Tango Argentino > Videos > Dancing with rhythm vs. with melody

Discussion in 'Videos' started by opendoor, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I don't think they actually defined "Tango" as being danced to the music of the 30s - 50s, but rather just Salon. Nuevo (for example) did not have that as part of it's definiton.

    BTW, did you look at any of the videos in the blog, like this bizarre one on Contact Improvisational Tango (as they called it in the blog)?

    [yt]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/lts3nIA0rmg&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/lts3nIA0rmg&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></object>[/yt]

    What do people think? Is this tango?

  2. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I never said I had a constructive answer. I just think the debate is pointless. ;) Particularly when framed like it was in the article. The author is defining what THEY think true tango is, then dismissing everything else. How is that constructive? It is that attitude that is poisonous to tango communities. How do the traditionalists expect to be taken seriously when they dismiss the newer styles as inferior, or not true tango? The entire article can be summed up in the following sentiment:

    "Hey you kids! Get off my lawn!!"

    I think there is constructive way to go forward... and that is the path that the tango fusionists have taken. They teach modern movements as well as traditional close embrace. A dancer that learns both ways can dance in either venue. Then it's up to the venue to decide if they want to enforce a style.
  3. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Hmm, what I got from the article was that they were defining salon as the standard by which all other tangos are judged. The less a style corresponds to their definition of salon, the less it is tango. My point was their very definition is flawed.
  4. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I have a confession to make... I haven't watched those yet. Having been exposed to CI before, I was afraid at what I might see. ;)

    Ok... for a somewhat serious answer... if I write a ballet about the golden age of tango, and use elements of AT dancing, is it tango? Can I call it, "The Argentine Tango"?

    Ok, if I write a ballet about the horrors of war, and I choreograph dancers leaping through the air as if exploding, then falling down and miming weeping, is it war? Can I call my ballet "War"? If I did, would anyone be confused about whether dancing is an effective means of combat? What would you think of someone who bitterly complained that "War" the ballet is nothing like the real thing?

  5. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    IMO, you could use the word "Tango" in the title of your ballet, but that wouldn't be the same as saying all the dancing in your ballet was tango (although it could be). I haven't seen your ballet yet, so I'm not sure if it would be.

  6. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    I don´t know what contac is. But contac-t means actually without hands. Cantact imporvisation is a veeeery good exercise for beginners: you lead without any contact, only by your body attendance.
  7. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Oh, that actually would be nice, too (think you would stopover at the el corte, dont you?). But for a tango weekend in Berlin (4 days and 11 milongas) I would recommend Ryan Air only.
  8. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    There's nothing old fashioned about the embrace - it's human, it's a hug.
    It's interesting how the "new wave" get all stroppy at the very idea that
    they may not be doing tango and insist on their "right" to inflict it on others.

    To me fusion is just an excuse by teachers to have something "new" and
    different to sell. It's marketing and trying to find a USP. There already is
    a USP for tango and that is the embrace and what can be done within it.
    It is truly different to any other dance.

    All this talk about improvisation is abused to mean anything goes.
    In practice you are saying that a traditional attitude is poisonous to
    tango communities but if you want to use that language it's the nuevoists
    and the like who insist on "sharing" (occupying is what I'd call it) the floor
    who are poisonous to tango.

    Buenos Aires seems to solve the dilemma by separating the types
    and that remains the best solution as they just are not compatible.
  9. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I don't know what it is about that song (Jason Mraz's, I'm Yours). I don't mind it, but it doesn't make me want to dance tango to it.
  10. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    but even Ampster could not help as...
  11. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I dunno, I'd be defensive too if someone told me that my dancing was wrong and theirs was superior.

    And we can't even agree on what the embrace is, which is part of the problem. Open tango has been around a LONG time. There is no point in re-writing history to suggest it never existed until the nuevo movement.

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion on what fusion is, but I've danced with people who practice it, and it's fun and interesting. And guess what... when the floor is too crowded and there is no room to do fancy moves, I've never had trouble going completely milonguero style, and neither have any of the followers I've danced with who learned from fusion teachers.

    On this forum, it comes down to what is constructive. There's nothing we can do about individual dancers dancing big on the dance floors. Telling them on an online dance forum that they don't even read they're wrong isn't going to help. It also is insulting to the modern tango dancers who practice good floorcraft. All it does is give the impression to forum visitors who might be interested in learning more about AT that the community is insular and elitist.

    Which is why the article posted is pointless. It solves none of the problems, it reinforces the attitudes of the people who already believe it, and it insults the people who are trying to do ANYTHING new with tango.

    All of them.

    This past weekend, I had the joy of dancing to live music. A local group of people got together and formed a tango orchestra. They played beautifully. Mostly their own versions of golden age classics, but I think there were a few new tangos too. But according to that article, it wasn't true tango. Even though I danced in close embrace the whole night, followed line of dance, improvised to the music, etc... it wasn't music played by the golden age orchestras. It must not have been tango then. Nothing can ever be as good as it was back then. That's the message they're sending.
  12. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Ah, that's a different topic altogether - this isn't a question of superiority
    though to see all the advertising it always seems to me that it's the
    experimentalists that are claiming to be new, exciting and therefore better.

