Tango Argentino > BsAs syndrome

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Mladenac, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    What, me? ;)

    I would expect that to hold true anywhere, not just in BsAs.

  2. chanchan

    chanchan Member

    How can you tell about the differences of such styles if you don't know and you are not even interested to anyone of them?
    Actually, they are much more similar than you can imagine.
    I don't say that you don't dance tango just because you are outside Argentina. I say that this is a possibility. Actually I can't tell what you are dancing if I don't see you. Basing you your statements, that you only care about your local scene, that's the definition of dialect.
    Tango is a dance originated in the Area of Rio de la Plata (ie BsAs and montevideo). In the rest of Argentina and Urguay it is an imported dance just like in UK or Italy.
    If a visitor from UK come to a conference in Italy and found that he couldn't comunicate with me or anyone else in the room, I'd just assume the couldn't speak... english very well. Shouldn't I?
  3. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I said no such thing: you were (and still are) putting words into my mouth. Up to a point I do know, and I am interested. No doubt, I cannot hope for the 'whole experience' of dancing in BsAs without going, but there are plenty of resources: books, video, conversation with others, with which to satisfy my limited curiosity. However, ultimately, the people I dance with are the members of my own local tango community. I have to fit in with them, or sit out, all night. End of.

    Then I need be in no fear of dancing some funny local dialect. You can't have it both ways.

    No, you don't mean Argentina, nor even the urban districts of BsAs & Montevideo, but small parts of one city, even to the point of naming particular clubs or milongas. If the right bit (not the wrong bit) of BsAs happens to be your local scene, then the differences make a difference - but they don't make any difference to me. Why should they?

    You say dialect, but I think that you mean accent. I went to quite a posh school, and I assure you that if you spoke to me in my native tongue (and assuming that you were thoroughly fluent in it yourself), you wouldn't have the slightest idea where I came from. I certainly don't speak in dialect, and I extend the analogy to my dance.

    I agree, which makes the title Argentine Tango a bogus construct to start with.

    Given the usual English inability with other languages, that might be a reasonable conclusion, but we are talking about dance. I say that it a universal language. You disagree, but haven't begun to make any coherent case.

    Assuming that there was dancing at the post-conference party, I'm sure we'd all get on just fine as we have an unspoken language in common.
  4. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    isnt "stereotypical" and "own style" contradictory? and isnt the thing about tango to make it your own; at least as far as musical interpretation goes. i think style as an adjunct to the dance is like facadism in architecture....

    He is different but not in the way you think......;)

    I am not an adherent of any particular style. I have already seen so much vairation in what people call VU that I smell a rat. I teach Yang and Wu and Wem style tango
  5. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Do you need clip-on hair extensions for those?
  6. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I always find this argument irrelevant. What difference does it make where a dance originates, if I learn how to do it. I learned Swing dancing in San Diego (west coast of US). Should I assume that I'm doing an imported dance because it originated on the east coast?

    Even in BA, the dance today was imported from 100 years ago, and they no longer dance it that way. Dances evolve with many influences. Unless I'm trying to do a historical recreation, why do minor differences make any difference from the original?
  7. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    of course but its complicated; Wu is bald with straggly beard
    Yang is shaved head with pony tail topknot
    and Wem is windswept
  8. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    In Argentina it's just Tango, your bogus construct is by others,
    usually abroad, and their own marketeers selling to tourists
    using such a description by way of clarification.
    Or should that be confusion?.

    And dancing in the embrace is the way many dance, not just tango.
  9. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member


    And that's my complaint surely.

    They teach an often limited but rigid style of their own
    and by their teaching produce clones. It's not the fault
    of the students other than a failure to explore beyond
    what they are prescriptively given.

    Sociology . a simplified and standardized conception or image
    invested with special meaning and held in common by members
    of a group: The cowboy and Indian are American stereotypes.
  10. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Isn't that why there's a west coast swing and an east coast swing?


  11. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I've never figured that out. I was taught Swing dancing in a friends living room. We just called it Swing. Years later I heard about WCS and assumed that was what I knew, since that's where I learned it. What a surprise to discover that I had learned ECS on the west coast.

    We didn't have dance forums in those days, to help define the terminology.
  12. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    At least you learned a real one. The only swing variant I ever learned, was disco, back in the 70s.

  13. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I had enough dance sense by then to avoid that one.
  14. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Well, see, first it was called Western Swing. It's clear, though, from looking at the books articles from that time, that it was considered different than what was then called Eastern Swing.
    Have the current differences between styles of TA been put into text books?
  15. John,

    This will be my last post on the topic as I don't think we will see eye to eye on any of this, and also Steve seemed to kinda tap his fingers earlier, probably not wanting this thread going off the rails.

    First, let me apologise if my tone was too harsh. Yours wasn't exactly gentle, and you went off dissing as a sad travelling circus me and a lot of my friends, and exaggerated your experience backing up your opinions on that.

    You say your opinions have equal value. If every opinion *automatically* had equal value, we'd have creationism taught in biology class, and Sarah Palin would be EU economic advisor. The foundations of your opinion got challenged to test that value (and btw I still find them wanting).

    If you want to talk about Abrazos, that is another story, and I for one am happy with what we achieved. We wanted to make a positive impact on the UK scene, and I many ways we did and will continue to do so. If you do the same in some other way, promoting and encouraging what you think is right in achieving a better UK tango scene, I say more power to you.


    You said: "You're a promoter, you should expect it. Events of all kinds get criticised by attendees, mainly in private between themselves. Perhaps instead of criticising the critic, you should respond rather more positively."

    I was reacting negatively to your rubbishing of the encuentro "movement" and a lot of very dedicated dancers, teachers and organisers whom you never met and probably in most cases never heard of, not to criticism of Abrazos, which hadn't even come up initially. At Abrazos, we dealt with your complaint in a fashion that seemed to satisfy you, and Lynn even sent you an e-mail later to make sure everything had been working out. I think we did ok generally on that score.

