Tango Argentino > dancing milonguero style

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by aaah, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. aaah

    aaah Member

    when you view the masters dancing (tango chaos chap 5) they seem to just move their feet to the music and the follows do as well - it looks like just stepping to the side alot and revolving with great technique and musicality of course (frame, connection, walk etc)
    with very few patterns it seems

    yet when you view a dvd like christe cote it is alot of patterns - instructors teach complicated steps

    where do they meet?
    chipi3 likes this.
  2. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Avoiding detail, what you are seeing is the result of what they are doing
    and that is moving the embraced bodies together to the music. The steps follow
    the bodies, both woman (whose free leg starts to move before the man's) and man.

    Bluntly, the dances don't much except at the music and even then
    the dancers & teachers have very different ideas what amounts to
    the musicality of their respective dances. Pattern instructors and dancers
    imply it is marking phrases, highs, lows and breaks in the music often
    by means of predetermined and timed choreographed components.
    To your milonguero (for the lack of a better name) dancers it means
    dancing the music step by step to the music with no preconceptions
    other than what is possible by two bodies dancing in an embrace.

    You may guess that the dances themselves feel very different.
    jantango likes this.
  3. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I'll admit that I don't know anything about Christy Cote's videos, but I will say that she's a very good teacher, and a fabulous dancer (in the milongas).

    I looked at a couple of the videos on tango and chaos. My take is that they do lots of short sequences, continually going into and out of cross system, and doing lots of turns. It would be interesting to see how they dealt with a crowded milonga.
  4. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Christy Cote & George Garcia produced a whole series of instructional DVDs about a decade (or more) ago for DanceVision, and have recently produced updated 'Bronze', 'Silver' and 'Gold' DVDs forming a revised 'syllabus', also for DanceVision. I have four of their original discs, and found them useful when I was first starting out, but not really for the whole sequences, but just for ideas and the means to deconstruct some commonly danced actions (in a way that appealed to my learning style, YMMV). Here's a link to the current 'Gold' sample, for anyone who is curious.

  5. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    I knew nothing of her at all, no reason why I should.
    So I've watched half of this:

    which is quite enough (well, too much). As a milonguero
    dancer (Oh, I do hate the term because its practice and its teaching
    is nowhere near the complete story of the actual dance
    in Buenos Aires) there are just too many things I disagree
    with for me to endorse her as a good teacher or even
    a good dancer. But obviously that is just my opinion.

    You seem to be wondering how the dancers of TangoAndChaos
    deal with a crowded milonga. If so, I am surprised because
    their dance evolved in and for extremely crowded milongas
    and they cope very well as jantango would confirm.
    On the other hand I would expect Christy Cote (or at least
    the leaders she has taught) to struggle rather more.
    Lois Donnay likes this.
  6. aaah

    aaah Member

    thanks for help

    my partner got very frustrated because we learned the cristy cote milonguero steps well and felt good about our dance but when we view some "masters dancing" tango chaos chap 5 - it is totally different

    main difference is the masters rarely break or open a milonguero connection embrace, can dance in a tighter space and make faster movements to keep up with music

    the cote steps require more room and are all done to a slow song with strong cadence on the dvd

    what is your take

    stick with cote milonguero or learn BA masters style
  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    It's really up to you. And where you dance can have a big influence on what you decide.
    My favorite is apilado, which can be considered a subset of what you are calling "BA masters style," but it's not a bad thing to have those other things available if you can't get the connection you want with any given partner. Or, when there's just a huge amount of space on the floor and the music is fast and energetic.
    And don't forget that there are "masters" who dance more like the "Cote" style, but probably wouldn't do so when conditions are crowded, or it's just plain not appropriate, I'd like to believe.

    I like what I've seen in their videos for production value, clarity, etc. Not so much as "milonguero," though.
  8. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    And be aware when going to completely new milonga not in your area that you will need to adapt more. And every region have influential teachers which distinctive style.

    Your job as a dancer is to recognize partner's style and adapt yourself.
    That goes for leader's and follower's role.

