other Nepalese sang and danced for us, and they sort of expected us to reciprocate in some fashion. I sang the first verse of Shoes subbing "hiking boots" for "blue suede shoes", waving my foot in the air. Everyone erupted in cheers and applause. Then, I couldn't remember the next verse! Doh!

    If I remember correctly, rock 'n' roll was one of the things that contributed to the lessened interest in Tango in Argentina in the 50s, just as teenagers in the U.S. more likely to to the Bop than swing to rock 'n' roll, and listen to big bands swing.

    Since "milongas" frequently rotated band/styles during an evening, it is hard for me to imagine that this is the first time someone figured out that you could do milonga to a rockabilly song.

    One comment on this particular rendition is that I wish he had used the breaks (which are pretty obvious and totally predictable). Since I've spent considerable time watching what Elvis did as a "dancer", I can imagine what I would drop in there! Then there are the movements that are quite African in nature with the hips and bent knees.

    Yes. Milonga is the fun part of a milonga for me and many others.
  9. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, I spent money for the festival, and it was pretty much as I expected it would be. I had a great time. To be honest, the performances are the least important part of tango festivals for me, although I did really enjoy several of the performances in Chicago. I do hope that someone will post the Saturday performances. One (as I mentioned by Esteban and Dana), I think will be liked by most. The ones by Horacio Godoy and Karina will possibly generate some lively debate.

    It's not necessary, but then again, most performances are not bound by what's necessary, but rather, what's entertaining. There really is a difference between a performance and a demonstration of social tango. This was a performance.

    Fortunately for me, your angst about disrespecting tango is directed at the Argentines, and I don't claim to speak for them. I'll just say that I had a great time.

    What contributes to the improvement of social dancing at the festivals IMO, are the classes (some of them, anyways), along with the example that the teachers set, when dancing at the milongas. I've seen some teachers who are phenomenal dancers and are a menace in a milonga, while other great dancers know exactly what to do in a milonga setting.

    I'm not qualified to comment on what goes on in Europe, other than to say it's a big place, and I suspect there are plenty of different things with respect to tango and Argentines, going on over there. I will say that I've noticed here that the Russians and the Italians seem to be the best dancers from Europe (although that's just my anecdotal observations).

    In the US (also a big place), different tango communities have different preferences, and of course, some festival organizers have different preferences. Some festivals bring in mostly stage dances. Some emphasize nuevo. Some emphasize close embrace, while other festivals go for a mix of styles.

    Other variables at the various festivals, are how much time is spent on classes, vs milongas, vs performances, vs meeting (or getting to know) people. Unfortunately, most festivals don't do that much to foster getting to know different people (and I suppose, the bigger a festival is, the harder that might be to do). One that does a good job of that (by having meals together) is the Moonlight in Vermont Tango Weekend.

    If you are into performances, the Boston Tango Festival is a very good one.

    If you are into close embrace, social tango, the Denver Tango Festivals (usually on both Memorial day and labor day weekends), are a very good choice.

    The wife and I try to do something different every year. I will admit that I did want to go back to BsAs this year, but it wasn't in the cards for this year.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2017
  10. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Funny. The one's I've seen turn up...have been exceptional teachers. And dancers. And, yes, I know a good dancer when i see one.

    Or, maybe...just maybe...they dance tango to other music because it gets them excited. Perhaps they, the argentines enjoy a bit of variety now and again. Perhaps they like to experiment a bit, use the dance they know with other music they enjoy, and have some fun.

    Oh...right...god forbid anyone have fun while dancing tango.
  11. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    perhaps it is not a lcak of respect, maybe they dance like that because they have the freedom to do so, and do not feel the social pressure to conform.
    perhaps they need to let their hair down. Every time I hear a " should" be dancing whether its about a style or to certain music, I think here comes the tango police. good dancing is good dancing, IMO.
  12. gniksic

    gniksic New Member

    It's quite bold of you to say they didn't get tango. Were you there to see it? Don't think so.

    Me neither, but from what I've seen here in Europe, 90% of tango-festival activities are tango (milongas, tango classes but also non-dance, but still tango-related classes and discussions). The other 10% are other social events (boat trips wink-wink) or performances that have more or less to do with tango. And I haven't seen any performance that induced the same feelings in all spectators. It would have been disturbing if someone had tried to project their personal taste or feelings on me or vice-versa.

