Tango Argentino > Gotta Tango by Abberto Paz and Valorie Hart

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Steve Pastor, May 29, 2010.

  1. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Picked this up yesterday at the library.
    Has anyone else seen this book?
    Does anyone have any knowledge of, or experience with, these teacher/authors, or this book/dvd?
  2. Me

    Me New Member

    There is a picture of me in that book, LOL!

    Alberto is extremely knowledgeable about tango history. The music, the masters... The man just has this impossible library of rare recordings, videos...

    I think they're fun people. They will tell you their honest opinion and no, it isn't always nice. That degree of candidness does rub some the wrong way. But, whatever. I like 'em. I always send people in the New Orleans area to them.

    They have a DVD, too. They've uploaded some bits of it to Youtube. Here is a link to one of the videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qaxp-QhfnNQ
  3. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

  4. tangobro

    tangobro Active Member

    I went through the book in a bookstore in what the Japanese call "tachi yomi" style (standing & reading). I didn't buy it 'cause I did not know if the dvd was worthwhile. The You Tube clips hadn't been posted yet.

    They were here in New York City last year & won the 2009 US Salon Tango Championship. They then went on to compete in Argentina.

  5. borisvian13

    borisvian13 Member

    Thanks... I read in the introduction that they consider the structure of the dance based on the idea that the follower dances around the leader and the leader dances around the floor.

    Now, taken too literally that doesn't make much sense but after a moment's thought I realized that they're proposing sort of a heliocentric system in tango: the floor plays the role of Sun, the leader is the Earth and follower is the Moon :D...
    Undoubtedly that's quite revolutionary ( ;) ) but I'm afraid thinking of the dance in these terms practically might cause a lot of mess.

    I hope Steve will read through this part carefully and will let us know...
  6. tangobro

    tangobro Active Member

    I've heard many teachers make this statement, especially when reminding women of the technique for stepping in a molinete or a pasada.
  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I had an interesting? discussion with one of the other regulars at "my" Country Western place about lead and follow in West Coast Swing. I'm pretty much a tradionalist when it comes to the man/woman lead/follow thing. It looks like Paz and his co author put the man at the center of things. That seems pretty traditional to me.

    Single axis turns, the calesita, colgadas are examples of where the man is NOT at the center of the partnership. There must be others. But, those aren't covered in the book that I've seen so far.

    If you are teaching, it can be helpful to have a consistent way of thinking about things, a model, or paradigm, if you will. It can also work against you, too, however.

    BTW, I have no problems with the woman "exerting control" or "asking for" time/space, etc while dancing. In fact some of my favorite partners do exactly that, and it almost turns into a contest of will and skill at times.

    P.S. I'm not spending full time with this book, since I've got my LA environment in the 40s and 50s, Western Swing to West Coast Swing research and writing going on.
  8. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    OK, Me, I think I know which picture is you, but don't want to embarress myself by publically guessing wrong. Page number?
  9. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Show !! :)
  10. plugger

    plugger Member

    That book - a bit hard to follow?

    I bought Gotta Tango and tried to understand it but eventually gave up. Let me say at the outset that I'm a big fan of Paz and Hart's "El Firulete" online and their "Tango, Our Dance" discussion of of tango's history and nature. If I lived in New Orleans, I could take some of their classes, but since I don't, maybe someone else can clarify this for me.

    The book seems to say that all steps in tango are turning -- "the woman around the man and the man around the floor." Do they really mean that? Is this a style of tango? Is it something that follows necessarily from the "V" embrace?

    Everyone I've ever seen dance tango does forward walks and side steps to the left or right in addition to clockwise and CCW turns. I'm aware that on a small floor, the line of dance does necessarily curve to the left, but that seems a different matter. The included video disk helps but I'm still confused.
  11. Wanderer2

    Wanderer2 New Member

    >the woman around the man and the man around the floor
    Yes, that's the basic principle: The man progressing along the line of dance and the woman going with him and additionnaly (sometimes!) going around him.
  12. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Having learned tango originally the Basic 8 way I decided, as you do,
    to do some research and this book was the first tango book I bought
    probably because it had a DVD too.

    I found the actual tango teaching words almost impenetrable. The weirdest
    concept being to describe what the man does from the viewpoint of the
    woman. Instead of walking with a certain leg you do crossings
    or openings depending on how it appears from the woman's vantage.

    Excuse me, I just want to know which leg to use and where I'm going.
    The woman can't see what my legs are doing anyway and she doesn't have
    to, that's my business. And now besides a cross and the cross basic walk
    Alberto has crossings. How many crosses does a man have to bear?

    To me the book is hopelessly confusing and unenlightening.
    In principle some people will say that Tango is a simple dance: hug your
    partner and walk. Well it's more complicated than that but not as
    complicated as this book seems. Part of the problem is describing
    a dance in words, and part is its jargon ridden nature.

    And I don't think the style of tango espoused in this book would make
    you very welcome on a busy dance floor. Somewhere on the DVD you
    can see how much space is required.

    My advice would be to learn elsewhere, as you've got the book read
    some of it again and it will be rather less impenetrable and maybe
    of a little use. As for me, I've never really found it of any practical use.
  13. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    You know, I've still got the book out from the library, but haven't looked at it much for a while. (and Me never told us what page her picture is on!)

    As far as basic go, I think they hit it pretty well. They also make ganchos sound easy. Of course if both partners have relly solid basic, they CAN be, but I rarely got there exepect for women with who had been in the same classes as me.
    The gancho is merely a interupted woman's back step around the man - or something like that.

    I like what they say about the embrace - that it is at an angle anywhere from flat on to 45 degrees? (can't recall) and is negotiated by the partners (or some such).

    I think we sort of need a way of looking at things, or at least it can be very useful, and their model may well be as useful as the ones I was exposed to while I was learning.

    Think of the rhonda and walking around it as a really really gentle turn?

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