    Off topic slightly - we have a breakfast cereal here called "Just Right".
    Just right now they have a new pack emblazoned with New Recipe.
    How come if it was "Just Right" already?
    Of course, but it was a practice hold and used in show tango for visibility.
    It's no coincidence that the main two of the Nuevo Three were show dancers.

    And yes the embrace changed and evolved over the years but for me
    that remains the defining part of social argentine tango.
    I wish that modern tango dancers did practise good floorcraft, the evidence
    says otherwise. Not only that "modern" expansiveness is not socially

    Not in my view it doesn't. It's trying to examine where tango ends
    because outside influences have made derivations too remote from its
    roots. You seem dismissive of the article because you have
    no constructive counter argument.

    Nope, I would quite like to have been there if it was as good as you say.
  13. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Oh, I have nothing bad to say about their dancing to the song. I was just referring to myself. FWIW, last weekend I danced a tango to Aerosmith's Dream On. I guess that wouldn't be Salon, though.

  14. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I have nothing constructive to say about the article because I disagree with the very premise. It is the author's own biased, jaded viewpoint on what tango is. It helps no one. It accomplishes nothing. It's pointless to define tango in such a way and only serves to divide the community. No one is going to run out and start telling the organizers of events that they can't call their event tango if it doesn't include their criteria. Or if they do, the kinds of events that don't fall under what the author thinks is tango would probably ignore it anyway.
  15. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Well, not in close embrace, but it's probably a posed picture.

    Well, she isn't right in front of him, or in a v embrace, but, hey it's a publicity shot.

    Arms sticking straight out? Hmmmph. Must not be "Argentine Tango".

    Etc, etc.

    See, if you want to believe you can always dismiss photographs and other visual media as "posed" or "for a film", not social, not authentic, not "Argentine", etc.

    No matter how many times I give examples of how diverse tango as a dance has been throughout its 100 plus year history...
  16. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Yes exactly, and lots of people who dance within the embrace think the
    communities should be divided for the better well-being of all. Seemingly
    in Buenos Aires they do. Err, isn't BsAs the source of Tango?

    Having people thrashing (to use someone else's expression) about in the
    centre of the floor and elsewhere unpredictably doing extrovert moves
    makes peaceful navigation very difficult. If you are so keen on claiming
    that dancing to the traditional music is passé, why do the modernists
    insist on coming to milongas and dancing (I was going say "ignoring"
    as some seem to) to that same traditional music?

    It seems to me that it's you who is insisting on the uncritical right
    to do as you like. If the article hadn't touched a raw nerve you wouldn't
    have reacted as you have.
  17. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Dividing the community in the context of my post means alienating dancers of a different style, and potentially driving away NEW dancers with bitterness.

    Dividing the milongas might work. I'm sure in some places it does. But that's not an issue we can debate with any sanity here.

    Dancing to traditional music is fun. So is dancing to other music. Why not have both?

    It's a nerve all right. The subject has been beaten to death here and other online forums. Every time anything new or different gets posted, someone takes issue with it. I am fighting it because I am sick of it. I'm fighting it because even though 99% of what I dance would fall under "traditional salon", I think it's anyone's right to dance what they please and not be criticized for it. And finally, I don't want to see potential new AT dancers driven away.
  18. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

  19. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I'll let you know when it's done. :D I'm thinking that there will totally be a pole-tango scene as well.
  20. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    What bitterness?
    If new dancers want new fads then let them get on with it.
    We have a so-called modern Tango teacher here, his milongas are
    sparsely attended partly because there isn't room for them to dance
    closely even in compatibility with each other. In the same space is held
    a regular milonga that readily accommodates two to three times
    the number of traditional dancers than the modern dancers' event.

    They exist here already. Some traditionalists don't attend
    the mixed music events but some do. Provided the music
    isn't beat overladen electrotango and there's something
    to dance to then it's fine by me too on occasion.

    Somehow you manage to evade the point.
    Leaving aside the TangoVoice article, which needless to say I don't
    disagree with, there comes a point when something is changed to
    such an extent it has lost the connection to its source. It is indeed
    how many new dances evolved and gained new names when the
    old roots were not obvious any more.

    But my point is not about diversity or restriction, it's about co-existence.
    There can be all the diversity that anyone wishes to bring, but there
    is a limit beyond which a meaning, a name or a description shouldn't
    realistically be stretched.

    You confirm my point earlier by this:
    The other people at milongas have a right too, to be able to dance,
    to enjoy an equal space on the floor without disruption.

    Tango is a strange dance in that so many people take literally the mantra
    that it is what you make it. If society was a free for all we'd be back
    in the dark ages.

    Dance what you like by all means but respect others too
    and your attitude doesn't seem to do that. And if you cannot
    do that then start your own free for all ????? and see how you get on.
    Best not call it a milonga either as it surely wouldn't be one.

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