Tango Argentino > Videos > Butt wiggling and flashy footwork are not tango

Discussion in 'Videos' started by jantango, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    I disagree. Can you explain why you think this?

    THIS I agree with. The fantasy of a misogynistic world, the fantasy of 'there are no steps and I never do or learn patterns', the fantasy of a dance that somehow is a lifestyle choice..
  2. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    Have you ever attended a ballet class? Sometimes, there is an accompanist playing music in strict time; a glorified metronome. Dancers are doing exercises to this metronome, dulling their sense of hearing. At competitions, you see that these dancers have trained very, very hard. They have great technique and form, but these alone are just movements. Dancing requires being with the music, something very few are good at. These few become the principle dancers of major dance companies. The rest audition for So You Think You Can Dance? E.g.
  3. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    i'm not clear who or what statement you are disagreeing with..

    (so to be on the safe side I'll take an opposing view to yours ;) )
  4. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    LKSO said:
    This is what classical training emphasizes: great technique and form while neglecting what really matters.​
    I disagree. Can you explain why you think this?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2017
  5. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    thanks for that clarification..
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2017
    Yogur griego likes this.
  6. Yogur griego

    Yogur griego Member

    I'd say that technique and posture are something most general tango dancers have a lack of. I have always forced myself to focus on these things, because they haven't come so naturally but through hard work and concentration. Musicality and emotion are aspects I just grew into because of my affinity with these things. I can't express in just a few words on a forum how much frustration I had to go through when it comes to the technical aspects, but perseverance is required to really learn how to be elegant, walk beautifully, have technical details in mind, playing the masculine role in the dance well (I don't mean acting, but more the necessary upright, determined kind of macho posture), etc.
    dchester and bordertangoman like this.
  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I note in another thread that JohnEm is back in Buenos Aires. Jantango moved there permanently, as have others. For most of us it's a fantasy, but for some, it IS a life style.

    I was very disappointed when I saw "Movin' Out," a musical set to the music of Billy Joel with Choreography by Twyla Tharp. I really didn't see the music, while I DID see lots of sophisticated movement.

    That said, the one tango show I saw (Tango X?) with dancers and musicians from Argentina (whre else?) had both technique and great connection to the music.

    I get what LKSO is writing about, because most of the dance teachers I know don't seem aware of the music. Of course non of them have any formal training that I know of, but the ones that DO teach to the music are, for the most part, musicians. Hmmm...
  8. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    The eight-step basic doesn't exist in the milongas of BsAs, only in classes where step memorization is required and improvisation in the moment is never mentioned. It doesn't work on a crowded floor, but then the tango performers who teach it never attend milongas to know better.

    Someone dancing the 8-step basic probably just arrived in BsAs for their first visit, believing they were ready to dance at a milonga.

    This may come as a surprise, but the step sequences do not have to fit the phrase of music in social tango. Dancers don't THINK tango, they FEEL it.
  9. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    One step sequence that we were taught was walking and turning at the same time. Our teacher said he saw many milongueros in BA during the 90's do this step so often that he watched them, learned it, and then taught it. There are many things wrong with because anyone who understood the music will understand why you walk and turn at the same time; it's the natural thing to do! But because he took lessons in classes during the 90's, he learned that tango was about steps and fancy footwork.

    He was a tango performer then and he was in fact very, very good, but he doesn't know the difference between stage tango and social tango. He said that he tried a lot of these steps in the milongas and he had a difficult time getting his dance partners to follow them. He said that eventually he could lead them (not all of them), but it required so much practice to get it right. He did say something that was very telling: the followers need to have learned the steps in order to be led them or, you can lead this step without the follower having learned it.
    jantango likes this.
  10. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Keep beating on that straw man. Teach it a lesson! I want to see hay before this is over!
  11. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I didn't claim otherwise, did I?