    From my (small) experience (and also what dchester said): yes, some people ARE bad teachers, bad performers and some of them are even dangerous in a milonga. But we are free to ignore them if we wish to. But to claim that someone didn't give value (=tango) for *my* money on a festival just because of their performance is plain nonsense. Besides, I remember a video of a milonguero couple (I don't remember who, I'll try to find it) performing in Buenos Aires (!) to rock 'n' roll or something like that during a milonga. I can bet the milonguero audience had fun watching them (applause and happy faces). And perhaps they even paid for it!

    bordertangoman, I think you just said what some people would call the "F" word of tango. :)

    To add some more wood to the fire, here's the all-teacher performance after their tango performances (yes, tango) at the Mediterranean Summer Tango Festival in my little country of Croatia:

  13. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    I agree about classes, but demo's are another thing. The only thing you're entitled to is a performance. Once the performers have performed you're also entitled to not like it, and your entitlement ends there.

    You also didn't pay for that performance, so you're not entitled to much at all (unlike dchester, who did attend). Well, except to be irritated and voice your disgust on internet fora ;).

    No, it isn't. But if we would only do what's necessary in life, we wouldn't be dancing tango, now, would we?

    Well, you do that at milongas and salons. Not demo's (unless you're Melina and Detlef, and do demo's where the audience can almost imagine hundreds of other people on the empty floor. Of course, they have every right to do that kind of demo, and I have a lot of respect for them, but I'd prefer not all performances to look the same).

    Forgive me for having to tell you, but you don't get to define what "respeto" means as an expat, even one living in Argentina for quite some time. It's an attempt to be more Catholic than the pope, and that's usually a kind of stunt that is exceptionally hard to pull of with success.
  14. salthepal

    salthepal New Member

    I will admit, when I was taking that video that Jan linked to, I was slightly disappointed when the music changed. While I still enjoyed the performance, I would have infinitely preferred to see oliver and luna kick it up to an actual milonga. Off topic, I actually don't enjoy the performances as much anymore because it means less dancing time for me. Since this year I didn't take classes but just went to the milongas, I felt disappointed by the Saturday milonga; because the guy DJing before Horacio showed up played such uninspiring music, there was an hour-long performance, and then several nuevo tandas. Was it $30 well spent? I don't think so.

    Now the Friday milonga was a completely different beast. Robin Thomas as DJ FTW.
  15. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, I don't really care for long performances either. 10 - 15 minutes is more than enough for me when it's done in the middle of a milonga. I like how the Boston Tango Festival does it, with a separate time for the show, so you can attend if it interests you, or skip it.

    No argument about Robin. I was a bit surprised that Friday seemed more crowded than Saturday. I did like Horacio's DJing, though. He had some interesting cortinas.

    Unfortunately, I missed the Monday night milonga, as I had an early flight on Tuesday. Lung-Kuei (another DJ I really like) was scheduled for that night.
  16. salthepal

    salthepal New Member

    Horacio is a great DJ; he definitely knows how to play the mood of the room. But he didn't show up till midnight and then had an hour-long interlude for performances, meaning the nuevo sets were more concentrated given the shorter time he got.

    Also, I rarely listen to the cortinas, apart from, "is this a cortina? Oh OK, thanks for the dance!!!" ;-)
  17. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I've gotten to the point where I don't really care if there's no demo and in fact am happier without one. I do enough sitting at most milongas. It's hard enough to avoid stiffening up, without trying to sit on the floor for 30 minutes at the peak of the evening. (few milongas have enough seating for everyone to be sitting at the same time and if they do, a portion of those seats are behind other seats)

    The energy at the milonga sometimes seems to go down after a long break for demo/ announcements/ birthday dance/ etc. Of course, it also usually gives the "cue" for the music change to more alternative. I'd prefer a mix of music throughout the evening because not everyone is there for the whole event.

    I realize why they do demos though... gotta drum up business for teachers, especially since the organizers don't really make any money off the milonga itself (not around here anyway)
  18. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    In Brussels, the demo's tend to be on the last night, i.e. well after the business for teachers was drummed up.

    I don't mind them - they spice up an evening (of course, as with spices, you need to watch out not to use too much).

    I would, of course, be a bit grumpy if there were many demo's and they were all on alternative music (but from the rest of the thread, they weren't), but I see no reason for the Thought Police to raid the place if someone decides to have a bit of harmless and entertaining fun.
  19. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I wasn't speaking about festivals since I can't afford to attend them. I meant the usual demos that take place at every milonga. (and often the visting teachers will either be back or are giving workshops/classes/privates in the days following the milonga)

    I seem to be alone in this opinion locally though because the applause is always pretty energetic and insistent on encores.

    I just don't care anymore... I've seen quite a number of demos over the years... They're all starting to blur together. I want to experience tango, not watch it. I actually prefer watching my friends and other locals dancing socially, and enjoying how they are improving.
  20. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

    It's not at all uncommon for an 'outsider' to become more proficient/skilled in a subject, and do so even better than 'insiders' do. You just have to look at the creme de la creme in any field, and this will be obvious. This is true for anthropology as well as dance. It's not a stretch to imagine that someone might be good at bringing them together and be better than a native Argentinian at Dance Ethnography in the context of AT.

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