    It's impossible to learn tango by watching videos.
    A real teacher is mandatory.

    And those videos are good for tango introduction.
    Those master have been dancing for years in small spaces.
  9. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    It's a very personal choice so I can only tell you why I made mine.
    I had learned similar things to the Christy Cote moves (and her
    style doesn't really qualify as any sort of milonguero) plus some
    apilado close embrace mixed up with something they called the
    "dynamic embrace". Already a dancer, none of this satisfied my
    perception of what social dancing should be yet the close embrace
    part offered something unique in the level of partner connection.

    After much research I opted for the exclusive close embrace
    and all that it offered in connection and joined together dancing
    both with your partner and the music. It involved a concentration
    on that way of dancing, practise, exercise, listening to the music
    extensively almost to the exclusion of everything else for a very
    long time but I haven't regretted that decision. Finally it took me
    to Buenos Aires but that is not necessarily inevitable.
    Lois Donnay and jantango like this.
  10. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    All of this is partly why tango is so unnecessarily difficult.

    It is not the leader's job to extensively adapt to a follower,
    he is a leader. He should lead and be himself, if necessary
    accepting that not everyone will be suitable as a partner.
    This is an individual choice you can make, it is not a job.

    No, you learn by practising your identified objectives.
    A real teacher cannot make you dance and I know of none
    who could actually teach me how it is that I dance.
    For me this is social dancing and the social dancers
    of Buenos Aires had no teachers but they evolved
    a dance quite different to the regimented step-based dancing
    of the commercial teaching in Europe and the USA.
    Based on their videos their dance is unsuitable and dangerously
    intrusive on the crowded milonga floors of BsAs.
    Lois Donnay likes this.
  11. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Technically, it is also not the follower's job to adapt to a leader if he isn't a suitable partner.

    However, once the invitation has been accepted and you are actually dancing a tanda, BOTH partners have a responsibility to "listen" to the other and adapt for a mutual experience. If the person is someone whose style of dancing isn't something you want to make any accommodation for, then the invite should not have been issued/accepted in the 1st place. Having agreed to dance together, both the leader and the follower have entered into an agreement to dance with each other, not with whatever "ideal" or standard they hold.

    Didn't the newbie leaders learn by dancing with the more experienced leaders prior to being approved to get out on the floor at a milonga? That constitutes teaching.
    Mladenac and dchester like this.
  12. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    Every milonga people dance differently unless they are robots.
    And although someone has a style leader will lead differently each milonga.

    That's you experience, it's seems that you are different that other people I know.

    Some are step based some aren't.
    I experienced both mainly that aren't.

    There is advantage and disadvantage in both of them.
    Beginner drivers don't race Formula 1 or WRC.
  13. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Indeed, this would be an easier dance if everyone accepted
    that there are limits of adaptability and even those vary.
    A partner of mine was asked by a teacher to dance
    at an outdoor informal event. It was not a case of adapting,
    it was a case of she could not dance with him, his way
    of dancing and his expectation of her was so different.
    Questions of degree are difficult to express on here.
    You have a point of course, but I don't issue invitations
    to those I haven't seen dancing. That's my choice.

    Within the embrace however, there is always a natural
    accommodation by both partners since the dance is the one
    most influenced by each partner, and thus the resultant
    partnership, than any other I have known.

    There were many ways of learning and that indeed was one.
    However I think we have a very narrow view of what actually occurred.

    My response was to the idea that having a teacher was mandatory
    which to me means something much more formal. Portenas have told me
    that on attending the milongas they had to discard what was taught
    and almost start again. I did the same having determined to adopt
    the Argentine way of dancing.

