Tango Argentino > Videos > Many nice ways to switch the lead - Queer tango cafe!

Discussion in 'Videos' started by Me, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. Me

    Me New Member

    I was searching recently uploaded tango videos on Youtube and found this:

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    What I like about this didactic video is they use several methods for swapping roles. Now I want to put on some flats and take the lead!

    Here is a little more about these ladies and what they do:

    The Tango Con*Fusión Statement:

    Tango Con*Fusión: Who We Are
    "As women trained and versed in traditional Argentine Tango, we deeply respect traditional tango, cherish the experience of dancing with men, and love to lead. To the objection 'Women who lead are destroying the dance,' we say: We in no way diminish what exists and will always exist. Male leaders and female followers will forever pair and enjoy tango. But this dynamic disallows women a leadership role, and denies the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community a partnering resonant with identity. We counter this exclusion. We contend that in the 21st century, tango, like all living art forms -- like all living beings -- will evolve. We wish to be part and parcel of that evolution."
     
  2. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Trust somebody to bring sex into tango! ;)
     
  3. Me

    Me New Member

    Sex? A part of tango? I've never heard of such!

    It would be nice if people could remove the personal from the dance. If we are short on men in a class I will lead and though sometimes women accept or even appreciate it, there are times I feel it is unwanted and I will stop. Sometimes I pick up on this, "Ew, icky" vibe from women who are just uncomfortable with it. They have very fixed ideas of gender roles in dancing and it is beyond their comfort zone, which I understand. If they seem very uncomfortable with it I will switch to standing next to them and we practice the "follow part" together or refine footwork and she seems immediately happy. Other times I practice the lead in class I definitely sense the cold chill and the follow will stare fixedly at the man next to us who is sharing his lead with other ladies - Clearly, she thinks dancing with me will deprive her of opportunities to dance with a lead, so again, I stop. That steady possessive gaze toward another lead really irritates me, I'll be honest, but I appreciate that this grants me a small glimpse into the life of a full-time lead.
     
  4. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member


    I would request that you read Susan Faludi's book "stiffed" and Anthony Clare's book "On Men".

    Most of the time I am not bothered by ladies leading in tango because they want to or because there is a shortage of male leaders but con fusion I feel are making an issue of it.
    I was at a milonga recently where two men were dancing together. idon't know if they were gay or not. It didn't seem important. And I saw three ladies dancing ceroc together one leading the other two now that was amazing.

    But there are other issues like couples who can' t dance with each other because off the dance floor its the lady wearing the pants!

    I have followed and lead Korey Ireland and height (and my skill or lack of as a follower) is more of an issue than anything else.

    I don't think women leading will "destroy tango" but the feminist movement has eroded male values and masculine identity so we're cornered, and like the best rats we will fight. Please leave your politics at the door and just dance as expressively and skilfully as you can.
     
  5. Me

    Me New Member

    Yes, no issues, no issues! Just dancing, please! :cool: Just to clarify: I included the pull quote from their Youtube description not as an endorsement, but so that my title "queer tango" would be understood as the proper title, and not my opinion of what they were doing.

    I think the different ways to swap leads are great. I am going to grab my partner up by the scruff and ask him to practice this with me. He says the ladies have all the fun anyway so he loves to cross over and have some fun. :D It would be great to practice this with other ladies but as I wrote earlier, not all ladies are open to being lead. Sometimes as a matter of comfort, othertimes as a matter of really wanting to dance with somebody else instead (which I think grants a small measure of insight into what full-time leads (men) have to face sometimes.)
     
  6. kieronneedscake

    kieronneedscake New Member

    I've done a spot of role-reversal. Twice I did so in a lesson, and I felt hostility from some of the women (who seemed to object to me joining their line) and from men who were under no circumstances going to so much as touch another man outside of a rugby scrum.

    I can appreciate the ladies being a bit peeved given their usual shortage of leaders, so I don't do it that often, but it is immensely instructive.

    I'm very impressed with the fluidity of what the couple in the video do. Very fun.
     
  7. Me

    Me New Member

    :uplaugh:
     
  8. Andira

    Andira New Member

    There are plenty of places and occasions where dancing "the other role" is not really OK. Can I demand of them to leave the politics at the door? No, I can't.

    Sometimes making an issue of things makes sense.

    I dance at a similar place with similar ideas, only both men and women participate. Actually the majority of the more advanced dancers there are men. I belive most tango women who also want to lead can do that reasonably comfortably out in the major tango world, while a man following is more off the line. I've seen it, sure, but there are plenty of places where this is just not possible.
     
  9. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    ... they don´t want to ...

    Very nice find, Me!

    Usually I look to the feet. Here I´m looking to the hands.

    This could be a nice stimulus for a "normal" milonga, if only more women would be ready to change fluently into the leading position, but mostly they don´t want to.

    The vid reminds me a little bit of the Libertango Rueda (one woman with three teachers) of The Tango Lesson .. Do you remember?
     

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