Tango Argentino > Videos > Looking at each other

Discussion in 'Videos' started by AndaBien, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Obviously this is a choreography with some fantasia, but much of it could be lead. I like the idea that they look at each other, as opposed to looking at their feet while they dance.


    The idea of dancing tango with a woman while having to look at her feet always seems like it's missing something.
  2. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I'm with you about them looking at each other, but what's with her knees?
  3. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Trivia - that's his niece there he's dancing with.

    What do you mean, d?

    I watched this scene from Saura's "Tango" over and over again at one point.
  4. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    The thing that I noticed was that her knees stayed bent in places where other dancers would have straightened them out. For the most part, the only time she straightens them out is when they pause. I'm not sure how to explain exactly why I didn't like it (I just thought it looked strange).

    Your question made me decide to ask the wife though. She claims that her hip placement is wrong, and that is what is causing the odd leg movement.
  5. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I think what's bothering you is that she doesn't extend her leg fully to reach for a step. Then the knee is already bent as she begins to place it, so it looks tentative. It actually reminds me of the way beginner followers often dance. Very much "under" themselves. Very little extending. She extends nicely for the fake steps, but not for actual steps.

    I can't tell from this video whether the hip placement is a cause or effect. What I notice is that her upper back seems to be away from the leader rather than towards him. It appears to me that she is projecting forward in the navel area more like like a ballroom tango dancer (as I understand ballroom.. which is limited) rather than higher up like an argentine tango dancer. Or maybe she got an instruction somewhere to hold her shoulders back because she was slouching and she took it too far. Any lean backwards actually makes it harder to have a nice extended tango back step. However even her side steps don't extend fully as she reaches.

    There could be all sorts of reasons why this is the way she moves. Hopefully it isn't because someone told her to dance in constant plie'. However, even in a very small short step, it is possible (most of the time) to get the reaching knee straight, and certainly straighter than she is doing, so I have to wonder if it is deliberate. I would think it takes more effort to stay that down in the knees than to have them simply "not straight".

    It's also important to remember that the long extended reaching leg thing is based on achieving a certain look, not on anything necessary for social tango in a crowded BA milonga. As long as the follower's reach isn't tighter or shorter than the leader intended the step to be, then it shouldn't matter whether she straightens her knee. If she's pulling backwards away from the leader, I'd think that would be more of a problem in a social setting, but it could be she has that posture, but is still quite solid and the leader feels no pull at all. It doesn't look to me as though she has much energy towards him, but some leaders don't like much of that anyway.
  6. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Height 101: you have to negotiate with your partner a common natural step length, and then you have to adjust your height just enough so that your natural step becomes that size without effort (i.e. that your fully extended leg just reaches far enough).

    No, but here she's definitely too low for that stepping to be natural. The paradox of a large lady, especially on heels (my wife is 1.75m): you have to actually lower yourself a bit less for your natural steps to match those of someone smaller. Try to stoop down to his level and this is what you'll get [conversely, a small leader will actually paradoxically make it more comfortable for himself if he actually lowers himself *more* with someone taller].

    As a side comment, I didn't like the musicality one bit. There's not one ounce of playfullness in it, and the "tango is reaaaalllyyy 'serious' " undertone gets on my nerves.
  7. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    It´s also a style question: Milonguero is right to right temple, Salón right to left, Fantasia and Neo face to face. These are some archetypes for the heads in tango.
  8. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I guess that wasn't a problem for me, as I thought the mood of their dance matched the song. I guess I didn't feel this song as being very playful.

    My only issues were related to style.
  9. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I'm not seeing what you two are discussing. She bends her knees exactly as he bends his. She lowers her body the same way he does his, thereby maintaining that eye to eye contact. If that is the way he chooses to dance with her, she is right to dance that way with him.
  10. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    You sure do love your definitions. No one has to dance according to the definitions. In fact, it's pretty much impossible, since we can't even define the definitions.
  11. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    goodness how we bored we must be if we are discussing a tango from a movie as if it was a real dance at a milonga....

    what is happeing in the background is far more interesting..the woman leaning agianst the pillar, the musicians, the camera work...
  12. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    This is a clip from Saura's "Tango", yes? This might explain why I couldn't be bothered watch any more, after the first 10 minutes. Does anyone want a free copy?
  13. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Only if it includes free shipping.

  14. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    I dont like it either. And I wonder why Saura built his movie around this dancer, at all. Actually I do know why I dont like Copes: I dont like his open frosty embrace (if it was an embrace at all, it looks more kind of a frame). And finally I find that they do not look at each other when they dance face to face. The feeling shown resembles scent of a woman.

    There is a lot of justification in taking Copes:

    -he was a light house in the dead season of tango
    -he made fantasia and nuevo danceable
    -he was Piazzolla´s face in the public

    But actually nothing reflects his role in tango evolution in Saura´s movie. Apart from the fact that the production of a stage performance is shown with Copes as director and choreograph.

    That is strange because I rather like Saura´s films, especially the flamenco and fado movies. But tango falls out of alignment.
  15. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    You've never seen me dance that song...you might not like it.
  16. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    And it's our right to think it looks (and probably feels) daft and stilted. Good tango it is not, in my experience (and I have experience in dancing exactly like that with my wife).
  17. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I wasnt being critical of Copes (in case you thought I were) the film isnt a documentary..is jsut Saura...
  18. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Yeah... the fully extended reaching leg. You don't have to dance in plie or step onto a non-extended bent knee to take a certain length step regardless of the leader's height. It has more to do with how you use your hip/leg/ankle than the length of the step. It's possible to take a pretty long step with a bent (reaching) knee, just as it's possible to take a short one with a fully extended knee and vice versa.

    For starters, keeping the heel very close to the floor tends to straighten the knee. Lifting the heel can bend the knee even in a very long step. If one reaches with their foot from the knee down, rather than with the upper leg also, you'll see this mincing bent knee result. If you notice, she also steps this way in her molinete where she could probably take whatever step length she wants and there is no negotiated length based on their respective heights.

    Here's a 101 lesson: Stand on one foot with your supporting knee bent only enough to keep it from being locked. Keep both knees together and place the toes of the reaching leg behind you. In order to do that, your heel has to be lifted. The further back your toes go, the more you have to lift the heel.

    Now put your heel down with the toes placed as far back as you could go with your knees together (allowing the reaching knee to straighten as you lower your heel) Chances are, you can't get your heel down without either shifting your weight back towards it or lowering in the standing leg. If the heel had been down all along, the step would have been shorter despite the extended leg having a straighter knee.

    Personally I wouldn't recommend to a follower that she make a large change in her basic dancing posture and technique just to deal with the height of a leader. It's the responsibility of the leader not to take steps that are too long for his follower. Short steps shouldn't require dancing in plie' and shouldn't need that much of an adjustment from the follower.

    However, I don't think this follower is dancing low in her knees because of the length of their steps. I think all the other things I mentioned are playing a part as well as it just being the way she dances or was directed to dance for this "gazing into one another's eyes" performance.
  19. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I had to watch without sound, so I can only respond to the way it looks.
  20. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    We aren't talking about when she bends her supporting leg to maintain a connection to him, but rather how she doesn't straighten her reaching leg. That has nothing to do with maintaining eye contact or how he lowers his body.

    As I posted (at too much length) above, how a follower uses the various joints in her free leg is not determined by the leader's height, step, or style. Unless it interferes with his lead in some way, he shouldn't even be aware of it... kinda like those adornment thingies.

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