    My dance results from much learning (and listening) but learning
    through trial and error, experimentation and practise with many
    different partners, some of whom have never had a lesson but
    they can certainly dance.
  14. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    They don't ;). Or, less flippantly, they are based to some extent on the same fundamentals, and it is possible to see one as an extension of the other, and practicing one thing will give insights in the others if we are willing to keep an open mind, but like being a cab driver in manhattan, a formula one racer, a long haul trucker, a stunt driver, a off roader or a drifter are all facets of "driving a car" the skills and priorities don't translate directly into each other.
  15. Lois Donnay

    Lois Donnay Member

    I feel for a beginner - all of this is so confusing. You are taught an 8 count basic, then find it doesn't fit the floor and doesn't fit the music. You are shown an embrace in class and in teaching videos, then see thatit is not used in social dancing (in Buenos Aires or crowded milongas, anyway). You practice a sequence to perfection, then realize that is not how tango is danced - it is danced in the moment given the space available, the music and where your partner is. You are told that you need a "flexible embrace" so that you can do the complicated sequences - then at the milonga, your partner won't let you go, and gets a little perturbed when you push her away. And don't get me started on the front ochos we teach our poor unsuspecting followers! I have been teaching for 16 years, and I have yet to find a formula that both works, and keeps people coming back to my classes. I never teaching the 8CB or front ochos, and get people into close embrace as soon as possible, which turns out good dancers. But some dancers feel cheated because I don't teach back secadas, volcadas, etc until they get close embrace down. I don't get dancers until they have so many bad habits it is really hard to correct.
    Zoopsia59 likes this.
  16. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I hear ya, sister!

    I DO teach front ochos to followers because in this region, they are going to get led in them repeatedly in every song of every tanda. (I don't teach them to LEADERS however). But so many other teachers give the "front ocho with the follower's right leg to parada and pasada" combination in one of the early lessons. It's the most overused pattern I can think of!

    Followers often like it because they want to embellish and they may not have been dancing long enough to add adornments anywhere else. Leaders like it because they get to stop for a minute. I dislike it because I don't want to embellish that same step so often and I don't like the frequent break in the flow of movement. Even if I don't stop and step over immediately, it feels like an interruption (especially in a vals) It has its place in the vocabulary, and I'm fine with it as one of many possible moves, but it's often used as the default thing to do whenever the leader has led the follower to a cross at the end of a phrase.

    It is so overused that I would love to go a whole evening without it, which hasn't happened since I was in BA. My first teacher never taught or led this pattern except very rarely as a rapid continuation of leading the follower to do a (low ONLY!) boleo with her left leg after BACK ochos. Often as not though he would insert his leg as though he were going to do a parada, only to whisk it out so the follower could continue with the front step on her left leg without having to stop and step over his.

    He was heavily influenced by the "milonguero" style of Miller, Tete, etc.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
    Lois Donnay likes this.
  17. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    Please. Talk to me about it. Indeed, I often lead into an ocho cortado with a (single) front ocho. You disapprove? Just curious, not being judgmental, but I am always interested in understanding what aspects of the dance women are particularly fond of and what they hate, and why.
  18. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I absolutely teach front ochos (although maybe not the way you think). I teach them in close embrace, done to the leader's right side, similar the the ocho cortado, except (obviously) I don't cut off the ocho.

    I also teach the 8 count basic, although not for a few weeks, until they know how to lead and follow walking.

    IMO, starting day one with the 8CB can cause some problems, (just like starting day one with sacadas might not be the best idea). But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be taught at all.

    On this, we agree.

    Lois Donnay likes this.
  19. Lois Donnay

    Lois Donnay Member

    The "cut" tends to help the follower, as it discourages the tendency of leaders to push the follower off-balance as he rushes her in front ochos. Of course, as followers are rushed, pushed and made off-balance during badly-led front ochos, she will anticipate, turning too many followers into "ocho machines". There are so many other moves that are comfortable and fun, why do front ochos? My opinion is that they are easy to teach, and students feel that they are actually learning something, so they get taught before students are in any way capable of leading them correctly. My advice to leaders - have your teacher lead you in these, as maybe a beginner might lead them, and see how you like them.
  20. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    Thank you. I assume you are talking about front ochos in open embrace? In closed, I remember that they were not at all easy to learn and even now I don't find them easy to teach.
    Lois Donnay likes this.

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