    I don't care, either: I'm not a tango tourist, and I couldn't care less how a relatively tiny number of people in just a few central milongas in BsAs prefer to express themselves through dance. I know enough of the history and current fashions in tango to know that in its 'home city' it is a hugely commercialised activity, predicated on making lots of money for lots of people, and that it is danced in every conceivable style (and I know for certain, because of the prevailing strand of faux authenticity that afflicts my own city, that the one true tango is to be found at Club Sunderland, and that Javier Rodriguez is a living God). You lot just shuffle about. You can't help it, because the venues you dance in are so small and crowded, that there isn't even room for a nice Enrosque and Lapiz... (You get the idea ;)).

    It took me just one week, right at the start of my tango journey, to work out that the Basic Eight was not, shall we say, at the heart of the dance. It took me nearly another five minutes to see, though, that it was widely used as a teaching tool and that while opinions are sharply divided over its value, it introduces several frequently danced tango actions, brought together in a neat package, that is immediately accessible to anyone who tries it.

    I don't use it as the basis for my own teaching: I value the freedoms of improvisatory movement far too highly, but I do use it occasionally in certain exercises and only then because it is useful.

    Having no interest in step sequences, I wouldn't know. But if you want to feel your way around the dance floor without regard to the phrasing of the music, your very unlikely to be invited to dance by me.
  12. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    the important thing is not the music, but looking good. Why do so many photos get taken of dancers dancing tango, as opposed to other dances, because of the image. A camera comes out, and ladies put on their look of sublime bliss, men resort to the hard face...;)

    Its takes a lot of hard work to ignore the music, as most people can't help stepping on the beat, and if a half beat comes along, as like as not they'll dance to that too. it takes a while for students to ignore the music, except for the ending of course. it wouldn't look good to be dancing when there isn't any music, and it has been known. ;)
    pygmalion likes this.
  13. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    If most dancers lack technique and posture it's simply because they've never learned to carry themselves with good posture until they started tango. It's a big change for them. Technique comes when you feel the music inside your body, not by thinking about it.

    If you had started early in life with dance, you probably would not have been frustrated about technique. You would have practiced and enjoyed it without any pressure. Adults expect their bodies to do something immediately they haven't done before and don't understand when they can't. Some try to look like their teachers and never stop taking classes for that reason.

    All the tango exhibitions on YouTube and at festivals are giving the wrong impression about tango. Even the so-called "salon dancers" are performing choreographies that were set to a specific tango. Learning sequences for social dancing is doomed from the start. It is a waste of everyone's time and money. I remember how Ricardo Vidort told his students after eight classes that they had all they needed to find their own tango within. The music tells you what to do on the dance floor. A teacher isn't around to do it. So you must find your own tango and then dance it. Don't worry about the technique. Feeling the music is why we dance.
  14. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    Generalizing again.

    No matter what you did or did not before tango you have to adapt it to dancing tango.
    It's possible to learn a bit of technique during the classes that is milonga acceptible and start dancing.
    Every person dances differently and if the embrace is changed that adds extra effort to dance fluently.
    Oops. I didn't mention height difference.

    Tango is not science but it takes time to easily adapt to every person we are dancing with.

    So Ricardo Vidort is some ultimate authority in AT world?
    Dancing comes when you don't think about the music and the technique anymore.
    Until then we are struggling with ourselves.

    It seems that only true impression of tango is yours.
    As a leader I can say that I have learned sequences if I were nitpicking when I dance with my partner and
    I adjust them according to the dance podium, the partner and the music.

    We have sequences in everything do in life, but mostly we are not aware of them.
    Automatism in some areas give us opportunity we can focus what's important in that moment.

    Do you have experience in leading a partner in Tango?
    I wonder how would you lead in crowded milonga without using any sequence.
    Even a walking is a sequence. :)
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  15. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    I had never met 8-step basic until I opened the internet. ;)
    I was taught AT by the aliens. :cool:

    It seems that you have supernatural powers if you know all the performers who teach the 8-step basic.
    I don't know any of them.

    AFAIK 8-step basic in as dead as the dinosaurs.
  16. Steven123

    Steven123 Member

    Yeah. The first time I was ever in a tango class, I thought I had entered some new age church service. I took somebody speaking another language to kind of show some me simple helpful pointers about my walk.
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  17. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    jonestown..part deux
  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Don't drink the koolaid! :D
  19. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Don't drink the maté.
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Or the Malbec, apparently. ;)

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