Tango Argentino > Close embrace

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Shaka, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. Madahlia

    Madahlia Member

    I was told to do exactly that recently by some teachers who have spent a lot of time in BsAs. Cross your legs to get through the ochos in close embrace - could anyone else comment on the rights and wrongs of this?

    Should we dance for how it feels from within or for how it looks from without? Both are important to me.
  2. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Oooh, I have knowledge :)

    Yes - ochos milonguero. Basically it allows you to do these movements without compromising the connection with the partner. I did these in a private with Guadalupe Garcia a few months back. They're real buggers to lead though; but they look gorgeous when done right.

    It makes sense, when you think about it - movements in close are typically smaller anyway, as you're in a smaller "circle", and it's physically impossible to both pivot completely and still keep the contact in a close embrace.

    But the danger is that you then do these as a lazy alternative to pivotting, even in open embrace - as demonstrated on a typical Ceroc floor :)

    I dunno, I'm still trying to work out how not to "obtrude my unsightliness". (that'll be too much Christmas cake I reckon).
  3. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    There are two distinct styles/types of ochos--crossing/"crossed back" and pivoting/dissociating. Crossed-back ochos have no pivot and no dissociation. They are typically used in the apilado/milonguero/whatever-you-want-to-call-it style. The other type is a pivoting ocho, more commonly found in salon/v-embrace or open embrace. Both are valid types, which can be beautiful and graceful and elegant. Neither is more correct than the other, neither is right or wrong, neither is better technique than the other. They are two separate, yet equally valid, versions.
  4. Madahlia

    Madahlia Member

    Knowledge is power, Dave.

    Ah. A 5 minute demo followed by stumbling through 20 mins of clueless "practice" will hardly cut the mustard then.

    I can grasp the geometry of the idea, but I can't stand it when I feel I'm being forced into lazy technique.

    Me too. Dear Lord, let me not obtrude mine unsightliness before the magnificence of thy tango face. Oh, the poetry.
  5. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    took the words right out of my mouth

    I watched the salon dancing in the Tango Lesson and could see that most ladies were dancing like this. I called them 'fat old lady ochos', but they are done by slim young ladies too, and the elegance comes from how the dancers move.
    They do result in a smaller step unless one is in a V embrace....
  6. Madahlia

    Madahlia Member

    Thanks Peaches. Will I be penalised for picking the easier one that I already (more or less) know how to do? I love pivotting!
  7. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Well, if the leader leads a pivot, then you pivot. If he doesn't, then you don't. If you pivot just because you like to, regardless of if it's been lead or not, the amount of penalization is up to the leader. YMMV.
  8. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I find I rarely end up doing them in a v-/salon embrace. I guess the step is somewhat smaller, but big(er) ones can look gorgeous--especially if the dancers legs are all kinds of parallel and stuff. It's just very striking. And they feel awesome--all kinds of wonderful, gentle stretching going on. it feels so good just to lengthen your body like that.

    I would also like to point out, given the discussion of "lazy" dancing/lack of technique (which isn't...learn more), that along with the concept of two distinct types of ochos, there are two distinct types of giros/molinetes: pivoting ones, and non-pivoting ones. Again, it's the same sort of scenario. One uses a lot of dissociation to pivot on each step, the other does not. Both valid, both good technique, neither is lazy.

    Well, I've spent a lot of time in private lessons learning and working on these distinctions. I'm not a pro, and I haven't been dancing for a lifetime. (Yet!) But I have what I consider to be a very good foundation, and more than enough to understand the execute the different types. Perhaps that will cut the mustard.

    And it's not lazy technique.
  9. Madahlia

    Madahlia Member

    No, no, I don't mean pick it on the dance floor, I mean pick it in the forum sense of condemning those who hold even a moderately opposing view on the subject of CE/OE to burn in everlasting tango fire.
  10. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    This is dancing, not doctrine. And it's a dance floor, not a a church. So...meh.

    (Besides, I'm an atheist! :))
  11. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Nicely put - that's more or less what I was trying to say.

