Tango Argentino > How Useful is the DVIDA Syllabus?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Br0nze, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Clarification: The Neuvo 3 never claimed to have invented the ocho cortado. They only claim to have named it.
  2. plugger

    plugger Member

    I'd like to correct my sloppily worded comment that "some of the best current West Coast Swing dancers learned it there," referring to ballroom studios. What I meant to say was that several of them have considerable ballroom training. Robert Cordoba, Robert Royston and Lacey Schwimmer (a youth Latin champion) come to mind. I have no idea whether they learned a ballroom version of WCS, but probably the demands of ballroom dancing helped polish their WCS technique. As for Argentine Tango, I hope it was clear I don't endorse teaching it from a syllabus, but videos showing how to do common patterns are useful for learners. The two Cote/Garcia videos I mentioned are rated highly by Stephen Brown, who certainly appreciates the authentic tango.
  3. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I appreciate this. I was having a hard time thinking that no one had ever done that simple little combination before in the history of tango.
  4. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    Program is not the problem, but realization might be.
    If elements done properly on video, students might revoke it while learning.
    But the problem is that it takes a lot of time to learn technique and to many details.
    Not to forget that we all move differently.
  5. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Gee, and I was hoping everyobody would read the actual interview!
    That said, it is a bit difficult to figure out exactly what is being said there.
    What Rick said about Miller stealing the figure was particulary misleading.
    Again, anyone who cares about this stuff, please read that interivew.
  6. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    WSC - Benji took lessons from Skippy Blair among others. She has a very structured approach to the dance, has a well defined "syllabus" that is designed to teach fundamentals in a certain order, which she has found to be most productive.

    Having an organized approach to teaching dance is not a bad thing. What most of us see though, is a difference in the overall philosophy of big organization syllabi, and the more decentralized, chaotic, Tower of Babel teaching of AT.

    I agree that there IS a valid argument to be made that competition leads to standardization. (What do the judges want? What are the standards?)
    It's interesting, though, that although many people have been influenced by competition in the WCS world, there is a whole culture that doesn't give rip, too.

    Back to AT...
    I've seen some of this, in particular the material relating to the gancho and the cadena, and yes, it is useful, I think.
  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    And, one more post...
    I have been looking at two dvds that have reconstructed dances, including tango, from written sources circa 1913 and 1920s.
    Very interesting.
  8. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Ah, you big tease! Any more info you'd like to share? (pleasepleaseplease:))

    I did read the interview, and whilst it's left me a little disappointed in TangoandChaos as an information-source, the interview certainly reads as if they invented the ocho cortado, not just named it.

    I'm guessing that Angel HI's clarification comes from other source material (including speaking with the same guy?), and that that part of the interview was just simple, old fashioned ambiguity?...

    Interesting interview though - thanks for prompting me to read it [should probably be policy that anybody who wants to comment upon Nuevo/Neo/Lable must be able to demonstrate that they've read it...].
  9. Clive

    Clive New Member

    Dumb question: how can anyone claim to have invented anything in an improvisatory dance style. I might have done very very latest thing only last month, and who would know. Who can lay a credible claim to originality: can anyone come up with anything that is really 'new'?
  10. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Might search for an old thread...
    Still taking notes, organizing thoughts...

    Hmmm. S. Blair (NOT Tony!) would tell you that, no, you most likely haven't invented something new.

    Well, OK, did you know there was an position in that early tango where the dancers danced apart, and a one handed hold in another dance, and in the Grizzley Bear couples didn't always hold each other a al "ballroom hold"?
    Shorty Snowden invented the what, then?
    "George Snowden is popularly credited with 'inventing' the Breakaway in a 1920s New York City dance competition,... "

    But then, how do we explain break dancing, hip hop, etc?
  11. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I did read the interview and, as mentioned above, had the idea that Gustavo was claiming to have invented ocho cortado.

    And yes, who can say that the thing they dream up or popularize was never done before? Isn't every dance form created out of existing influences? The Foxtrot is considered to have been invented by Harry Fox, on a certain date, at a certain place. However, it was just a Ragtime One-step with quick steps included, and quick steps already existing along-side the One-step in the Ragtime Tango. He just took an influence from another dance and applied it. Given that the One-step was a dance of enormous invention and creativity, and that it had quick steps in it already (sometimes), it's impossible for someone to say they invented the Foxtrot concept. Did Harry give it a name and make it official recognized and poplar? Quite possibly.
  12. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    I guess music drives and shapes the dance - new music, new dance (as in, in their complete, recognisable forms - of course the components can be traced back and back).

    Dunno, play some good, good Hip-Hop to someone who's never seen anyone dance to it, and get them to dance to it - you'll pretty much always get a similar answer.

