Tango Argentino > Dancing Tango to Milonga and Vals

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

  1. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

  2. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew New Member

    Thanks for all the feedback :) I can understand that we normally step on the first beat and generally use up the rest of the bar. However, the first time I attended a workshop where the instructor wanted us to step faster, I thought that he wanted us to step on every beat of that bar. I tried to do so but found that it was impossibly fast for me. When I observed him again, I realised that he meant for us to take two steps in that first bar and the third step for the whole of the next bar. But I was not sure whether he wanted us to step evenly on the two "quick" steps (i.e. the first step on the first one and a half beats of the bar and the second step on the remaining one and a half beats), or to step on the "1" and "2" of the bar (skipping the "3"), or to step on the "1" and "3" (skipping the "2" instead) :confused:

    Is it our choice? Do dancers choose their option based on their own interpretation of the dance and of the music? Sorry, I am still finding it a bit confusing :(

    But thanks again for all your responses :)
     
  3. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    yes of course its optional. i loved vals when i was a beginner because you had so much more time just stepping on the one, and vals loves ochos, and giros. If its too fast for you; then dance what you can at the milonga.

    I danced to this recently; its completely mad and his singing gets faster and faster...!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSSp6DyTFW4
     
  4. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew New Member

    Thanks very much, everyone, for all your explanations. At least I now understand that we can use any of these possibilities; and that it depends on our interpretation of the dance and the music. I really appreciate it! :D
     
  5. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

  6. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    While this is an over simplification, what I sometimes tell people is that tango is a serious dance, while milonga is a fun, playful dance. BTW, with vals, I go more for elegance.
     
  7. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

  8. chanchan

    chanchan Member

    Tango itself can have different feels, different attitudes, not to mention different vocabularies.
    You can do pauses, you can do no pauses, you can do small steps, large steps, you can follow the rhythm, you can follow the melody, ecc...
    There are hundreds of different feels that you can give to tango. According to the music (you won't dance in the same way D'Arienzo, Di Sarli, or Pugliese, I suppose...), and also according to your mood, your preferences, your partner, the type of floor, the crowdness of the milonga.

    So, the question is: can you give some technical and historical basis to justify tango, "vals", and milonga as different dances and not just different styles or different feels?

    For what I know, milonga was originally a country music with no dance at all.
    Vals is only the spanish spelling for waltz: you can dance it as a waltz, you can dance it as a tango, and if you like mixtures you want you can do something between.
     
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Yes.

    Without spending a bunch of time to look up a bunch of references, tango, "vals", and milonga are recoginized as different types of music. Same instruments, same musicians, same notes, etc. And yet, (again) they are recognized as different types of music.
    You can easily verify that by looking at the scores on TodoTango.
    Using the same logic, you can have the same dancers, the same steps, etc, and they are recognized as different types of dance.

    I can't put my hands on it right now, but when the Castles invented the "Castle Walk", Irene wrote that they simply rose up rather than down at one point, while doing a dance that already existed.
    Simply marketing?

    "Many dances have similar STEP PATTERNS, but it is the difference, not the similarity, that identifies the "Essence" of a dance."

    "Teaching 3) Knowing the essence of the dance, and being able to relate that information by demonstration, verbal communication, and "hands on" physical practice."

    "You may have demonstrated, explained and written down the pattern, but you have not TAUGHT until the student LEARNS."

    Skippy Blair 1994
     
  10. chanchan

    chanchan Member

    Sure, there is no doubt that they are different types of music.
    Using the same logic, I could accept they are different dances, if you give me some historical and technical reason, or at less some reference: that's what I was asking for.
    The simple fact that they are different music doesn't automatically means that they can't be same dance with different flavours.

    Milonga was originally a country music with no dance at all, Vals is only the spanish spelling for waltz.
    So, if now you have a "vals dance" and a "milonga dance", you should be able to say when and why they became dances on their own.
     
  11. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Using the same logic, we could declare Foxtrot as a form of Argentine Tango. :p

    A dance style is defined by the music and the movements used to express the dance. The lines blur sometimes, but we give things labels so that we have a way to talk about them. And teach them. What purpose does it serve to call everything tango?

    Speaking purely subjectively, I can look at my favorite video of advanced dancers demonstrating vals, tango, and milonga, and I VERY clearly see three different dances.
     
  12. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    In a book published in 1883 Ventura Lynch, a noted contemporary student of the dances and folklore of Buenos Aires Province, noted the influence the Afro-Argentine dancers had on the compadritos, who apparently frequented the Afro-Argentine dance venues, "the milonga is danced only by the compadritos of the city, who have created it as a mockery of the dances the blacks hold in their own places".[4]

    Collier, 1995, pp. 44–45.
    Citing Ventura Lynch, La provinciade Buenos Aires hasta la definicion de la cuestion Capital de la Republica, page 16.


    And your "Historic reference" for this statement?

    You read the extensive (and referenced) material recently posted on the histroy of waltz?
     
  13. chanchan

    chanchan Member

    The logic that I am using is to look at the origins, evolution, traditions, technique, and feel. I don't see how, using this logic you could declare foxtrot as a form of argentine tango.
    Like I've said before, vals is nothing more than the spanish spelling for waltz: a dance and a music of german origin. It is known all over the world. Tango orchestras in 50s played some waltz and we like to dance them as tango, but of course they also can be danced as waltz.
     
  14. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    The word milonga is still used to identify a type of music. It is also used to identify a type of dance, and of course, a third meaning is to identify a type of event. One can dance a milonga to a milonga at a milonga.

    The fact that I don't know when terms acquired multiple meanings doesn't change the fact that they do have multiple meanings.
     
  15. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I still fail to see the purpose in this exercise. As a musician, waltz means 3/4 or 6/8 time signature to me. I don't care if you say it in German or Spanish. Rhythmically, there is a fundamental difference between music with a 12 emphasis and a 123 emphasis. And therefore a fundamental difference in how you dance it.
     
  16. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Just listening in...

    I (a musician) have never heard of a 12 emphasis. Would you say what you mean by that?
     
  17. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Meter and rhythm. All western music breaks down into patterns of strong and weak pulses. The two fundamental patterns are STRONG-weak and STRONG-weak-weak. By 12 I meant the former pattern.
     
  18. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Gotcha. Duple versus triple.
     
  19. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Perfect time to ask what is it about 3/4 time that says "waltz", as written. Many "waltzes" show only 3 1/4 notes. How is that inherently different than 3 1/4 notes in 4/4 time?

    Does it come down to an understanding that it is played "as a waltz" just like swing is played as Swing rather than straight.

    In other words is there a waltz "feel" that is just understood and indicated by the 3/4 time signature?
    (Some waltzes ARE written with not all 1/4 notes, I found by searching. They are in the thread somewhere!)
     
  20. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Three 1/4 notes in 4/4 time would still have a quarter note rest in the measure. It's not the number of notes in a measure - it's the underlying rhythm. In 4/4, the underlying rhythm would have 4 beats, regardless if the number of notes.
     

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