Tango Argentino > Videos > Are they really dancing tango in this video?

Discussion in 'Videos' started by jantango, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    I came across this video shot during the recent Denver festival. It's a festival that has focused on "close embrace" tango. However, they aren't dancing to tango music in this video.

    I had no idea what kind of music was played at "alternative" music dances until I saw this one. I was stunned by the fact that dancers would even consider moving together to a French song on guitar that has no strict tempo or danceable rhythm.

    I don't feel this can be described as tango since the music isn't tango.

    Would anyone else want to dance tango to this? Do the dancers appear to be enjoying themselves?

    This video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OplUFeukicY&NR=1 has to be the worst example of a tango teacher dancing to other music and calling it tango. Tango is an embrace; he has none with his partner. Perhaps that is one reason she has found another.

    Buenos Aires has a young swing dance community who are very interested in learning Lindy Hop, Balboa, Jazz. They use authentic music from the USA for dancing and hire local jazz bands to play for their dances. They dance to the music that originated the dances.
  2. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    sorry - just not going to go there as a discussion....
  3. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Looks like tango to me. But then the sound doesn't work on my work computer.

    But then that's my point. Would you consider it impossible to dance without music?

    Moderately. If it were that bad, you'd probably see a lot of people sitting around looking unhappy and few actually on the floor dancing.
  4. Me

    Me New Member

    Oh, so now you're dissing Pulpo? *YAWN.*

    You are becoming very predictable, Jan.
  5. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    1) The people must not dance to this music. But they do.

    2) The music does have a danceabel rhythm. It is yet comparable to GN Milonguero Style, if you stress every quarter of the bar.

    3) I would interpret the music differently. On time instead of half tempo, as most of the couples do.

    4) Besides the good pieces, there is a lot of poor and bad old, classical argentine Tango music often played, too.

    5) TA (as dance) has emancipated and has detached from his cultural cradle and became an universal way of dancing.

    my credo
  6. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    This is the old question of what makes a certain dance; the music, the steps, or both. If they dance swing to tango music, which dance are they doing? I have long enjoyed dancing tango to sleazy blues music, and I think it's tango.
  7. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    Thanks for throwing me that tasty fish. Yum yum....

    Bye for now!
  8. kieronneedscake

    kieronneedscake New Member

    The trouble with stating absolutes is that there are often fringe cases...


    Is this tango? No embrace at all until the last variation. Funnily enough it's an exhibition of skill which relies on discarding some of the structure.

    The Denver clip is not particularly exciting and I would imagine represents a low spot of the evening. Said French tune has a fundamental beat to it that one could dance to, and the lyrical line is no more rubato than I've heard many a tango singer perform. For my own taste, I would have passed on it had I been there and waited for the inevitable return of more conventional music.

    Note that 'el pulpo' did not necessarily upload that video. The uploader tagged it tango, someone called Suzy, who may or may not be affiliated with Señor Snakey-legs. Does he call it tango? Perhaps it was just end-of-class fun? Taxonomy only ever really worked well for mathematical concepts.
  9. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    A few thoughts:
    My biggest (and perhaps only) problem with this song is that the singer is horrible (I'd use stronger language than that about the singer, but this is a family forum).

    The song does have a danceable rhythm IMO, although the singer seemed to have problems with his rhythm (and pitch), which does make it more difficult for the listener. Get someone who can sing, and I'd be fine dancing to it.

    It's tough to read facial expressions (especially when the song is so sedate), but I'd say that the majority of the people seem to be enjoying themselves.

    My only other observation is that the line of dance didn't seem to be progressing very much.

    This dance isn't my cup of tea, but the video quality is poor, so that can be deceptive. I do like Pulpo, because he gave me some good advice in a workshop with him (actually, it was after the class when I was soliciting some advice).

    In any case, he does have his own style. Some people like it, and some don't, but there's a reason he got his nickname "el Pulpo" (the octopus).
  10. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    "alternative" music

    I’m the biggest tango snob in the world but last year at the San Diego tango festival my wife convinced me to go to the alternative music milonga.
    It was the most fun of the whole festival. The music had nothing to do with tango it was jazz blues rock & roll and the challenge was to dance tango or milonga or vals to non tango music.
    All I can say is Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.
    Alternative music convert.
  11. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

  12. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    I dance tango to tango music

    Call me an "old fuddie duddie." I have always danced according to the music played. If it is for listening, I enjoy it that way. If it is for dancing, I listen to the underlying structure of the music to determine the dance that was created for it. I don't know one social dance that was created before the music. I love tango music, and that's why I enjoy dancing tango.

    Tango isn't about having fun for me. I don't understand how people finish dancing a tango with laughter. Tango touches me deeply. I realize that jazz, blues and rock & roll has nothing to do with tango. They are musical genre born in the USA. Tango was born in Buenos Aires.

    The enormous repertoire of tango, vals and milonga recordings are a challenge for anyone to learn in a lifetime.