    If Abrazos was not for you, that is fine. You mentioned "self-selection" earlier, and that is exactly what happens. We certainly didn't make everybody happy, but most people told us they'd be back before they left with smiles on their faces, and we had a deluge of glowing e-mails the week after. Our regret is that due to space constraints we will have to turn away people, probably a lot more than last year.

    Again, if you had come out and said that you had a bad experience at Abrazos instead of what you did, we wouldn't have had this particular discussion, and the whole thing might actually have been more fruitful.


    "The rest of us went (and had paid) to dance. If the organisers and helpers want a closing party, have it after the formal close."

    The "party" was had by all, but if your experience was indeed so negative, please send me your bank details and I will reimburse you for the Sunday milonga.


    "You created an elite clique on half of one side of the hall and made barren the other facing side as cabaceo there was pointless."

    We had reserved seats for about 12 people or so (2 out of 16 tables), out of around 150-180, depending on which milonga we look at. How that makes one side "barren" is beyond me. And nobody stopped you from changing your seat. Friends like to sit together, so some clustering always happens.

    As for the cabeceo, not sure what exactly you mean with "there" and "pointless". Almost everyone used the cabeceo just fine. Sometimes when people don't acknowledge your cabeceo, they might not be ignorant about it, they might actually be *using* the cabeceo very consciously.
    Or maybe you mean cabeceoing the "elite" was pointless. Again, that might be true for you, but no-one has a duty to dance with anybody, and I did see many of "them" dancing quite a bit with people they didn't know. Not emitting a hostile vibe against them might help.

    If it wasn't that, I truly don't understand your particular issue there. I wish you had pointed it out to me there and then.


    "By the way I have no idea what you mean by the "whole "elitism"
    complaint", other than to assume I am not alone in this observation."

    What I am referring to is a phenomenon I've seen also in Germany, but to a much greater extent here in the UK. Some people bitterly complain about perceived elitism, and what it usually comes down to if questioned is that they resent people having reserved seating (unless it is in Buenos Aires, of course…), or some people having free entrance at a given milonga (unless…), dance better than they, and mostly "they don't dance with me, so I hate their elitist guts".

    Best wishes,
  16. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member


    Frankly I'm fed up of you taking this line. My opinion is that we would be
    far better trying to create local social scenes rather than having to travel
    the World. I wasn't dissing anyone only expressing a different view to
    the one offered by Temza who was advocating such travelling.
    You keep making this personal.
    I never compared value only that my opinion was valid
    (whether you accept it or not). This is tango not creationism and
    you seem to be claiming a greater validity for your opinion than mine.

    Oh the classic answer, if you think you can do better etc., etc.
    I'm not trying nor intending to make a living out of tango, just enjoy it.
    If my enjoying it contributes positively to the scene then well and good.

    As I've said already, the stilted style of Abrazos and presumably the other
    so-called Encuentro Milongueros festivals is not that of Buenos Aires.

    I never even mentioned any of that but you have repeatedly. I omitted
    mention of Abrazos altogether on purpose but you have repeatedly.

    You claim too much for Abrazos none of which is appropriate to comment
    about here. You don't agree with my viewpoint anyway.
    Don't blame the messenger, I didn't start this nor specify Abrazos.
    I'm not interested in long drawn out discussions that would not end
    in any sort of agreement. I've expressed my view already by not rebooking.

    I danced and that was enough. The "party" was obviously a private one
    between travelling friends and the inner circle. I left before the end and
    also it suited me to start the long return home at a sensible time.

    Friends grouping together make cliques, they were quite a few of those.
    I can't go back in time but my impression was of more than two tables.
    Perhaps your "inner clique" added to the reserved section alongside them.
    I did change my position quite a lot. Cliques don't help solo dancers.
    You do push your luck with your accusations.
    The last one is beneath contempt.
    I didn't go to have a discussion about your organisation and
    sometimes about the lack of it. Most of this has arisen as an antidote
    to excessive claims made about Abrazos and other "Festivals".

    Then don't raise it in discussion with me.
    Any bitterness seems to be emanating from your direction.
  17. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Ok, that will be the last two posts in this ongoing "discussion" between the two factions here. And, yes, thanks for acknowledging that there was a hint back there.
  18. chanchan

    chanchan Member

    You said that "the only scene that should matter is the local one" and that " It is useful, perhaps, to have some awareness of other scenes, but it's definitely an optional extra."
    There is nothing bad in it, expecially if you have no other option: you have to fit in with them, or sit out all night. I'm only suggesting you to consider the possibility that this way the dance could be more or less different.
    We could go further: every dancer has his/her own style. And you are encoureged to have your own, if you don't want to be a clone of someone else.
    Now, the question is: what are the differences that make a differece?
    I am proposing a sort of threshold, as a rule of thumb: if you don't manage to have single decent dance is such places, then it means you are dancing somehting else: a different "language", or a "dialect". Otherwise, maybe you have an "accent", but it doesn't matter so much.
  19. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Well I don't want to be a clone of anyone else, and I don't see any useful purpose in modelling my own dance by reference to anywhere else, BsAs included, as long as I fit in on the broad spectrum of what is considered normal/acceptable in the places where I dance.

    This was meant (I think) to be a light-hearted discussion, and I suggested a definition of BsAs Syndrome several days ago, which was:

    I don't suffer from it. Plenty of people seem to take pleasure in trying to infect me, but I have been immunised. If the faux-Latinos don't all want to kiss me on both cheeks, every time we meet, then at least I don't have to share their garlic-breath. Life has its compensations.
  20. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I kinda like garlic.



Share This Page