Tango Argentino > "Dear Simone"

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Dave Bailey, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    As an advert and encouragement for his teaching, this site
    is more likely to discourage, especially newcomers.

    He seems to espouse a personal tuition method, initially based on touch,
    and at the same time bewails the lack of English contenders for winning
    tango competitions. There is no mention of how he thinks Tango should
    be danced other than his rail against steps and the Basic8.

    He wants to teach tango, an old and evolved dance with modern teaching methods
    but gives no clue as to what they may be. Modern teaching methods of dance
    largely seem to be to crowd as many as people in a room as possible and
    teach them moves and/or choreography. Little else can be taught that way.

    In the times leading up to and including the Golden Age, my understanding
    is that tango was passed on one to one from generation to generation and
    from peer to peer. The community was big enough and strong enough to be
    self-sustaining. In other words "communities" were not created and
    sustained by pedagogues.
  2. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Wheras BsAs milongas aim to crowd as many people as possible into a room and dance!

    maybe thats the fundamental flaw in UK teaching; too much room to move.

    My new classes will be in the broom cupboard! :lol:
  3. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Talking about cupboards . . I've practised for many an hour in a friend's
    quite small kitchen. You might know where the obstacles are but the cupboards
    never move out of the way.
  4. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Dave Bailey: "And I think it's best to debate the points, not the man."

    Oh... but ad hominem is so much more fun (especially when he seems so full of himself)... spoilsport....:p

    I'd agree that the cabeceo could be an interesting thing to incorporate into a non-beginners' class... though it's a class (which everybody should benefit from), so I hope you'll include some way for the 'less attractive/skilled' students, who are never picked, to also get dancing, and minimise their public embarrassment (assuming a numerical leader/follower imbalance).

    Maybe they get the prize of dancing with the teacher/one of his skilled assistants?

    I'd also be tempted to add a further condition that modifies the cabeceo way of selection: each selection must be someone you haven't danced with already (within a specified time period) - some people just have an excellent rapport, and synergistically seem much better (ie less needing of correction) than they actually are when together.

    But yeah, from reading many of your posts, you seem like an excellent teacher - so I'm sure you already have all of that well in hand.:)
  5. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    In London of course we have the Cabbie-ceo; which involves gesticulating wildy; raising an umbrella, and shoving your way in front of somenoels doing the say thing...catching a cabbie's eye is unheard of; ( Their training involves the ebility to ignore anyone even if their waving a suitcase of dollars or physically throw themselves in front of the cab)

    given this state of things at street level operating a cabaceo is probably going to be as successful as fly-fishing...
  6. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Back to the point then!
    Now we're talking!
    Now he's gone into some fantasy land of tango destiny.
    As a beginner you have no idea that there is a destiny or even a journey first.
    What does professionalise mean? Like tango perhaps, anything you want it to.

    Better if he'd said he wanted teachers to humanise themselves,
    to teach individually and dance personally with each and every student.

    Well . . yes. We might have it in our "hearts", but let's hear how he's going
    to achieve that for newcomers. And so far I'm unaware of any teaching model
    which achieves his aim. We all seem to have to find this individually, and this applied
    equally to milongueros/as in the Golden Age. Just read anything about Tete or Ricardo Vidort.
    No argument with the sentiment. Now Danny, let's find out how to do it.

    Once upon a time but now?
    And earlier on, wasn't he decrying teachers from Argentina?
  7. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    I just don't think it's appropriate to slag someone off on an internet forum - especially when that person has not got the opportunity to defend themselves.

    Plus, blimey, if we started having a go at London teachers, where would we ever stop?

    Yes, I usually have a couple of Tango Taxis to help out; so far it's usually been even numbers with their assistance. But I don't know that dancing with me is the prize, unless there's a silent "booby"... :)

    I'll have a think about it; I'm intending to do a "Social dancing" section in the workshop, so I'll incorporate that into it.
  8. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    It's annoying isn't it? Some of the points are excellent, and then he goes off on some sort of hippie nonsense trip... :(
  9. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Yeah, it's just the obvious and oft-stated points isn't it?:-

    The 'Tango' in most new beginners' hearts isn't Tango - it's a TV misrepresentation, and most won't have done any research: they need to be taught/shown what Tango is first (and if it's drop-in classes, then a large number of the students won't come back, in disappointment - especially if they've been forced into 'too much' embracing, too soon, as well);

    When academics talk of 'modern', they usually mean 'postmodern(ist)', but rarely know anything about postmodernism (despite slavishly adhering to it), and therefore how to properly apply it: according to its strengths and its dire, dire pitfalls (which must never be recognised, as an article of faith... you have to just be surprised when it all goes wrong - again!, and for exactly the same [predictable] reasons...);

    Yes, painters should develop their own style and persona, but should thoroughly understand colour-theory, perspective, composition, 'draftspersonship', and paint-consistency first....

