Tango Argentino > Man's Walk: Porteños and Panthers

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by v22TTC, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. ant

    ant Member

    Up to here fair enough.

    But lyrics to music is a big leap.

    Music yes but the lyrics I am not so sure.

    Some people would say that this is where you feel the music best and is the soul of dance.

    Agreed and I would have thought the Latin classification from a world view would be based upon the root of the language that makes Italians, Latin people. They are also Meditteranean but I am not sure that has any relevance. but that just shows the absurdity of using language or geography for classifying dance.

    Great but I am not sure it is though.
  2. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Then Jitterbug would be those same dancers after having drunk too much coffee instead?
  3. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I just happen to have several pages on the derivation of jitterbug....
  4. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Oops - I suppose I should clarify that in my earlier post, I intended those of a Romance language to also extend out to those countries colonised by those countries and speaking such languages therefore... well, certainly in the case of Latin America.

    Me: "which informs lyrics, music and dance"

    If the lyrics come first, then the music has to follow the cadence of the language, and the tone of the words (generally). Weren't some of the classic Tangos (particularly some of the earlier ones) written as Euro-Latin style, sentimental poems, with music added later?

    Of course, once the music's established enough as a recognisable form, then it can precisely evoke without needing lyrics... I mean in addition to what it can more generally evoke in someone unfamiliar with that music and what it specifically signifies [big can of worms...].

    I suppose the question is 'in each culture, going way back, which came first; the language or the music?'

    Me: "that's what the 'soul' of the dance is"

    Fair enough: I'm of the 'learn the lyrics and dance accordingly' school (where there are lyrics - and there's always an evocative title!), but I've had way too many debates with musicians (who weren't also lyricists) about this kind of thing to be able to see it as anything but a preference.

    It's the Roger Waters v. Dave Gilmore thing: I know which side I'm firmly on....;)

    Me: "hips wiggle"

    Mmmmm... not me personally but I wouldn't disagree with anyone who said that - I guess the soul also has to contain a proper functionality (form following function as it does), which some dances would lose with hip wiggling.

    But yeah - have to think about that one... I certainly did feel pretty good when Cuban-motioning my through Salsa... way more than is proper for a big, Northern bloke...:p though it's notable that I stopped that and continued TA (with still hips), and am feeling far more 'soulful' in doing so....

    Dunno, language pretty much shapes 'reality' (rather than merely describing it), so has an awful lot of significance; geography less so, I totally agree (as you say, with that very nice example, it can be pretty absurd).

    I guess in a different kind of discussion - one that was pretty rigidly classifying dances by their mechanics - it wouldn't have occurred to me to think of TA as Latin, as some have said.

    I think that some of this discussion is looking a little deeper, so it's relevant here, specifically - if the dance is very much the walk, then what should be the walk's attitude, and why (in terms of my approach, since I started the thread)? It really should signify something, so I find it worth thinking deeply about....:)
  5. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Oh stewardess, I speak Jive.
  6. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

  7. ant

    ant Member

    In terms of the origin of the Tango music a lot depends on how and from what you think Tango evolved from. Personally I believe it had an African origin, that evolved into Milonga and then the more cutting Tango of the early 1900's (listen to 1920's Lomuto). I think it was at this time that the European BR had an influence on the Tango being danced, which changed the style from a rougher more earthy dance to a smoother style that started to acknowledge breaks in the music and cutting of movements and it was this change in style that encouraged the music of the Golden Age in the 1930's onwards. If you believe this form of evolution the music we now know followed the dance style and the lyrics had very little influence.
    Is culture dependant on either of these influences or the environment in which it (the culture) developed? Where music and language are only incidental parts of that environment.

    I let the music lead me. This is true even with tracks where I understand the language.
    Sorry I have not heard of these people
    Interesting you feel more soulful with still hips. I feel my most "dance passionate and intimate" when moving my hips but this may not be what you mean by soulful.

    I think language merely describes reality and sometimes it does not even do that very well.

    I think using the hips to dance is far more natural than not. On the other hand AT subscribes to the limited movement of hips but likes to think of itself of the dance of natural movement. So for me there is a dichotomy here. This dichotomy manifests itself in a certain stifling of my dancing during AT.

    In this context I feel that AT is very difficult to classify as I think it stands somewhere between BR and Latin. I see the influence of both in the various walking styles that are seen at Milongas. The straighter pendulum leg action of BR and the high knee, high foot action of the Latin. To be fair though until recently I did not much care for the high knee, high foot action but I now find that stlye helps me when I dance certain tracks of Pugliese, especially La Yumba.

