Tango Argentino > CORTANDO THE OCHO... heeelp!

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Mario7, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Well, since this didn't go away...
    I thought I had quite the course with a 6 week class!
    (I think I saw that course announcement, and thought, I already know way more than I can use!)
    One thing when you develop in learning apilado thoroughly - with both you and your partner incorporating the things JohnEm listed - is being able to "feel" or "envision" the movement of your partner's body in relation to what you do with your own; becuase you become one body.

    Good point that there is more than one way.

    Frankly, I really miss those women who were taught how to connect well enough, and step well enough, to make it possible to feel their every move.
  2. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    I believe pedagogy is the right word... and it may indeed be an entirely new topic...

    But if you go on the basis of those that purport that "Nuevo" does not mean a style, but a method of teaching. The basic idea (that I recall in classes I had with "Nuevo" teachers) is that it was broken down to the most basic idea that there are 3 steps (or positions) in tango that all others can be built from, a front cross, back cross and open step.

    The positions are based on the position of the hips of the partners and where the weight is at.

    Best explanation I can give at the moment is this. If as an exercise, my partner and I were to take a step then if we both rotated in the same direction our hips remained parallel to each other, that is a "open" step. Ie, our hips remain open. (Try this by standing in front of your partner face to face and taking a forward or side or back step then imagine or try to rotate while leaving your feet in place and see what you hip alignment is to your partner)

    Try the same thing in cross system. Your hips will not remain square to each other if you attempt to rotate, one of you will have hips that are "crossed" (you look like a pretzel) to the other. Front ochos and crosses are examples of front cross steps (hip alignment of partners are crossed) and back ochos are examples of "back crosses", the only difference being in where the weight or axis is in the step.

    The relevance to this to the OC is that a front ocho ending and cross are the same thing (topologically) in that both of them leave the follows hips crossed to her partner if she were to leave her feet in place and try to turn. The main difference in whether a well trained follow takes one option versus the other being in how the leader is using his torso.
  3. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    One of the my most memorable ideas came from my Biology 1a class: "God created the animals, and man created the phyla".

    If you get my drift...
  4. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    I agree completely and she feels the leaders body too.
    What a wonderful silent connected communication it is.

    The leader has to learn also to work out where the follower's feet are and cope with the difficulty of tracking which one is weighted or free in the crosswalk system. It's another complication but eventually it becomes more intuitive hopefully; it has for me.

    Good point that there is more than one way.

    How glad I am that we have some connected ladies here.
    There are of course far too many without tone who couldn't even begin to lean apilado style, never mind maintain it. They haven't been taught it and of course they don't try and don't want to I guess. They don't know what they are missing.

    But those ladies who can connect do know what the others are missing. The others are missing the true tango (rider - in my opinion!).
  5. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    we do have a (sometimes) extreme tendency to categorize...some find it helpful and some don't...meh...I think a little is good, too much is too much. :)

    Even though I don't dance "Nuevo" style much, I do think some of the classes had great exercises. (Or perhaps I just liked torturing my leader too much ;))

    "take 3 (or 5) steps then the follower gets to call out the next step...."

    It got increasingly harder as we moved past simple front/back/open instructions and added elements in like sacadas and ganchos and to see who could think faster, me or him...
  6. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    This is an apilado discussion and Neuvo analysis of the dance isn't relevant here. The nuevo group have a lot to answer for and even Chicho seems to be regretting some of what the group have done.

    Ok, can't resist. To me Nuevo is mechanical and remote, apilado/milonguero is art and symbiotic co-operation.

    And sticking with apilado and the OC, the rotating cross does not seem to require the partners' hips/pelvis to rotate away from facing each other.

    End of conversation for me, I'm out of here. At least for the moment.
  7. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    well- I'll say it one last time anyway...

