Tango Argentino > Videos > Not your typical tango dance

Discussion in 'Videos' started by jantango, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. jantango

    jantango Active Member

  2. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

  3. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I took several classes from Julio a year or so ago. He was the one that finally got me to buy into the philosophy that in tango, no one follows anyone. Both people accompany each other.

    He made a point of hammering home that the woman doesn't follow the man, and also that the man doesn't follow the woman after leading her.
  4. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Okay, if you want that definition. It is both true and completely false, depending on how you understand it. I'm not sure that understanding a definition has anything to do with way a person dances.

    For me, my partner must definitely follow my lead. And after she does that, I follow what she does, according to my lead.
  5. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Julio explicitly mentioned that, and said it is wrong (according to him). Of course, I've heard plenty of others advocate what you say, and also have heard some others say it's wrong.

    I'll just say, it's not what I'm trying to do, nor what I advocate. I also know that I'm not an authority on any of this. It's just my opinion, but I've bought into the philosophy of both people trying to accompany each other.

    I just don't spend a lot of time telling others that they are wrong. You know better than I, what works for you.
  6. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Oh, my partners do that all the time: perhaps it's the way I lead. It's a lovely change to see some smiles, though. I occasionally remember that dancing is meant to be fun. ;)
  7. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    After trying to work out the apparent conundrum of each partner following
    the other I've found it best to omit the mystical talk. Talk about what
    partners actually need to do if explanation is needed at all. It's a simpler,
    more direct way of encouraging them to be able to dance.

    What they then feel is between them. My partners tell me different things
    about what they feel at different times: it isn't for me to second guess.
  8. gyb

    gyb Member

    I think it's pretty clear that her fall was intentional (from the way she dips on her left leg and pulls down her left arm before loosing axis and from the way she pushes herself with her right leg backwards instead of making an attempt at regaining stability).
  9. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    If it was intentional, it is well done. It looks spontaneous, like she just let it happen. very nice.
  10. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I've found that words rarely accurately represent dance - maybe in classical ballet there is a clear vocabulary. Part of my teaching mantra is that everything I say is wrong - in some situation or to some degree. We could be using different words to describe the exact same experience.

    What I mean to convey is that I don't dictate precise movements to my partner. She has a degree of latitude and I will adjust to whatever she does. If she stretches that latitude too far, then I become unhappy. We work it out together, or we don't.
  11. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure about the worth of any teaching mantra just I am not sure
    of the worth of most classes where inevitably what's said and taught
    cannot be applicable to everyone in an identical way.

    The same thing can often be said in different ways but somehow
    I cannot be satisfied by words that don't accurately indicate the
    principles required - that is all I say to a prospective partner as the
    rest comes from practise by dancing, for me and her. Nor would I use
    a specialised vocabulary, one is not needed. What is needed is clarity.

    There is little latitude in a dance of one body and four legs. If her leg has
    not gone to where I expect, she isn't letting her free leg follow her body,
    and I can feel that, or I have been mistaken and must either rectify
    the mistake or be more definite. However your dance may be different.
  12. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Yes, my dance is different.

    Do you have the idea that everything must be either correct or incorrect? That if it doesn't work out as you expect, that someone has goofed? Either you or your partner?

    I like to go "over the edge". That is, with a good partner, to loose complete control, to go with my partner where we haven't been before. If it comes out nicely, it's fulfilling. If it doesn't, it's rewarding to have at least tried to go somewhere not already rehearsed. I like to go over the edge until the dance breaks and we have to recover. It's exciting. My intention is not try to break dances, but I like to expand the envelope. If we don't go over the edge, then we don't know where the edge is. I want to explore the limitations of our dance until it breaks. I find liveliness in going beyond the practiced and rehearsed routines.
  13. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    I have already explained that.
    But it isn't a question correct or incorrect.
    It's how I choose to dance - the Buenos Aires social tango way.

    Quite some time ago I decided that all of this talk/teaching of active participation
    of the woman, role interplay and having a "conversation" is teacher tango contrived
    to promote the perceived need for being taught, be "inclusive" maybe, but certainly
    it leads to over complication to the extent of confusion. Making this dance complicated
    might be good for the teaching business but it isn't good for the practice of dancing.