    I am not sure about a deeper meaning in the walk other than as a tool to interpret the music.
  8. ant

    ant Member

    v22, do you live in the UK?

    If so have you considered going to The Tango Mango, which takes place in Devon on 15th October to 24th October. The private lessons there are £35 per hour and there are some excellant teachers available and the dancing and other lessons available the rest of the time are very good as well, making the journey worthwhile. Here's a link

  9. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    As this is a thread about walking action, I'm wondering whether I misunderstand you regarding the 'high knee, high foot action' you describe. Are you envisaging the stepping foot leaving the floor - that's not what I would expect from a 'latin' walking action, quite the reverse, and it is the BR tango walk that has the foot picked up and placed forward (and that action is particular to tango and doesn't apply to the other BR swing dances)?
  10. ant

    ant Member

    No more the type of walk you would do in Cha Cha Cha where the ball of the front foot is fully engaged to the floor and you use the knee more like a flicking action but not as pronounced as you would with the Cha Cha Cha.
  11. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member


    Now we've got a ballroom dancer discussing AT technique, and AT dancers opining on ballroom technique.

    Just for the sake of the arguments...how many people here have actually really studied both AT and ballroom (either/both Latin/Standard) seriously? Because, really, without that sort of a background...it's all just talk. So much of dance is an illusion--both in AT and in Standard (if various threads around here and my own limited experience are any guide).

    Seriously people.
  12. ant

    ant Member

    I can't speak for anybody else but I have been doing both regularly for over three years. The only reason I used BR Language (and I would not describe it as opining) was because of a specific question from a specific poster. I would not normally post in that manner but in this instance I thought it appropriate. I have also taken on board that the poster I am referring to is new to this Forum so I think I can cut him a bit of slack and I am also conscious of the fact that this is the second BR background AT dancer posting here in the recent past and both feel they are getting a rough time. If this view seems unreasonable to you and has caused you a problem I apologise

    From the other point of view I would not normally talk about AT outside the AT area. For instance I would have liked the following thread to have been started inh the AT section, considering that it seems to be AT specific, as I think it would have produced some interesting debate.

  13. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I have to admit, I'm starting to find this pretty funny, especially when you consider that we typically spend a lot of time discussing whether nuevo should be a separate dance.

    Maybe we should treat ballroom and latin like nuevo, and just say, "It's all tango".

  14. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I've taken ballroom classes at various times, enough to be familiar with it, and enough to know that it doesn't satisfy my preferences in dance.
  15. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Yep; I've been extremely mindful of the latter part too... I found it a real shame how the previous one ended up. If it's down to thickness of skin, then it's not going quite right, IMO.

    EDIT: Cheers for the info about Tango Mango too! No way I'll be able to make it this year but there'll probably be others.
  16. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I'm quite able to hold my own in debate, but I don't like (or really recognise) the label 'ballroom dancer' to the extent that it is being applied to me.

    I'm an experienced dance teacher, and a full member of a teaching society of International repute. If I've got something to say within my own area of professional competence, it is probably worth hearing. If it is of no interest, there's no need to post back at all, just to move on to other topics, and there's certainly no need for the sarcastic rudeness I have read in this topic. But such is life.

    As I have previously said, I dance all of the standard 'ballroom' styles, along with a whole load of others, including, but not limited to all of the standard 'latin' styles. I have a professional interest in dance technique in a whole variety of dance genres, and have been a keen student (not teacher) of AT for some time. I shall probably start teaching AT at some point, but that is for the future. When I do, you can rest assured that my demonstrations will NOT look like Corky's.

    Meanwhile it amuses me greatly that so many of 'you' are obviously so very uptight about your relationship to the rest of the dancing community. I originally mentioned the two different walking approaches of two big teaching societies (and they are at least as entitled to have an approach as are any of you, individually), and, judging by the number of constructive posts since, it is a topic of interest to some, if not all.

    But please remember that it wasn't me who raised ballroom at all, but once someone had, I gently pointed out that ballroom is a very small part of the work of the big teaching societies and their members, and that other genres: ballet, tap & freestyle (in particular) have dominated for years. On closer examination, it seems that we are lumping all sorts of dances into the 'ballroom' category, including a load of latin club styles, and we are just talking about completely different things.

    At the time of the political upheavals that brought the Golden Age to an abrupt end, AT dominated social dancing in the urban centres of Argentina, and here in the UK, every town of any size had its Palais de Dance, and just about everyone danced ballroom as a matter of course, often without any formal instruction.