    Years ago I had a tango student who insisted on dancing tango to James Taylor. I told him that although he led me in tango movements, we weren't dancing tango. The music said "swing" to me, not tango. I can't mix the two. So, yes, I've tried it. I don't care for it.
  13. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    It is obvious that the people at the denver festival have no idea what tango is about. Tango is about connecting with the essence of the music, and translating it into movement. Great tango dancing comes from experiencing and embodying the music. In a way everything else is just convention - the highest goal of a dancer is to be the music, to express its energy, and rhythm directly. Here is a great example MsHedgehog posted a while ago of a interpretation of DiSarli's Vivani - a little bit unconventional, but it is completely spontaneous and improvised, a pure reflection of the music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meRji7TWCgY

  14. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    I am usually a huge fan of Gssh's post, but I have to pause on this one. Though, what you say is true, the following applies, as well.
    You're a fuddie-duddie.

    As is mentioned, the probleme with absolutes is that they can not be absolutely related to because people are not.....absolute. The probleme with this post is that it [the music] might be for listening "to you", or for dancing "to you", but someone else feels it differently. My partner has heard songs and clutched her chest saying, "Oh God! Isn't that just the greatedt song!? Doesn't it make you just want to move....just dance!?" I would look at her jubilation, and quietly say, "No". Which one of us was right?
    The probleme with this is that almost every piece of music has at least 3 rhythms. Those which do not, have 2. If I hear an upbeat fox and dance swing, how do I fault the persons next to me who are dancing fox? How can I say that this piece was created to be a fox? How do I know that? And, if it were, then why the ---- am I dancing swing?

    90% of the times that I hear Libertango, I see persons dancing tango. Libertango was written as a milonga. Are all of these persons wrong? I think not. They are dancing what they feel. they are dancing how the music moves them. And, that's what even you say that you aspire to.

    How sad this is that such a beautiful dance brings you no joy. AT touches all of us deeply...that is why we are here. Perhaps the feeling of a particular tango leaves me to remember something sad. Perhaps another leaves me to remember something that brings a very heartfelt and silent smile to the face. Please do not belittle others, in tango or in life, whom you do not know, but have feelings different from your own.
    You did your student a grave disservice. You robbed him of the feeling that tango gave to him by trying to force him to feel what you felt. Even you wrote, "...The music said "swing" to me,.... I can't mix the two." Perhaps your student wasn't trying to mix the two. Perhaps he felt tango, and the person whom he trusted to share those feelings with, invalidated him. Hmm.
  15. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Did they play Michael Jackson? :D
  16. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    You're not a fuddy-whatever. You're simply very clear about what you want and like. I've no problem with you - or anyone - saying that. We all have different preferences.

    What I have a problem with is your insistence that your views are the only possible views, and that the way you like things is the only possible "real" way to do things.

    That's not being fuddy-duddy, that's just being narrow-minded and dogmatic.

    Tango - like all successful living dances - adapts, changes, progresses and mutates through time.

    Yeah.... :tongue:

    Must have been a fun class.

    And that's fine. Some people like different things.

    But you don't get to define "what is tango", any more than any of us do.

    Personally, I can mix forms - sometimes. It's not easy, and you need to be at least competent in both forms. But it can produce some lovely results.
  17. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    Re the Denver vid : I like it. Not because the dancing is necessarily excellent. But because it so neatly captures the different flavours of tango. You have one guy dancing simply but elegantly, another who wants to do moves regardless of music (and leads them very well), a third who hasnt really a clue what to do so is just bouncing up and down with the music.

    It's sort of like sitting at a pavement cafe in Paris and watching the world go by...
  18. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    “say Ahhhhhh”

    I don’t recall if they played music of the great gloved one however I can say they played a lot of rhythmic up beat music that was more fun than you could imagine. Remember I was dragged in kicking and screaming by my wife and friends because I had a mind set like Jan….it’s not tango so I’m not going to dance to it! After the first dance I was hooked... it can’t be compared to dancing to a “bad tango” it’s more like going to the proctologist for a sore throat, “say Ahhhhhh” would have a whole new meaning.
  19. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    I dunno, I can imagine quite a lot of fun ;)

    Thing is, I can kind of agree with this in a way - if it's modified to become "it's not pure traditional tango as danced in BsAs".

    No, of course it's not. The only milongas that meet those criteria are, of course, the pure-traditional-tango-as-danced-in-BsAs ones.

    But to say "That's Not Tango", to me, is far too broad and dismissive a statement.

    Sure, there's some things that I wouldn't like. For example, I'm not overly-impressed with Swango, from what I've seen and heard it's just Swing with a couple of Tango flourishes. To me, That's Not Tango. But, I could be wrong.

    Basically, it's just a question of being open to new possibilities. I mean, taken to extreme, a narrow-minded attitude would completely dismiss all the work of the Tango Investigation Group as Not Tango.
  20. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Right, I've finally gotten around to actually watching these vids...
    Clearly a crime against humanity, I agree.

    Well, I won't say the music moves me, it doesn't, I'd find it boring.

    But I would never say They're Not Dancing Tango. Because, well, they obviously are...

    No, and yes.

    Ah, I've seen this stuff before - it's "blango" (Blues Tango). Not to my tastes, really. It's clever, but I don't like it.

    But, please note the difference between my expression of a personal opinion, and your dogmatic absolutism?

    Combined with:
    Wow, that's a really nasty thing to say about someone.

    As I said, fusion is possible, but you need to be pretty good at both to make it work.

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