Tango Argentino > Dancing Tango to Milonga and Vals

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Hock Siew, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew New Member

    I am still inexperienced at dancing Tango, but have even less knowledge of dancing Milonga or Vals. Sometimes, when a follower wants to dance and the music that is playing is either a Milonga or Vals, I am never sure what to do :confused: I hate to turn anyone down, so I sometimes just dance a Tango to the Milonga or Vals music. I guess that the less experienced followers can`t feel the difference. However, I am sure that the more experienced followers will know the difference. I wondered whether they will be uncomfortable or feel strange dancing Tango to the Milonga/Vals music. I will sometimes mention to them that I am not conversant with Milonga/Vals, and ask to dance the next Tango tanda instead. I wanted to ask the followers on this forum what they thought and how they felt about it.
  2. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Good so! Dance and please do not wait for the next vals or milonga WS. With time you will find into either of that dances. And welcome to the dark side, by the way.
  3. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Same overall body of steps, just a different feel to them. Well, mostly.

    With vals, try to focus on smooth and flowing movements, (more) continual movement (no big, dramatic pauses), and if you can work in an emphasis on circular movement so much the better. Spend some time on your own listening to the music and learn to really hear the flow of the music, and the characteristic pulses of it...and then think about dancing to emphasize those pulses and the energy.

    With milonga, I think the technique is a bit different from the other two. To me it feels like I dance it more "in my feet and ankles." I realize that doesn't make a lot of sense. I just feel like I tend to dance with a bit more bend to them, a bit lower to the floor. Others might have better ideas on this. Again, milonga uses the same overall body of steps as tango, but try to focus on small, quick, rhythmic movements. To me, milonga is all about playing with the rhythm of the music--and it's playful.

    That said...ask the girls! Unless you're REALLY that horrible (injurious), a lot of times we'd rather be dancing than sitting. You can preface it by saying you're trying to work on your milonga or vals. Most girls, i think, wouldn't mind.
  4. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew New Member

    Thank you! *lol*
  5. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew New Member

    Thanks for the feedback. It`s not injurious or anything like that. It`s just not Milonga or Vals (but rather, Tango instead).

    I do try to include some of the elements you mentioned. But my knowledge is still lacking in these two dances. I`d like to take classes to improve them, but at the moment, I am not able to. I really hope to be able to do so at some stage.

    For the time being, I sometimes ask the girls for feedback and opinions on this, especially if I know them a bit better. I`m still new in the scene here, so I don`t really know many people well. But it`s very encouraging to hear your comments that most girls probably won`t mind and that in most cases you would generally prefer to dance :)

  6. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I'm not clear what you mean by this.

    Vals IS just dancing tango, but you do it to 3/4 rhythm. As Peaches mentioned, there is normally a styling difference with more fluidity and circular movement. The music will usually inspire you to the fluid nature. Practice your turns and dance on the beat, and you've got it.

    Milonga IS just dancing tango, but you dance on every beat - no pauses. Again, it has a different character. It's more about rhythmic movement, but often the music will encourage this anyway. You don't neeed to use traspies, just hit each beat.

    Go for it. You'll develop the feel for them by doing them. Let yourself be moved by the music and hit the beats.
  7. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    He is aware that vals and milonga is much more than tango steps to vals and milonga music and that we consider them as different dances with different vocabulary, different feel and atitude. And that I find really great. Not much beginners do so!
  8. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    yup, exactly. i am trying to get people ie my students, to dance vals as if its vals and Not tango. those with a ballroom background get it; its flowing and lilting; pretty much as Peaches descirbed above.

    an example;

  9. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

    IME Milonga is easier to 'fake' than vals. What i mean is that most Tango instruction focusses on basics and step ideas that can be repurposed for milonga nicely to fit the character of milonga, and as an exercise, this isnt' too hard on a dancer because the music and rhythmic nature guides it loudly. Vals on the other hand is harder because even the basic idea that it's in 3/4 time isn't apparent to every listener/dancer with less-than-refined ears.
  10. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I think you would do yourself a big favor by listening to the three "flavors" of the AT world: tango, vals, milonga. Although there are always the ones that aren't clearly what they are labeled as, for the most part you want to learn to hear the differences.

    "Dancing" is really about the music, not simply doing moves while there is music playing (although that is nearly always what you see.)

    As has already been pointed out, you can use the same "steps", but they could / will have a different feel with different music.

    I have been taught some different steps, or patterns, for milonga. Sometimes they make sense when, say, they fit with the habanera rhythm. But you don't always find a definate habanera rhythm in milonga, so I don't think it's alway called for. Some of the other stuff is just so uncommon, that most parnters were not getting it, and I eventually abandoned them.