    But it changed here too: not for political reasons, but because of changing fashions and demographic shifts. The baby boomers didn't dance ballroom, and the teaching societies rapidly changed their spots to suit. This was all decades ago. At my studio, ballroom & latin are the minority styles, and have been for years, and that is probably widely true in the dance 'industry' as a whole.

    The bogey man you all fear is a paper tiger.
  17. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    FWIW, my recollection was that the rudeness was introduced to this thread by this post below.
    That post doesn't appear to be the best way to win friends, or be taken seriously in a tango forum.

    My recollection is that you were the one who brought Ballroom stuff into this thread with your post about the IDTA. It didn't seem to impress many people here, which appears to have upset you, and eventually led to your rude post that I've previously mentioned. You reap what you sow.
  18. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Then your recollection is wrong, isn't it?

    There is no general equivalence of IDTA = Ballroom and I don't know why you would think that there is, but I didn't mention ballroom, I was posting about AT technique. Specifically, I was comparing ISTD technique with that of IDTA. If you want to interpret that as me trying to 'impress' anyone (why would it?), then there's probably not a lot I can do to convince you otherwise.

    I responded later to others' comments, but that is what debate is about. Perhaps you think that I have insufficient 'credentials' to hold an opinion about AT, but in any event, I don't think I have anything further to contribute to this topic, but it has been interesting.
  19. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Aye, the murky origins... who knows? I'll freely admit that I don't know much about this yet, and will always get quickly out of my depth when it comes to music; but I suppose what I'm saying is that if you take something like Gardel's 'Mano a Mano', it's rhythm and 'sing-song-ness':oops: is very in-line with a Romance language - you'd have a hell of a time fitting English or Germanic words, with similar meaning, into that rhythm, and it would probably also sound flatter?.. dunno....

    Big, big, big question - we could go around the houses on this one forever. You do see interesting general 'rules' about languages though, like pitch correlating with altitude (in terms of how the sound then carries through thinner air), and languages that evolved in hilly places being more 'sing-song' than those that evolved in flatter places... we won't find the answer (probably), so just something to think about, if you want....:)

    [BTW: Roger Waters and Dave Gilmore were the (main) lyricist/singer, and main guitarist (respectively) of Pink Floyd... they split up, went to court to battle over who kept the name, judge found in favour of the musicians; so it's a pretty good case study in terms of debating the relative privileging of lyrics v. music... for whatever that's worth....]

    Yeah, there's different stuff getting mixed up here: all being equal, moving hips would beat still ones hands down. But I dance more from the soul (despite still hips, which I consider personally right in TA) in TA than I do in Salsa (despite slick hips)... but that's way more down to what's in my own soul at the moment than anything else (way more melancholy than joy).

    What this means is that for some, the greater part of a dance's soul can reside somewhere other than the hips... not so for others - fair enough.

    In quite a lot of disciplines that I've come across, it is the waist that is the thing to be most mindful of (and spiritual/energy centre etc), rather than the hips... there's still plenty of waist-mindedness in TA.

    Yea -verily! - to the second part; but I've really, really studied this and I honestly don't think that the first part is (mostly) right... big subject again. I suppose the best examples to ponder a little about is words that can't be translated into other languages/cultures meaningfully; and the approaches to concrete realities and abstracts in alphabetical v. pictographic/ideographic languages.

    Fascinating but most likely too big for here....

    OK, I've chosen to go about it the hard way, but I've never fathomed this: "[AT] likes to think of itself of the dance of natural movement." The apprentices used to practice just the walk for years before showing their faces in milongas... and it's 'natural movement'?!

    I guess it's sort of 'natural with qualifiers': Zoops' 'natural when walking backwards down an incline'; or maybe 'natural when walking forwards into a gale, if you couldn't hunch over for some reason...'?...

    I suppose it's YMMV according to technique choice and in comparison to ballet? Dunno....

    I'm enjoying reading the debate about this, since I know nothing about this, and like to know stuff. I'll have another listen 'La Yumba' and think about how to step to it.:)

    Well, I'm 'a deep one'....:p I always approach everything that I care about with my analytical and artistic eye... finding then capturing essences and all that (very true but always poncey-sounding).

    So Salsa-approach/embodiment was easy ['I am the sexiest Cuban mofo on the planet!':cool:], and vastly improved my dancing - attitude always counts for a lot.

    The 'I am...' isn't quite so easy to find in TA, but it is at the core, and will inform the whole lot (especially the walk, given what the dance is), me being me.
  20. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    I did.

    As far as I'm concerned AT, and BR should not be transposed, compared, nor combined. Neither translates well into each other. They should be learned and treated as totally different dances... Because they are.

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