    [I've seen some pretty old footage (40s? 50s?) of folks in the Bronx incorporating breaking (though, presumably, it wasn't called that back then) as shines in their Mambo... surprised me anyway....]
  13. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I doubt that. Any popular dance is an expression of the culture it emerges from, and the ways to express things are infinite.
  14. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Yeaahhh, if you mean in terms of radically different cultures; I wasn't laying out a precise methodology to achieve 100%, universal repeatability.

    But, yeah, it works more often than not in cultures (that I have been familiar with) that are broadly similar (I'm sure that you can define the similarities as well as I can) to the one (s?) that created Hip-Hop (in its complete, recognisable form).

    And by good Hip-Hop, I mean most of the tunes on Company Flow's 'Funcrusher Plus', to pick a pretty uncontroversial example....

    Give it a try....:)
  15. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    What Gustavo said during a workshop in Rome this summer, is that he and two other guys (he did not say who, I guess one was Fabian) sneaked in at a milonga (this was the pre-Gustavo era, when the tango was dying, not many milongas, not publicized) and they saw everybody doing this move. They tried to understand the mechanism and it seemed to them that it was starting like an ocho, and they named it as you know. Later, he said, they understood that they were wrong, but too late, and the name remained. There was no mention of Susana Miller.
  16. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Susanah Miller is mentioned here but it's by Fabian Salas, Gustavo's collaborator:
    One night Gustavo came up with this idea of calling the Ocho Cortado. Or the cut Ocho. It was a mistake -
    the concept was a mistake. He invented it, the Milongueros are using it, and they don't even know where
    it came from.
    And Gustavo is saying, I created a name that now people are calling Ocho Milonguero. Ocho Cortado
    is a mistake - really, the cut ocho is a cut turn ... a reverse of direction, because you go front, open,
    and then you go to the other side. It's not that you are cutting the ocho anywhere, it's just you are making a turn
    to one side and then you start to the other side. So you have a front step and an open step.
    That's what an ocho cortado is.
    But after years, somebody grabbed that ... for example Susana Miller, because she was taking classes
    with Gustavo, and she came up with his terminology, ocho cortado, and she taught this all over the world.
    And now the greater community of dancers has a concept that we brought out, that is wrong (Chuckles).
    Extracted from http://web.archive.org/web/20150915032411/http://www.totango.net/salas2.html and it corroborates what you heard.

    And of course they didn't invent the movement though a reading, or to be fair
    maybe it's actually lazy speaking or quoting, might infer that. The invention was the name.
    Actually when I found that interview it amused me as I never understood how it could
    be called the Ocho Cortado as there was no Ocho at all. It was a cut forward step,
    a turning cut sidestep and reverse rotation into a cross.

    Salas in the interview continues:
    You know, names are only ... For years, we wanted to use terms that describe what is going on.
    Because most of the people want to know what is the name of the step. And they named the steps for the look,
    for the idea, they didn't have a structure/form idea. I mean, the ocho is named for how it looked; it doesn't tell you
    about the structure. Ocho Cortado is just a name that tells you you are cutting the ocho somewhere,
    it doesn't tell you anything about the structure of the step.
    He seems here to be talking here about naming movements as a means of communication
    in teaching and/or choreography. He confusingly then reverts to talking about cutting
    the ocho which previously he has said doesn't happen and is incorrect nomenclature.

    I have seen a longer explanation elsewhere about their study of what the milongueros
    were doing but cannot find that now.
    Is there anywhere an interview with Gustavo Naveira directly referring to this?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2017
  17. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Though, yes, I have studied/taught/performed with Fabian, and we have discussed this stuff many times, John's post #76 above supports all of what I said.
  18. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Then in that case:-

    JohnEm: Thanks for the breakdown.

    Angel HI: Thanks for the confirmation.

    I've chosen to not get too involved in this side of Tango (ie arguing about such things), but since many others haven't - and this particular misunderstanding/misreading seems to come up a lot - it's worth knowing the actual answer.

    Cheers for that!:)
  19. plugger

    plugger Member

    If Gustavo used "ocho cortado" and Susana studied with him it seems OK for her to use it too, but to me the name also sounds descriptive. Gustavo's contrary view is well taken, but an ocho cortado does begin and end much like a forward ocho.
    Both start with the follower stepping to the leader's right on her right foot, just as she would do in a turn, and in both she reverses direction and returns to his chest. In that sense, both are "cut" turns.
    They differ in how she returns in front of the leader. In a FO she pivots on her RF and steps back on her left. In the OC she shifts weight to her LF and returns to partner on her right. The weight shift adds an extra beat to the ocho cortado, and that pause could also be regarded as a "cut," at least in the flow of the move.

Share This Page