    I'm not actually talking about Nuevo the dance style but just the concept of how movement is bodily created, and what things are essentially the same even if they look different. A "Nuevo" teaching method can be applied to any style you dance, since it is only a way of thinking of how movement happens and not a dance style.
  8. tangonuevo

    tangonuevo New Member

    OMG. A troll. How expert are you at nuevo??! If you don't dance a mile in my shoes, how the he!! can you pretend to know what is mechanical and remote and what is art and co-operation?? I know you said "to me", but it felt like a gratuitously insulting remark in any event.

    No. This is not true. This is only one of many ways to lead the cross at the end of the OC. For example, after my follow's side step onto her left foot, I could, and sometimes do, lead the cross by planting my right foot and stepping left, overstepping her fixed right foot, leading her free leg (her left) to cross over her standing right foot. I.e., entirely lateral with no rotation. This is _especially_ easy if my partner insists on leaning on me since her free leg naturally would cross in front of her standing leg. Bottom line is that, IMO, there is no one way to do any of this tango stuff.

    Okay. Sorry about the troll remark, but I do get so tired of insulting and belittling remarks made about nuevo, especially by people who don't get nuevo.
  9. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    So I'm a troll now? LoL!

    If you were/are sorry why didn't you just delete the remark before posting, or quickly afterwards even? Frankly it's quite revealing.

    The nuevo comments on this thread insist on putting nuevo methodology on a specific apilado movement that Mario is attempting to perfect with his partner. Hopefully he'll take no notice of you as it's confusion and irrelevance. All the various alternatives could occur later, hopefully out of thin air in the moment of the dance as a result of all that practising and resultant subliminal understanding.

    I stand by that comparison remark. You're all full of mechanical analysis, full of moves, too much thinking, not enough feeling. It's like a computerised version of a dance, I save all that for non-dance problems off the dance floor.

    And another thing . . . We don't even know what hold you are using? We do know that Mario is in an apilado embrace. Do you have any experience of that?

    You're right, I don't dance in your shoes but I wouldn't want to. As for my experience, well I come from many swing and jive dances over some years and ballroom. Always loathed ballroom tango.
    I started argentine tango with modern/nuevo/fantasia for a year or more before realising it wasn't really for me although I kept going alongside salon style for another year or or more in order to keep a dance partner happy. You may as well be learning two separate dances, well they are really. So have I enough credentials for you?

    Its ok, you get Nuevo though I'm not sure what it is you can get. Perhaps it's the opportunity to show off and block the floor mixed up with flying around bullying everyone else off the floor. Oh, I'm sorry about that, but not sorry enough to delete it!
  10. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Black Knight: Oh, oh, I see, running away then. You yellow bastard! Come back here and take what's coming to you. I'll bite your legs off! ;)

    in close embrace, the OC movement if from the leaders right to left, around a shifting axis
    (It is a shifting axis otherwise it would be a giro). For the woman to execute an ocho or to step to her right across in front of her she has to twist her hips in the direction she's going.
    Once she feels and commite herself to stepping in that direction the leader then moves his axis so that her feet come together into the cross. I think that what is meant by crossed hips
  11. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    First a troll, now a Yellow Bastard!!!!
    Good job I can take it!

    You know it's surprising how many ways people are taught or learn
    for what is basically a simple dance which has evolved into something more complicated.

    Have you ever learned a standing cross? It's done in-line and there is no individual twist of the hips. Many ladies misinterpret that, takeover & twist away into a forward ocho. The cross lead is very subtle, a lift signal for the collect and gentle small standing rotation together first clockwise lifting and then anti-clock maintaining the lift and a putting down into the cross. The lady feels the lead of her free leg to move across the foot into the cross. I know, I've felt it but it needs good technique from both partners - you know by now, tone, posture, hanging free leg etc. The hips don't move apart and maintaining the connection is vital.

    The rotating lead into the (in-line) cross doesn't rotate the hips away from the partner at all either. Chest and hips stay facing each other while rotating as is the case in a rotating sidestep and the rotating collect into the cross in the OC. It's all quite distinct from a forward ocho which is almost defined by the necessary hip twist for the lady to one side of her partner.

    I think we're thrashing this one to death!
  12. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Good grief, where'd all these posts come from?? It's like waiting for a bus in this place...

