Tango Argentino > Canyengue? Chacarera? Zamba?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Lois Donnay, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. Lois Donnay

    Lois Donnay Member

    Have you taken classes in these dance forms from Argentina? Have you avoided those classes that included them? Why or why not?
    When in BA, do you dance these dances?
  2. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    And why do you ask?

    Keeping it brief:
    To partner two different women who wanted to attend on two different
    occasions, I went to the same Canyengue class. Although I can dance it
    to an extent, I'm not keen and nor was I on the teaching of an 8 beat pattern
    including backsteps when the dance never had such a construct. Canyengue
    was an outdoor dance where space was not a constriction.
    I think it is inappropriate on a busy milonga floor even though certain
    Argentines seem promote it for their teaching ends.

    Chacarera I learnt from Janis on my first stay in Buenos Aires.
    It was politicised and standardised in the early 50s as a way
    of promoting nationhood so most Argentines learnt it at school
    which I believe is why many dance it.
    I have only danced it occasionally.

    Zamba is definitely folkloric only and less Argentines seem to dance it.
    Go to Mataderos to see that on a Sunday or other folklore events.
  3. Lois Donnay

    Lois Donnay Member

    Thanks. I ask it, because Canyengue music is played in BA milongas, and men dance it. When I follow it with a little knowledge of the music and style, they are so delighted I don't sit down the rest of the night. I think it shows that I am serious about all aspects of tango. Chacarera is fun, and also shows interest in tango as a little more than just another ballroom dance. Zamba has an attitude to it that I would like to see more of in tango, especially followers.
  4. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I took lessons in Chacarera in BA and love it, although any attempt to include it in events around here inevitably fails.

    I've not seen Cayengue as a specific dance although occasionally I think a piece of C. music gets played as part of milonga set. But I could be wrong. I'm a little fuzzy on Condombe vs Canyengue (musically).

    However, I've also read that Canyengue is also called Orillero. Omar Vega was starting to teach Orillero towards the end of his life in an attempt to popularize and/or revive the dance form. So if they are the same thing, I am familiar with Canyengue as a dance after all from taking his workshops in it. I believe his website he started around that time was centered around it.

    I've never heard of Zamba before, although I remember hearing about how an organizer in CA brought Orlando Farias in and wanted him to teach something that sounded like Zumba instead of Tango. Maybe it was Zamba? I had assumed it was Kizomba that the person telling me this was talking about because it was becoming the latest "thing" at the time, but it makes more sense that it would have been Zamba (now that I've googled it)
  5. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Well, maybe the music is canyengue, maybe not (some Argentines
    certainly claim it to be) but canyengue predates recordings and
    all the music I've heard to be claimed by my Argentine partners
    to be canyengue are actually labelled (and are) tangos. Often
    they are mid-twenties to mid-thirties Canaro and before this time
    canyengue (music and dance) had already evolved into tango.

    You can obviously dance canyengue style to such music although
    no-one can be sure if the re-creation by a very limited number of people
    from vague recollections of what their father (or grandfather?) danced
    is actually accurate. Now I'm not so bothered about that, the dance style
    today is what it is, only about some making claims to authenticity with
    undue certainty.
    It's a flirtation dance with no connection to tango (music or dance)
    and much more to do with contradanza from Europe.
    And there we disagree. That attitude would totally wreck the dance
    of feeling and connection (to each other and the music).
  6. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    It seems you may indeed be a little confused.
    Candombe is in at least one milonga, I'm not aware of canyengue
    being mentioned except in passing though which is a much slower style.
    Candombe is reputed to be more popular still in Uruguay
    and certainly once or twice a year some candombe bands
    cross Rio del Plata and play in a festival in San Telmo
    on a Sunday afternoon.
    Well here he is dancing on the bank of Seine in 1995

    I've danced there, step off the edge and you're in the river!
    He doesn't look likely to be a canyengue dancer.