    What suits you (or me) is your business until you (and me) start writing about it,
    then we need to be clear what it is we are writing about. Unfortunately most people
    on here are not, no wonder there is so much conflict and controversy. And then they
    defend whatever they are dancing as Argentine Tango. Maybe we should drop
    the Argentine part as unhelpful and just name our styles.
    The Argentines would laugh at that too and say it's all tango.

    Sometimes I prefer to think of what I dance as "sociable" tango.
    When a whole busily crowded ronda at Lo de Celia gently travels
    less than two sides of the floor during one tune in a harmony of
    continually progressing movement you know you are mixing with sociable
    and experienced dancers.

    If you want to experiment and test the limits of your dance that is fine
    but in my dance (and that of the milongueros and other social dancers in
    central BsAs) there are no practiced and rehearsed routines to feel you
    have to break out of. I broke out of those after I had researched what
    this dance could or should be and found that it is not one of choreographic
    learned patterns and routines, which can have little connection with music
    when dancing socially, but danced step by step to the music. My partner
    does not know what is coming next, she often knows not why and how she did
    what she did, but her own body tells her and with the certainty of feeling.

    This is social dancing, or it should be. If we forgot all the complication
    maybe more people would be attracted to its pure simplicity. How complicated
    it then becomes (within the embrace) depends on the partnership and the moment.
    Dance for each other, not for those who may be watching.
  14. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    And you bought it? No one is in charge in the driver's seat watching traffic ahead? That comment is from someone who doesn't dance socially at milongas; only in exhibition with his wife.

    Just goes to prove how teachers keep coming up with things to confuse dancers. Some will believe anything they say because they are "famous" in the tango world.

    Corina didn't plan that fall. Try dancing on the sand, and you'll know that she lost her balance. It was the highlight of the film. She broke that serious tango face with a smile. The film shows that even those who have been put on a tango pedestal are only human.
  15. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    I also do so. Leading is an offer. It means a woman may refuse or fill in all those possible opportunities. And every possibility brings other opportunities, as if the music or the rhythm would change. Of course in most of my dances 90% of my offers match my expectations, but those remaining degrees of freedom will make it that interesting.

    Some years ago a former teacher of me had the feeling to put me in my place again: but that dance turned out actually to be unpredictable. So many really unexpected upshots. So many doublings she did to escape my trace. What a wonderful dance it got, really dialogical.
  16. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    Tango in a milonga is improvised. No matter how many times I dance with a partner, I never know what is coming next, nor does he. I stay present in the moment with him. He takes care of navigation. We feel the music together. We're not worrying about steps. In that respect, the dance is unpredictable.

    The only thing predictable is the enjoyment we share.
  17. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    He was clear that the man provides the intention, (apparently he was more clear than my post was).


    He was teaching about how the two people move together as one (while also teaching some difficult steps). He didn't like the term following, because (to him) it meant one was trying to catch up to the other, when the goal was to accompany each other through out the dance.
  18. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I guess I basically do. Although often, it's both who have "goofed". It's just that I don't feel most goofs are any big deal. My leading isn't perfect, and I make plenty of mistakes, so I don't have any expectation that the follower is going to be perfect either (and if she were perfect, she'd likely be dancing with someone a lot better than I am).


    Sure I may go for something risky from time to time, and if it doesn't go as expected, I accept that I probably didn't do something as well as it could have been, but I'm not going to dwell on it, or let it keep me from enjoying the experience. A couple times I've tried something, and the woman did something different from what I expected, but it actually was better than what I was going for. I goofed, but she didn't.

  19. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Interesting. I agree with him about lead and follow - it's an inadequate
    and inaccurate explanation. But to me accompanying is a little vaguely
    timorous. Practising accompanying without arms at all is worthwhile
    for both partners (at a practica or similar I hasten to add) but I would
    give it a more practical and definite description. You know me and clarity.

    But in practice you and I and many others know we move as one
    together in the embrace with the legs of the woman and the man
    following their own bodies. It's the teaching of difficult steps that
    bothers me - teaching steps to whom, woman, man or both?

    I fear all his talk and all his steps are yet more confusion.
  20. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    Are you part of milonga police squad?

    I saw them dancing at milonga during one festival.

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