Tango Argentino > Ballroom style

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Shaka, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    The difference, perhaps, is that in the BR world, the disagreements are mostly in private between professionals (the amateurs are all experts, of course, and they bicker amongst themselves constantly in every dance genre). As far as fundamentals are concerned though, the technical requirements of BR are standardised and there is very wide agreement over what is correct. There is lots of room, in more advanced level work, for differences of emphasis and approach, but the technical development of the dance tends to be determined by top professional couples pushing the limits, which trickles down into revisions to the technique about 10 years later.

    I hesitate to ask, but we have BT and AT - what is the third of which you write?
  2. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    I dance ballroom and I, too, enjoy the freedom to discover and express my own personal dance. :cheers:
  3. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    only for a-nother discussion? :-(
  4. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Ballroom and Argentine Tango

    For someone who seems able to take offence very easily,
    this is pretty scathing about people you don't know.

    I actually quite liked ballroom - after all I learned and danced it socially
    for quite a few years. I was choosy, not liking Paso or Ballroom Tango
    and the same in Latin, choosing not to Ballroom Jive (preferred the swing
    dances) nor Samba. It didn't matter because I was only interested in
    dancing socially but the social ballroom dance scene isn't great.

    But AT is different in so many ways. Its lack of "rules" is advantageous
    to its promoters, possibly disconcerting and confusing to newcomers.
    My AT experience started with a form of fantasia taught by a teacher
    intent on choreographing and performing shows using his students
    though his website was all about lead and follow social tango.

    Then by travelling three times as far in the other direction I learned
    about the embrace, a so-called dynamic embrace and social tango.
    Based on the knowledge gained and a resultant ability to dance in all
    the various "holds", concentrating on tango within the embrace was
    the key to improvement, and abandoning ballroom for the moment.

    On that basis Ballroom frame and the Tango embrace are very different.

    Edit for clarification as a result of UKDancer's comment later:

    The basis meant is the knowledge of the various dance styles and
    the comparison is between the ballroom dances of Waltz, Foxtrot etc
    (excluding the Latin open hold pattern dances of Cha Cha and Rumba)
    and the close embrace of Milonguero/Apilado form of Salon Tango.

    Once you start considering show style tango, nuevo and the now named
    VU style of Salon then such comparisons are not practicable as they
    all require some sort of frame (meaning arm tone) and varying holds.

  5. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    He counts BT as two: American tango and International tango.
  6. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I make no comment about any individual's personal qualities, but I 'know' them from what they choose to write here. Apart from a handful of posters who may have met in 'real life', we don't 'know' anyone here, do we?

    I paint what I would hope was recognisably a caricature of a tendency of which I am indeed scathing. Promoting AT by positive means is one thing, but advancing it's claims by 'knocking' other styles is another, and it is generally unattractive. My substantive point (and I'm not particularly seeking any discussion of it) is that such 'knocking' is usually from a position of relative ignorance. That's my view, and it's sincerely held.

    As for your final point:

    I don't see that that follows from what you have written.

    But if we are going to include all of the American & International Standard, Smooth, Latin & Rhythm styles within the BR label (and I don't really understand why these forums do), then a 'ballroom frame' cannot begin to be defined, as there is so much variation between individual dances. By comparison, any AT embrace is very much like any other, and/or they are all the same (ie including the composite BR one - the one that doesn't exist).
  7. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    LOL!! (amat. )
    Of course there are some theories that have stood the test of time and agreement is fairly universal, but , even in fundamental issues like "hold " for e.g. is still contentious .

    The 3rd is " American " style social , which is much deeper rooted than its english counterpart .

    In the States they are usually classified as .. Intern., T/Arg. and American . I should add that, there are several European countries that do teach American style in addition to the others .
  8. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I guessed that that's what you meant, but in the context of distinguishing between a BR frame and an AT embrace, I would make no distinction between the two 'flavours' of BR tango. If the frame is to have equal application to, say, International/Standard Tango, and Jive (because both are BR dances), then the rest of the debate is really rather silly...
  9. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    OK, understood.
    What is written from the head doesn't always read right for others!
    The basis was my experience of the ballroom (and Latin) dances,
    the wide variety of what loosely passes for AT and my resultant concentration
    only on the (close) embrace. For me the embrace by definition is "close".