    Here is what is often claimed to be canyengue

    but they are bit lacking in raw earthiness for a street dance
    which probably had strong links to African roots.
  7. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I wasn't talking about hearing it in milonga sets in Argentina, but in places I frequent here in the States.
  8. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

  9. Weird Sister

    Weird Sister Guest

    Could you please explain what you mean? :)
  10. Weird Sister

    Weird Sister Guest

    Could you please explain too please? :)
  11. tangobro

    tangobro Active Member

    I've taken classes on Canyengue with a teacher from the USA who had studied with Martha Anton & El Gallego. I was interested because I wanted to broaden my awareness of the roots of AT. I do not try bring what I learned about Canyengue to the milonga, and have declined requests by women who ask me to dance Canyengue style with them. I have not been to BA.

    I have taken classes in Chacarera. At least one (monthly) milonga here regularly does a Chacarera set at 2 a.m., some others do it occasionally. Why? Because it is SO fun!

    I have only seen Zamba danced in a few performances, including one by Orlando Farias.
  12. Lois Donnay

    Lois Donnay Member

    Zamba has a beautiful posture, and the follower knows what she is worth and the man knows it, too. He "courts" her in a positive way. Some of the men here wrote on a blog that the "macho" nature of tango, and Argentina, where women aren't as strong as the US, is why the man is the Leader in tango. It has been my experience that women in BA are stronger and get more respect than the women here in the US.
  13. Lois Donnay

    Lois Donnay Member

    The reason I am asking is that I am teaching workshops in these classes, and am surprised that there are not more people interested in them. I think it is so important to learn about these to hear and understand the music and culture.
  14. tangobro

    tangobro Active Member

    In my area "Candombe" is used as a shorthand to refer to what the Argentines sometimes call "Milonga Candombeada" a milonga with a Candombe rhythm, and the style of dance that accompanies it. Examples are
    Juan Carlos Cáceres - Tango Negro, Cuntango, Cachumbambe, etc.. Also Alberto Castillo has done popular "Candombe" tunes. The actual Candombe is an Afro-Uruguayan drum rhythm and dance.

    In workshops that I took with Omar Vega he included some of what he called orillero elements in dancing milonga. It was different from what I learned about the dancing style of canyengue, although "orillero" (one from the orillas - or outskirts) would include dancers of canyengue, so maybe there is a linguistic overlap.

    Orlando Farias dances Zamba.
  15. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I remember that performance (I'm actually visible in the audience on this video)

    I took several workshops with Omar over the years, including one that was all Orillero and also had the enormous pleasure of dancing (socially) with him. I will never forget it.

    Tango Negra and Toca Tango are the 2 I was thinking of when I posted that I thought Condombe got played as milonga sets frequently.
  16. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    When in BsAs I took a Chacarera private and enjoyed it. Where I live, it's not danced at all, I may have seen it once or twice in more than ten years.
  17. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    I studied both zamba and chacarera (and a slew of other folk dances whose names i have forgotten - i will have to dig up my notes - one of my favourites was escondido (another of these flirtation dances with the added wrinkle that she is not even going to look at you (but you are not going to pay attention to her either, so its fair *laugh*)), and i think the attitude they teach is really helpful for tango, but then what i perceive to be the attitude of these patterned dances to be is:
    - it does not matter how you get where you need to be, and what stuff you are throwing in for fun, as long as you are there when your partner needs you
    - dance for your partner and the music
    - trust your partner - she knows as well as you when the phrase ends and where you expect her to be

    All things that i sorely miss in a lot of tango dancers - they don't trust the music, they don't trust their partner, they don't trust themselves, making tango a somewhat stiff experience.

    There is one thing to be said for argentinean folkdances: knowing them is a fast track to meeting people at milongas in BA (thought it is really difficult to get a partner for zamba - it is not played at very many places, and even where it is played the dj will most often do chacarera instead). Though for that purpose chacarera is probably enough. It is important to find a teacher who knows how to play with the form though - the secret to good chacarera is improvising but never quite break the form, and play with your partners expectations a bit. And flirt shamelessly *laugh*

    I leaned some different "canyuenges" from different people, but more as a side interest - nobody agrees on what canyuenge really was, and at milongas dancing rhythmic tango/milonga tends to work better.
    Zoopsia59 likes this.

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