Tango Argentino > How many adornos do you need?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by larrynla, May 10, 2009.

  1. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    In actuality, not that it is important, a molinete is a windmill. In more general terms, it is a grapevine that is done in a circle. Even jazz dancers call this a windmill.

    Just not so, as Zoops explains..........
    In another post, Zoops also commented on Fabian's molinete exercise. She posted that, though she understands and likes it, that her resevation might be that it promotes dancing it as a prescribed pattern rather than a led/followed movement. Just wanted to say that this isn't necessarily a bad thing. There are prescribed movements in AT, and this happens to be one of them. When I was there, they taught us El Codigo du Tango...dance in ones and threes, create and take space, and the man dances around the room - the lady dances around the man in a molinete pattern (unless otherwise led is implied).
  2. tangomaniac

    tangomaniac Active Member

    That doesn't make sense. There's no reason to make room for her. A molinete is supposed to be done in a circle with the man as the center. If the man moves his center, the circle is moving. Once I lead a molinete, my support foot stays in the same position for the entire molinete. My chest doesn't bob and weave like a boxer.
  3. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Do you mean in a molinete. or just in general?
  4. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    like the windmills of your mind........
  5. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    You didn't quote anything, so I'm going to assume you're responding to me since I raised the issue of giving her room for the forward ocho....

    If you don't do anything differently for the forward or back ochos, how would you indicate to a follower whether her first ocho is the forward one or the back one? Lets say you take a side step to your left and she is now standing with her weight on her right.... What would you do differently to lead her in an over-rotated back ocho around you vs a forward ocho from that point to start a molinete sequence?

    Whichever position you use for the 1st ocho in this case will make the 2nd ocho more difficult for her if you don't adjust it slightly. The more open your embrace, the less important this is, but the bottom line is that you don't use your torso the same way leading a forward ocho to your left as you do leading an over-rotated back ocho to your left and if your embrace is closer, the position of your chest will have an impact on what she can do without fighting you to get there. (as will how you use your arms regardless of the embrace)

    And if you are in a flat-on close embrace, it becomes pretty vital to adjust. (she will also be "crossing" because of the restricted pivot... you mentioned in another post followers who cross rather than pivot completely... sometimes its just bad technique, but in close embrace, crossing might be nessesary)
  6. tangomaniac

    tangomaniac Active Member

    I'm new to dance forums and still learning how responses display. How do I indicate if the first ocho is forward or back? It comes from my chest. I will pivot her in the direction I want her to step, whether it be forward or backward. Keeping the woman near me is a function of my frame. I hold my right arm near the small of her back. I don't have to adjust my frame for the back ocho if the woman has a soft frame and doesn't use her right arm to push herself into the ocho.
  7. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I had a well thought out reply raising several points and it got dumped by my ongoing problems with replying in this forum (always being taken back to the log in page no matter how many times I've logged in)

    to hell with it.

    I don't like "the follower does this by rote" patterns. I don't like stuff being taught that way. It creates a community of lazy leaders. Then the followers compensate for bad leads which makes leaders even lazier. Then when followers dance with a skilled leader who knows how to vary a pattern creatively, the follower fights his lead and he decides she's a bad follower.

    I can't tell you how many followers I've talked to who have been told by a leader "You were supposed to do x" (like cross after he's taken 2 forward steps outside her right no matter how he's holding her) Its because that leader got taught that the follower is supposed to do X automatically, and he doesn't have to do his part correctly or even learn that there IS a correct part for him

    In the long run, it doesn't make for good leaders or followers. It just makes for easy to remember choreography.
  8. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Although her revolution around you continues as clockwise or counter-clockwise, her rotation on her own axis switches from one to the other. So I still don't see how you could use your body to indicate the direction of her first pivot and then expect her to pivot the other way without you making any adjustment at all unless your embrace is open sufficiently from the start or you are over-using your arms (and neither sounds like the case)

    I'm not trying to say you are doing this wrong.. I haven't seen you, I don't know you. You may be dancing with bad followers whose technique in the molinete just plain sucks and you may be making the slight adjutment I'm trying to describe unconsciously (or may be thinking I'm meaning something else)

    On the other hand, you have made comments about several things in the molinete that aren't happening properly when you dance it, and in my experience, those things can happen when the follower's technique is bad, but they can also happen when the leader's technique needs work.
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Tangomaniac, first inital M?
    Maybe try this with someone in "close embrace" WITHOUT that right arm behind her back holding her in place. See what you have to do to get her to pivot either "forward" or "backward" without ANY hands.
    Or have you tried that one already?
    (If a woman has smiled and said "Oh, milonguero", she may be the one to try it with.)
  10. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    I think this confusion might be mostly a question of semantics - in my view the frame only plays a minimal role in keeping the follower close to the leader- the follower stays close to the leader because she activly tries to stay close to the leader. And this perspective leads to talking about the "use of the chest" in terms of "making space" for the follwer to pivot herself instead of "pivoting the follower".

