Tango Argentino > How to improve musicality

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by JTh, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. koinzell

    koinzell Active Member

    Definitely does not require years. You don't need a music background either. It's just a matter of going out to the milongas as often as you can.

    Sure, if you want to do choreography. When you feel the music, you can dance it ;)
  2. JTh

    JTh Member

    Thanks for the replies..
    I'm listening more to tango music and initiating steps to the beat.
    Takes time a lots of practice - both at home and in the practicas.
  3. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    This could spark quite a discussion about timing of steps, but I would say that in general you want your "center" to be over the 'placed on the floor' stepping foot "on the beat," rather than beginning a step "to the beat."
    Maybe that's what you meant?
    And, yes, it takes lots of practice. Otherwise we would see more people actually dancing in time to the music.
  4. Oliver

    Oliver Member

    Sometimes toward the end of the Sunday Practica, or at the alternative Milonga, or other smaller milongas.
  5. Oliver

    Oliver Member

    IDK, I liked the rest of what you wrote. I just wanted to nitpick on the one thing because I'm pretty petty. :D

    I had a teacher once say that we dancers were the percussion and I found it really unenlightening and limiting. But the sentiment of being a co-creative part of the band (the visual-kinesthetic part) is nice.
  6. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    For once, a post with which I can entirely agree!

    But have you ever seen it taught, and in a way
    that people can comprehend and execute?
    I heard it once briefly mentioned that the stepping foot
    should be weighted but without any explanation of how
    it should be done.

    Don't look to tangoandchaos.org for much help either
    because Rick McGarrey was very inconsistent.

    In my experience you have to change your posture
    in your embrace, the way your foot strikes and
    your perceived timing of landing the foot relative
    to the position of your body. The foot lands positively
    on the beat giving you an immediate stability to
    release the previously weighted foot and increasing
    the time between the steps.

    The travelling foot is actually delayed at the centre so that
    the front of the foot can land on the floor to meet the body
    weight as it arrives and thus the foot is immediately weighted.
    The weight transfer is much faster and changes the emphasis
    from one of slow and continuous weight transfers towards
    a dance emphasising a connection with the beat yet with
    repeated and extended centered axes.

    It's that time "in the middle" which allows you to reflect
    the music, to change how you move to the music, or by
    omitting beats to not even move at all or very slowly.
    Much more becomes possible in the moment.

    A two footed dance (see tangoprinciples.org) becomes one
    of repeated single footed axes. Getting this right for me
    took much longer than I expected but it changed my
    perception of the dance and how it was actually possible
    to feel as if you were dancing the music.
  7. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    That is the problem, isn't it? Like a lot of tango things it seems that to understand what people are trying to teach you have to already understood it :(.

    For me - and this might be something that only works if you dance counterbalanced close embrace - what helped me to get to this concept (or what i think that this
    concept is, or at least something quite similar) of the axis marking the pulse was to stop trying to be on the beat, but instead concentrating on facilitating the followers dance, and to create conditions where they can be on the beat. My own feet are taking care of my body by themselves, and if the the axis moves they move, but the relationship between my axis, their axis, and their feet is more complicated, and requires more attention.
  8. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    I think perhaps you are thinking or making it over complicated.
    Both partners should be on the beat, we hear the same beat together;
    being on the beat is the mark of any good dancer, doubly so for partners.
    Together is best and hearing and responding to the beat enables that.
    Much is mentioned about the physical connections and their varieties,
    but the aural connection is universal.

    So being on the beat should be second nature for both and
    it is often stated that each partner is responsible for their own
    axis and movement, even though the movement is initiated
    by the man. Unlike other tango forms, this style of dance does
    not ignore Beat 2 but acknowledges it.

    I agree that your own feet position is relatively unimportant,
    they go where they need to go. Your feet move after hers,
    but her feet should also go wherever her body requires.
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I'd have to go through my notes to find the AT people who taught this way.
    In my other dance world, I think Skippy Blair has been consistently teaching this sort of thing for a long time. I remember how excited I was when I first heard her talking about the fact that "steps" begin before a beat, reflected by her counting of &a1...
    Lauré Haile, too, mostly known for her involvement with early West Coast Swing, wrote an article about weight changes for (Dance Teacher?)magazine in the 50s or 60s (something else I'd have to check.)

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