    Now... Cortes in milonga are another matter. I use the term cortes as used by Thompson in "The Art History of Love". I use these in milonga, and a few "tangos", to break when the music breaks.
    And, here I go against the common wisdom that there are no "breaks" in milonga. There are breaks in milonga. I can hear them and they are on the sheet music that you can find at TodoTango. They are not as long as "tango breaks", but they most assuredly are there.

    Here's an example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uKNEgEVREY
    I love the arraste!
  11. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Suggestion for vals: listen for the 123 123 pulse of the music and then just step/move on 1. Vals has quite a slow heartbeat. If you feel moved to move more quickly, use beats 1 & 2, but let 3 go by. Rotation is at the heart of vals, so turn as much as you can, but make sure that the rotation is coming from the body and not the feet.

    Suggestion for milonga: use the Baldosa pattern (one step per beat). It's like the dreaded 8CB, but just uses steps 123 & 678. Whenever the rhythm suggests a traspie, put in quicker check & rock steps before one of the steps of the Baldosa, and then continue the pattern, giving you 'quick quick slow' timing. You can do that anywhere in the pattern (and between 7&8 they'll be just weight changes in place). Turn the whole pattern as well, it lends itself to rotation anti-clockwise, and then you never need take a back-step against the line of dance.
  12. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    its in 3/4 time? well I didnt know that, I thought it was SQQ time...
  13. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    This seems like unusual advice to me. Dancing on 1 only is certainly the most common. I would say that using 1-3 is the normal other rhythm. I would not think that leaders use 12- very much at all, if ever.
  14. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

  15. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Are you being the knave here? We're talking about vals, right?
  16. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

    i've heard the skip '3' advice before, and seems to fit nicely for vals. it goes 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3... and if I step 1&2, I can follow it up by stepping on 3, or not, but it will always feel better to step on the following 1, so I can either step 1&23 1..., or I can step 1&2-1... the latter is less likely to feel like too many steps or rushed. You are right that dancing on 1 is common, which is really why holding 3 is needed in this instance.
  17. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I was being ironic; its what you hear that matters not musical metre..

    History (waltz)

    There are several references to a sliding or gliding dance,- a waltz, from the 16th century including the representations of the printer H.S. Beheim. The French philosopher Montaigne wrote of a dance he saw in 1580 in Augsburg, where the dancers held each other so closely that their faces touched. Kunz Haas, of approximately the same period wrote that, "Now they are dancing the godless, Weller or Spinner."[1] "The vigorous peasant dancer, following an instinctive knowledge of the weight of fall, utilizes his surplus energy to press all his strength into the proper beat of the measure, thus intensifying his personal enjoyment in dancing".[2] The wide, wild steps of the country people became shorter and more elegant when introduced to higher society. Hans Sachs wrote of the dance in his 1568 Eygentliche Beschreibung aller Stände(1568).[1]

    At the Austrian Court in Vienna in the late 17th century (1698) ladies were conducted around the room to the tune of a 2 beat measure, which then became the 3/4 of the Nach Tanz (After Dance), upon which couples got into the position for the Weller and waltzed around the room with gliding steps as in an engraving of the Wirtschaft (Inn Festival) given for Peter the Great.[3]

    The peasants of Bavaria, Tyrol, and Styria began dancing a dance called Walzer, a dance for couples, around 1750. The Ländler, also known as the Schleifer, a country dance in 3/4 time, was popular in Bohemia, Austria, and Bavaria, and spread from the countryside to the suburbs of the city. While the eighteenth century upper classes continued to dance the minuet, bored noblemen slipped away to the balls of their servants


    (and the double entendre is not mine...)
  18. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Is it true that in the early phase of tango development, dancers danced Viennese Waltz and only later 'vals'? It makes perfect sense to me: the usual range of tempi would lend itself to VW, and with anyone that 'can' WV would work as well as anything else might (except that I'd only do it for a couple of bars at a time, probably ...).

    I never have - there's rarely room - but it would be great fun to break off from an inner lane into the centre of the floor into fleckerls a contracheck and then fleckerls the other way, before rejoining everyone else. Probably no one else would dance with me all night - but hey!
  19. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    If I'm not mistaken, Vals tempo is closer to 210-230 bpm, whereas standard VW is about 180 bpm.
  20. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    That´s it :cheers: argentine vals isn´t in 3/4 time, folks. It´s in 6! Not on the sheets, but in the heart.

Share This Page