    A lot of his ideas seem pretty grand (with a lot of guessing as to the actual application) - but only an idealistic theorist would expect them to work with the brand-newcomers specified.
  10. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    this is on the Tango UK forum too..but not much debate there, yet.....

    so what do you do about it?. DB is the Egon Ronay of London Milongas
  11. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Yup - quite right! Not to mention forum policy, in addition....

    [Though, to be fair, some people are just giving it away!]:p

    Just to be clear: I was more generalising about that 'type' of mindset than slagging him in particular - back to discussing the actual points!:)

    By the way, does anybody:-

    Agree with him that Argentines (generally, obviously) see themselves as Europeans stranded below the equator? Even now?;

    Know why he doesn't write 'cabeceo' as 'cabeceo'?;

    Agree with him that the Latin etymology of 'tango' has any relevance, beyond the coincidental and poetic? [I'm very interested in this.]
  12. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Yeah, I'm wondering if poor Simone's annoyed yet?...
  13. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    I've no idea. I'm having dinner with an Argentine teacher tomorrow night, I'll ask her. But it's an interesting idea.

    I think it's great - but no, it's obviously a coincidence.

    Looking here (at the bottom), it looks like the word (and dance) "Milonga" came first.

    If we're talking Latin, that page tells us that there's a dodgy reference to the Latin "tangir" (to play), rather than "tangere" (to touch). But the conclusion is that the word is probably African in origin.

    It's possible that the Latin interpretation is correct, but I'm sceptical.
  14. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    "Rather we need a teaching method which enables us to find it within ourselves, as all good dancers find their dance, ultimately, within themselves, something which the current model leaves to chance."

    "This is the route to achievement, to the beginning of a real tango conversation, and to the foundation of an indigenous and developed tango culture here in the UK. We need teachers who understand this if we are to pursue our own tango destiny, and find and develop our own tango voice, rather than imitate our teachers. "

    Seems contradictory to me. On one hand, he wants each student to find his/her own dance. On the other hand, he wants students to find a preconceived UK style of dance. Has he actually defined it yet, or is it just "not Argentine"?

    And, doesn't every culture will find it's own style anyway?
  15. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Dave: Cheers - I'd be interested in what the Argentine teacher says... knowing what I know of folks, it only takes a few generations to make people feel that they're from the place they were born (unless the climate is a problem, genetically; or where the displacement was unusually traumatic/horrific; or where there's strict segregation etc etc)....

    On the other hand, maybe Tango has kept that longing for 'home' alive, in those that are particularly drawn to it?...

    And thanks for the etymology link (and I'm glad Nathan reminded me by bringing it up:)) - I've got that page somewhere in amongst my mountain of Tango links already... too many... couldn't find it....
  16. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    that would make Strictly ok... wouldnt it

    technique first; you dont become Miles Davis without learning to play a trumpet first
    or the saxophone if you want to become a Coltrane..

    there are dance forms which are more about self-expression and exploration or playing with other people eg Bio-Danza, 5-rhythms; contact improvisation; which might give people the confidence to do it their way, but they still need technique to dance tango.....

    trad nuevo or whatever technique first.....
  17. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Hmmm... I hadn't really considered this seriously (as opposed to as parody)... but from what I've heard of the infamous Negrachas club - well, I would say that that pretty much does exemplify general UK attitudes: perhaps the 'poor' dancing there is actually the ultimate expression of the British Tango style?.. maybe we're the cack dancers?...

    Damn you 'Problem of Legitimation' and 'Cultural Relativism'!
  18. mshedgehog

    mshedgehog New Member

    I *think* I've danced with him, although he's a bit tricky to recognise from the photo .... oh, there are some more. Yes, that's the guy.
  19. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    it depends on how experienced people are to start with;
    have you danced in Cambridge? I started my first lessons there. There is a strong tango community now and i would say they are the most consistently good dancers, perhaps becuae of their longevity and their opportunity to dance more than once a week.

    I hope to go to their all nighter in October..perhaps all the uk DFrs should agree to meet there?
  20. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    I assume you meant longevity of the dancers rather than the longevity
    of Tango in Cambridge? Tango Bar fits best my rather idealistic thinking
    of the non-profit way Tango could be organised in today's age. After all
    tango was a people's dance, now taken over by artistic commercialism.

    Besides dedication and genuine enthusiasm (and you need that to initiate,
    participate, develop and sustain any kind of voluntary group/community)
    the other key you lightly touch on is the opportunity to dance more than
    once a week, in fact to be able to practise as frequently as needed.
    Lucky Cambridge dancers!

    That's a thought!

Share This Page