Tango Argentino > Crossing over from ballroom to Tango

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by twnkltoz, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    Not saying it's wrong, but there is a good sized camp (perhaps equally sized) that has it at the ribcage rather than the hip.
    I agree with Dave Bailey that it is important in all dance forms, though it is probably safer to make assumptions in ballroom. I still find it incredibly beneficial in ballroom to be able to sense which foot my follower is on. And I also think the reverse is just as beneficial (the follower knowing which foot the leader is on). As well as to be on one foot while placing the follower on the other (I confess that my capability in "cross-system" is thanks mainly to some (sadly) limited encounters with AT ;)). BTW, in my experience, there can be a decent bit of cross-system in the American smooth ballroom dances (perhaps more than in International standard).
    I think NZ_Guy is referring to a lack of body flight and swing in Argentine tango. I don't know AT well enough to say for sure, but if you can take just about any step in any direction at any time, it's a good sign that there is no body flight/swing. Ballroom tango lacks body flight/swing and therefore has a great deal of flexibility as to direction/timing, unlike waltz, foxtrot, and quickstep. :)
  2. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    I thought the El Choclo thread was a great idea. I'd been meaning to start a similar thread in the Ballroom forum, but it did later occur to me that it might tend to be of use mainly to leaders.
    I agree.

    In ballroom at least, it seems to me that the leader's musicality is more on the macro-scale (what movement next?) and the follower's musicality is more on the micro-scale (The leader has indicated this movement. How am I going to shape/inflect that movement? What sorts of nuances will I add?). For example, for a musical highlight, I might lead a certain movement. Perhaps I might suggest an accent, but ultimately, unless I chose to force the issue, my follower could very well decide to interpret it as tenuto instead.

    I think it comes down to the foreknowledge/preplanning often (not always!) associated with the leader's role. Ideally, leader's would also dance with the same sort of in-the-moment musicality on the fly as do followers, but I think some of the leader's responsibilities can make being in-the-moment more difficult (floorcraft, for example). I've done it on some occasions in ballroom tango, but only once in quickstep. Not surprisingly in the quickstep case, I was using very simple ideas (though not so simple timing).

    I think for that sort of music structural analysis to be more applicable to followers, the followers would have to take on more of the macro-scale musicality. They would actually assume leading - where to go, when to go. The west coast swing community seems to do this to a decent degree - exchanging the "lead", hijacking. I've never heard of it being done in ballroom (in my limited experience), though I'm fairly certain that the capability is there.

    These are my thoughts as a ballroom leader and sometime follower. I am unfamiliar with the leader and follower roles in Argentine tango. :)
  3. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    ... leader of ladies, I am that too! :)
  4. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    We have a small training group of four people; two lady followers, one male leader and me. We leaders provide nearly all the resources; cameras, projectors, music, training plan, training studio hours and so on. We two leaders are quite equal there. Followers make sandwiches and clean after the coffe. They feel that the sandwiches is their part of the resources and during they clean we leaders prepare technique for the next training session.

    When asked what we should work on both ladies say: Everything!
    Leaders: Have a list or some videos as suggestions.

    I tried to share the work by asking my follower to film the course summary from another angle but she forgot her camera, the battery was empty or the memory card full. Now I speak to another leader to get a copy!

    In the beginning I was quite upset and disturbed about all this, especially about the cleaning part. Today I just put up some pressure on the ladies to break down their Everything! to workable sections.
  5. Nathan

    Nathan Member

    Well, at least in tango, musicality is always subordinate to floorcraft (i.e. the choices of how to express the music are limited to the options which do not impinge on the space and comfort of other couples). Since floor dynamics are often too unpredictable to plan any further than a moment or two ahead, as difficult as it might be, in-the-moment musicality is more of a requirement than a luxury. A leader who tries to plan too far in advance frequently earns a bad reputation from all the collisions he (or she!) ends up causing. :)
  6. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    My view is : that there can be but more so in vals than tango and often proscribed by how crowded the floor is. Does this fall into body flight?

  7. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    No, not in the sense understood in the BR swing dances (Ft, Qs & Wz). The faster speed of vals & milonga will often create more momentum in movement, but the way in which each step is still 'separate' both creates the opportunity to pivot and move in a new direction at any time, and also precludes the creation of 'flight' as conventionally understood.
  8. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    I don't think I was quite clear. :) What I mean by in-the-moment is a total lack of planning; perhaps an absence of conscious thought. To me, if the leader so much as thinks, "I will step forward now," even just a nanosecond before he does so, then he is no longer in-the-moment. If he thinks, "Musical accent, boleo," then he is no longer in-the-moment. The difficulty of floorcraft is that a leader thinks something like, "There is a couple directly in front of me and another to my left, so I will have to go in one of these directions instead," and then he is no longer in-the-moment. In my opinion, for a leader to be in-the-moment in the same sense as a follower requires (among others?) either a practically empty floor or reflexive floorcraft - where there are automatic or instinctual reactions when a hindering couple is sensed, not seen. Then the leader is free/safe to be in-the-moment with the music, going only by feel and instinct; no need for conscious thought of where other dancers are in the room. :)
  9. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I'm sure what you say is possible and probable, after all that's what martial artists do.
  10. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry. I don't think I quite understand what you're saying. Are you agreeing, disagreeing, or making a new point? :)
  11. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    There is an entire portion of D-F that deals with all of that. You can always spend time reading things in that subforum to learn.
  12. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Too lazy to go back and find quotes, so...

    For my part, as a follower, I don't give a much of a fig about AT history or music analysis. Shrug. I've never been a fan of history. Period. And AT is no different. I'm sure some people like it and find it useful, but it's hard to convey just how much I really don't care.

    As for the music analysis...I don't find it useful when I dance at all. Part of it is having to be in the moment--which is hard enough for me to begin with, much less if I'm trying to fit conscious analysis into the picture. Also, I grew up with music (and basic analysis) and married a musician, and my ear is damn good. I can certainly pick out what I need to pick out, even if I don't realize there are things like inversions and mirrors and other technical musical stuff going on. I can most certainly FEEL the music, and feel when endings and breaks are coming. I know how to listen to it. Put it all together, and I just don't feel the need or desire to analyze the music in depth. Particularly not here.

    Listening to, and letting the music inform and drive my dancing was a part of my instruction from day one. Literally. Very, very literally. T'was helpful.
  13. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I think musical analysis is an offf the dancfloor activity ; the bit of my dances is right brain and the analyctical part is left brain.

    feeling is a better way...
  14. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    Yes, I got that too. Your name is very well chosen - covers all possibilities!
  15. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    I posted this in the El Choclo thread. Sums up my views about analysis. Don't think I need to change anything. (well maybe that "tango bliss" bit...):

  16. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    I like what you are saying and agree, but that is a very high bar to set. I think it's possible to achieve sometimes. Seems more of a goal, an ideal, than a state a leader can maintain throughout a song or tanda, given the average crowded milonga dance floor. There will always be someone who moves unexpectedly into your space from your blind spots, even sometimes making contact. I'm not sure that can be "sensed". "A practically empty" floor would certainly make a difference.
  17. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    As part of my "Yoda" tango trainin, i see how long I can dance with my eyes shut before i bump into someone.....;)

    gotta feel the Force....
  18. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    Where can I sign up?
  19. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Well, of course. As the law goes, 90% of everything is crud.
  20. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I would think that floorcraft would REQUIRE being in the moment, not the reverse. Perhaps ballroom dancers are more predictable on the social dance floor than AT dancers and therefore planning ahead to accomodate floorcraft might work. But planning ahead in AT often results in a last minute change of plan anyway... ie: in the moment.

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