    Yes, crossed-back ochos are easiest to do in apilado. You also see them after a volcada, those little travelling-forwards ocho movements.
  12. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Well, I found them tricky, we spent about 30 minutes on them, and I didn't get to the point where I could lead them comfortably. But then possibly I'm not of the required standard as the beginners' class in Solihull :)

    After discussions at the Tango Practice Group, we tentatively reached the conclusion that they only work well in apilado embrace.
  13. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Blimey, did you get a poetry book for Xmas? :p
  14. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Some of us have different preferences. I love it when a women knows how to do a real close embrace. I'm hoping to get back to BsAs sometime this year.

    FWIW, I'm not trying to say there is anything wrong with what you like. Just that a lot of us like different things, and some of us like multiple things (more than one style).
  15. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    And I appreciate the open minded attitude you have about tango.

  16. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Or come down my way and ask me to dance! It seems rare that I find a man who can/will dance with shared weight, and who will give back all of the pressure/energy I want to put into the embrace.
  17. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I'm going!!!
  18. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Rather than lazy, I consider it to be merely different than the larger, pivoting ocho of a more open embrace.

    Learning to "drop" the moving leg/foot behind the weighted leg to make the "milonguero ocho" work, and feel "right" is not so easy.

    As I wrote earlier, it is extremely helpful to learn from someone who knows this style.
  19. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I THINK wer're still on "milonguero ochos".
    To "lead" them well requires that you feel your partner's body nearly as well as your own. It's NOT something you can do on your own. It's the result of an intense physical connection between the two bodies, and BOTH parnters have to co operate to make it happen.
    When it DOES happen, you can actually feel your partner's leg moving behind her as if it's connected to your chest.
  20. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Are you speaking of leading them?

    Because as a follower, I don't find them to be easier or harder in apilado. They are what they are. They are easier or harder depending on physical factors like flexibility in the hips and size of the thighs relative to the length of the leg.

    In my experience however, crossed back ochos as a non-molinete sequence (ie: a series of back ochos) are almost always led as traveling ochos. (I'll admit that my experience is limited to 3 or 4 leaders who do milonguero) If you lead them in a way that travels, the follower will figure out rather quickly that she can't pivot much and still travel linearly backwards. Doing them in place will confuse pretty much any follower who who never learned this style as an option and insists on "doing an ocho" on her own rather than following your lead. (Traveling them also eliminates flexibility and leg size as issues)

    Getting the back ocho around in a molinete is the hardest part of this style. Its easier for the follower to let it land behind her rather than actually crossing it much. Then the follower tries to get back on track by fixing it with the side step.Often she then finds she doesn't have room for her leg to pass through for the front ocho (cross).

    This may be why you find them easier in apilado. If the sequence is back, side, front and the follower doesn't get her back ocho around far enough, her lean on you will increase because she lands on a foot that is now too far away. If you were already in apilado, this won't cause as many problems as it does if you weren't expecting her to be leaning on you. When she "fixes" it in the side step and doesn't leave herself room to get her leg through for the front cross, that too will be more awkward without the separation of the feet that often comes from apilado. And all of this changing of her position to you will feel awkward.

    Basically though, all that is because the follower is doing what would be the "lazy" version of crossing ochos and needs to refine HER technique. If anything, it is the side step in the back, side, front sequence that should cheat back a slight amount to allow room for the foot to come through for the front ocho/cross. However, contrary to BTM's insistence on calling these "fat old lady ochos", followers with short large legs will find it much harder to solve this because of the difficulty in getting the leg crossed enough in the back step.

    And as for leading ochos this way, I'm not in agreement that it is harder because the lead isn't all that different. It is harder to get these ochos as a result if you have a follower who doesn't realize that this style is an option and tries to break away from you to pivot. You can't MAKE her stop pivoting except with an iron grip on her torso. It IS harder if one is accustomed to leading ochos with their arms. (yeah... it is easier to lead with the arms, but that's comparing apples and oranges, since it's not correct to lead ochos with the arms regardless of the embrace)

    I have found it's much easier to lead milonguero ochos to someone who hasn't learned ochos yet than to someone who has spent a long time doing pivoting ochos exclusively. Therefore, the problem isn't in the difficulty of the lead, it's in the habits and anticipations of the follower.

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