    I'm going to also have to disagree with you.

    For me, the benefits of muscle memory from learning only patterns are mainly focussed on the patterns. If you only learn and work on patterns, then you get very good at patterns. Unfortunately Tango has nothing to do with patterns.

    Welll.... personally I think that the only thing you need to do is say "It's OK to cross your legs, and occasionally you may be led to do so - in that case, follow the lead".

    I don't think you need to spend hours simply getting used to the 8CB simply to get used to the feeling of being led into a cross. And if you do, then you'll only learn to cross as part of that pattern, not as a discrete step.

    As I understand it, it doesn't matter where the leader steps - in any style. What matters is where his chest is going. A nice exercise for leaders is to dissociate the lead totally (mainly by relaxing the embrace and keeping the chest focussed on the follower), and walk around a bit whilst keeping the follower in place, and then re-establish the lead and do the same walking around, but with the follower following the movements.
  13. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Sounds like a good plan. I have a large pool of non-Tango dancers, with whom I regularly dance tango, so I'll try that on a few of them this week. :D
  14. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    The exercise seems an interesting one. Also try leading without physical connection, leading from the chest with the follower focussing her eyes on your chest and keeping hers completely in front of yours. Quite demanding!

    But as the 8CBwDB is taught, and I learned it too, people (both partners) learn a pattern. It's made worse by a V-shape, connected on the closed side, open on the open side! Both looking at the hands exaggerates it which is what I first learned. In that pose, with the lady sort walking diagonally, I can understand how she feels the need to cross once the man has stepped outside as she's probably quite awkwardly skewed and wants to return to a more comfortable position.

    Alberto Paz even writes about this and he and Valerie don't look at their hands so the angle isn't as great. It's another reason for not learning the Basic8/8CB. And I don't think that the lady looking to the right establishes a good, comfortable connected embrace.

    So we are in agreement, ladies should only cross when lead and not by rote or by learned pattern! If in doubt, just walk!
  15. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    On the other hand, some of us accept that their are different opinions/philosophies on things like the cross, and try to accommodate as many different possibilities as best we can (rather than insisting that the way some teacher taught me is the one and only truth).
  16. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Excuse me, I'd never ever indicated otherwise. In fact the more classes you attend the more you realise there's no end to the variations. And I've seen teachers teach three different cross leads in three consecutive terms, each as the way. You have to find your own way.

    I've given earlier three different ways of leading the cross
    and even pointed out that the lead has to change if your partner
    doesn't respond. There are ladies I dance with who cannot feel the
    gentle rotating lead at all and you have to adapt the lead accordingly.
    They also cannot feel the ending of the OC.

    However watching both teachers and milonguero videos there's little doubt that the most consistently favoured lead in the embrace is a gentle but definite rotating one. It fits in with the whole feel of the dance and the concept of the free leg. But you must do what you feel is appropriate to you. This thread is about help for the OC and that clearly entails a rotating lead.
  17. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    OK, I guess I misunderstood your prior post that I quoted. It didn't sound like there was any flexibility (or accepting of other opinions) in what you said. My error. Here it is again.

  18. tangonuevo

    tangonuevo New Member

    Demonization works. One of history's many lessons. You literally have no clue about my dancing, how I'm feeling or how my partner is feeling, yet you are willing to make such blanket remarks about "you're all blah blah".
    Actually, I suspect that most on this board know that I have spent an exceedingly large amount of time taking privates with one of the best of the close embrace dancers in the US, one who his been, and continues to be, an invited teacher at the biggest of the close embrace festivals in the US, for example the Denver festival. I have also put in well over 1000 hours (easy arithmetic) dancing close embrace.

    With respect to neuvo, certainly another 1000 hours on the floor and lessons from the famous and the not so famous.

    BTW, I also teach and dance swing (Lindy hop) have competed successfully on a national level (3rd place in a US national championship) and have had one of the couples I taught take first place in a US national championship.

  19. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    No problem.

    Actually that quote was about following, not leading the cross!
  20. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, and there are different opinions on whether the cross is led, or is automatic.

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