    I think I understand your point, but you and I, plus many others, know what
    we mean by ballroom and my use of ballroom frame is the hold for the
    ballroom dances: Waltz, Quickstep, Foxtrot and the slightly modified form
    of ballroom tango. Many people do seem to regard Latin as ballroom dance
    but I am not drawing any comparison with the open hold pattern dances.

    Do we agree now?
  10. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    The Amer. style social, at Bronze level has a much less severe look in its makeup, in fact, it doesnt compare to Intern. style in hold .. that was my point of distinction ; in addition ,the music for Amer. style is not of the same tempo.

    If one looks at a well executed Amer. style bronze social tango ,you would see the "empathy " it has with its antecedant.
  11. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I don't disagree, but if we are to have just one all-embracing 'BR frame' (the premise behind the discussion), then the nuances of the hold appropriate to any style are just not relevant. We could splice together four bars each of tango, bolero, jive and foxtrot, and never alter the set up. However, if we spliced in another four bars of AT, we are to believe that suddenly, everything changes. That's silly. What's more, the proponents of this view would immediately demand that we recognise at least five different syles of embrace, because one is the true path to happiness and fulfilment, while the other four are spawn of the devil.
  12. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    LOL. Love this post! Thank you for starting the morning off nicely! (No, I am not being sarcastic.)
  13. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Really ?.. if I ever teach/dance for one e.g. social style Bolero with the same approach as I do my Competitive style Bolero , or B/room, then it will be time to hang up the old shoes .

    Check out my approach to Club style Bolero that is going to be posted on Salsa Forums very shortly.
  14. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I think that was his point.
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

  16. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Indeed! ;)
  17. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I agree with what you say, but only if taking your own narrow definition of embrace, and allowing the equally limited application of the 'ballroom frame'. The original point was a wider one, and my view is that the comparison is redundant and meaningless, unless heavily qualified.

    For other tango dancers, that nice open VU 'hold' IS the perfect tango embrace (and goodness, it shares a lot with a ballroom tango hold). Not suprisingly, with my background, VU is a style I feel immediately comfortable with, but I am working on close embrace (or what my own dance society insists on calling 'very close embrace').

    A point of disagreement would be that the set up for BT is only slightly different from that for the swing dances. I'd say it is very different, as tango is based on a completely different principle of movement, which is reflected in the connection with the partner, but that's another debate.
  18. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    I think you should clarify what is meant by " swing dances ", for those that dont know its application ( they make think E.C. or WCS ! )
  19. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Yes, which was exactly why I was qualifying originally.
    On balance I do think your argument is rather pointless though,
    either that or confusingly expressed.
    Yes doesn't VU indeed, no wonder people get confused.
    But I'm not sure VU people call it an open "hold" as it seems to be based
    on the dance of a few individual older not-quite-embracing dancers but
    marketed for attracting pupils to endless lessons and even competition.

    Oh now we have "very close" (embrace) to add to "close", "loose",
    "open"(!), "dynamic" or "fluid" etc., etc.

    I agree with you and don't see where the swing dance & BT comparison
    has come from. From my point of view and experience of both they are
    very different.
  20. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Well, we always had it, but the name is pretty daft. It is defined as 'Upper bodies in contact, while the lower bodies are a small distance apart, so that they form the shaps of a pyramid with their axis in front of the toes'. I don't think we needed another name, but it's not my invention.

    The definition of BR, here, unfortunately does include the Latin dances (which is very odd in itself), but even if you exclude them (as you and I clearly would), you are still left with the swing dances (waltz, quickstep & foxtrot) + tango, but as soon as you put those distinctly different 'BR frames' together, then there is really no point is comparing them with anything in AT, as you are already taking about a composite frame that does not exist, and then seeking to compare with something (the AT embrace) that also has no clear and generally accepted definition, and which clearly admits of very wide variations itself.

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