    Using the conceptual framework you set up above Zoopsoa's remark about "giving her room for the forward ocho" would translate into "pivoting her enough for the forward ocho to make her step close to the leader".

    I really think exploring the moulinette pattern step by step is vital - it is one of the moves that i did not find intuitive to lead correctly because it requires requires either extremely subtle placement of the follower to be smooth, or at least enough feel for the geometry of to stay out of the followers way so she can step close. I have a problem with my followers shortening up their backstep, and it is mostly because i don't adjust my chest properly to allow them enough time for a deep enough pivot / having enough room to create the pivot themselves.

    For me the problem with the moulinette as a leader is that in the followers transition from the side step to the back step i shift my chest in the direction that i am pivoting to lead a backstep, which leads me to accelerate my turning, which leads her to step short to catch up, and conversely from the side step to the front step i shift my chest against the direction that i am pivoting, which makes me slow down my turning, and makes her step long. I know that some teachers recommend to play with the rhythm of the moulinette, but i think as a first step it is a good idea to lead it flat.

  11. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    dancing with a closed mouth

    Every class you go to you learn a step,figure,choreography,routine,pattern call it what you want but it's still a taught thing. Now you take that thing you've been taught and go home and practice it 10,000 times
    ( repetition is the mother of learning) now you take that thing to a milonga and dance it with great skill and with little effort and with your mouth shut....Now this makes a good leader
  12. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I'm starting to think its really a treadmill.....

    Certainly discussing it feels like one!
  13. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    In the classes that I thought were the best, any step or pattern that was taught was just a framework to teach body mechanics. The teacher not only taught the pattern, but also HOW and WHY it works. And they taught a variation or two of it so that the students would understand the concepts rather than just memorize a sequence which they may or may not ever be able to use "as is".

    The shorter the pattern is, the more this can occur. The longer and more complicated the pattern, the more tendency there is for the focus to become doing the "correct choreography" being shown rather than learning the principles of lead and follow that apply to it.

    Someone posted here once a story of a leader making notes about the figure after a class and the teacher asked what he was doing.. The leader told her he was writing down the step sequence so he would remember it. And she asked "Why would you want to do that?" or something to that effect. The point was that the sequence was irrelevant. It wasn't what the person was supposed to be learning.
  14. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    That's why I called what you learn a "Thing" ....my point is to practice whatever you want to call "it" and become expert at leading "it" so when you dance "it" you can lead "it" in silence using your skill as a leader. If the man needs to verbally tell the woman where to go or what to do next it means he hasn't mastered "it" and he isn't skilled enough to lead "it" in a social setting. If you can't lead it don't dance it.
  15. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I totally agree with you.

    Unfortunately, if the leader is taught that the follower is supposed to just do something automatically, he doesn't even realize that he SHOULD lead it, much less that he ISN"T leading it! In his mind, it is truly her error because he did exactly what he thought he was supposed to based on the information he got in class and she's the one who failed to do her part.

    Of course, that doesn't justify him correcting at a milonga. But when the same thing happens at a Practica, he feels that speaking up is what the session is about, and he still doesn't get that he's not doing his part correctly unless she tries to convince him (and try telling someone that if they think it contradicts what they were told in class).

    On the other hand, if the followers compensate by crossing anyway (either because they think they are supposed to or because they want to have a nice dance and forget about it) the leader just continues to do it wrong.

    Its a bad situation that could be avoided by instruction that doesn't imply that followers have patterns that they are supposed to do automatically regardless of lead.
  16. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    I understand what your saying and agree that there is a lot of conversation at practicas that's what it's for, perfecting "it" and I know that some men always want to put the blame of a mistake on the woman. I was taught the old fashioned way about fault..two rules.
    1. Any mistake made on the social dance floor is the man's fault because of a poor lead
    2. If a man steps on a lady's toes it's her fault for not stepping properly that's solely her responsibility.
  17. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Not good by any means, but the lead can not correct this. She must learn.

    I am assuming that you are referring to/from normal walk. If you are in a correct embrace, then the faux is her's. It is most commonly because she is not properly weighted in the middle, thus not creating s spcae that will invite sacada. Again, if you are not in a proper embrace, then you will be out of position and not feel a space for sacada even if the lady is properly weighted.
    Totally agree w/ you on both accounts! I did not take this in that way when it was presented to me. I understand that no dance is based on rote pattern, but dance movement does have rules...techniques that become so b/c they more correctly facilitate the movement / intention.
  18. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Most excellent last post, Gssh.
    OMG! What a great statement, albeit a topic for a different thread.
  19. tangomaniac

    tangomaniac Active Member

    My right hand doesn't tell the woman which way to pivot. The right hand keeps her near me in the embrace. My teacher gave me leading exercises where I didn't use my hands, testing if I moved my torso and the woman moved before I stepped.

  20. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    being from DC I can understand your right hand not knowing what your left hand is doing. hahahahah
    I assume your teacher also told you the right hand could be used to guide the lady?

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