Tango Argentino > Styles anyone

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by tanjive, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. tanjive

    tanjive New Member

    Thought this was an interesting article on the subject.


    Assuming the summaries made are accurate the Europeans will now have a better idea of all the statements our American cousins make.

    For me a teacher ought to have some didactic viewpoint and atleast breakdown the dance into its components. As long as it is open and clear what they are meaning that is fine. A universal teaching not required or necessary. Leave it on the side in a milonga though.

    If you can dance in very crowded conditions in close embrace, does it matter what it is called? That is an ideal condition to reach in your tango journey.
  2. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Well I just read the beginning

    And then I decided that this Melina lady was not qualified to write about tango, and I did not bother reading further. "Tango de Salon". Pfft. This is ballroom tango. The guy's answer is right, ballroom tango is danced more open with big steps.
  3. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    hmm, I think you're jumping the gun, there. Melina is quite well enough qualified to write about tango, furthermore her explanations of cultural disparity of use of terms like "salon" and "Milonguero" is quite clear.

    I think you should bother to read the rest. Its etymologically interesting, and could easily be from Calvino's "If On A Winter's Night A Traveller"*

    * "If On A Winter's Night A Traveler" is a mystery story, a satire, a romance, and a treasure hunt. Any book whose first chapter explains how you're supposed to read it has got to be a winner -- "You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, "If On A Winter's Night a Traveler." Relax. Concentrate." And so on, with Calvino gently joking and chiding the reader before actually beginning his strange little tale.

    Then there was the novel's giddying (what I soon learned to call) intertextuality, where the protagonist "You" comes across 12 manuscripts written in the style of a Bogart movie, Borges, Chekhov, a spaghetti western, Mishima, and so on. And how about the audacious structure? Each manuscript is interrupted after too few exquisite pages, obliging "You" to hunt for its continuation through a landscape of bookshops, rarefied campuses, shifty publishers, refined censors, reading rooms and literary guerrillas David Mitchell Guardian
  4. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I found it quite an interesting article.

    I, too, would prefer to think that what I dance is social tango. I'm not sure I want to be 'labelled' or feel that what I do is constrained by my loyalty or adherence to a party within the tango community. Words don't make a better dancer.
  5. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    As an aside: The guy is just wrong. The ballroom tango hold is every bit as close as an AT close embrace, but with different points of contact. Dancing in some sort of open, 'Latin-like', hold is just bad ballroom tango.
  6. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    may I add, not only because of her dancing and teaching, somewhere throughout in the web you can also find her Master thesis on some social and pschological aspects of tango.

    But, I dont understand, why she struggles against the shifting and altering of the names. She is right, for a long time Salón was identified with social dancing in close hold (which is nowadays taken over by Milonguero). But 100 years ago it was the other way round again, Salón then was identified with a more elegant open hold (which now is VU). There was a really sharp borderline between del centro and orillero.
  7. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    I suspect your decision is premature.

    I agree with her initial analysis, that there are essentially three main "types" of Tango dancing.
    1. Show Tango (or Tango Fantasia / Tango Escenario): the stuff danced in shows
    2. Tango de Salon: traditional music, close embrace style
    3. Tango Nuevo: non-traditional music, flexible / open embrace.
  8. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    That said:

    Well, yes - much of the rest of the article reads a bit like a whinge about labels being used "wrongly" by other people, and a snark at some other teachers.
  9. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I think it just goes to show that there's a continuum, a spectrum of the dance. M&D fall somewhat in the middle. (CE no weight sharing, but still dancing traditional steps, some Nuevo teaching methods.) You can label various breakpoints of the spectrum for ease of communication, but that's really the best you can do. If they want to call themselves Tango de Salon, that's fine by me.
  10. ant

    ant Member

    The part of her article that I found most interesting were
    Friends of mine that have been to BsAs have informed me and Argentinian teachers I have experienced in the UK do tend to use hand or arm leads when a European teacher would teach use of the body. Is this other peoples experience?
    I wonder why this is so.
    Can anybody explain what she means by this?
    I like the intent of this.
  11. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Not really the left hand has always been an extension of the chest...

    locally I take people who say they are learning salon tango to mean that they dont share any weight because that's how they dance. I just dance tango, no qaulifiers or subsect; except not escenario..not a performer...
  12. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Yes it is, but not in the way argentine vs. european teachers. It´s simply a question of education and academic claim. There is a lot of well trained and studied argentine teachers, that have unmasked the body-center-only-talk as a battle slogan of Miller´s Milonguero stylists. Also traditional VU-stylists claim: you should be able to lead with every part of your body.

    Firstly, it is the more difficult way. You only can do so if you have a firm body posture. Secondly the embrace DyM teach is already a little bit more flexible than the traditional apilado hold. They dance in a slight-V and do not cling to each other.

    I saw them turning with and without doublings: Sometimes in the traditional qqs pattern, sometimes only sss, sometimes qqq. They do not care about that VU-protocolls about the rhythmic interpretation of 8cB and 8-point-Molinete.
  13. salthepal

    salthepal New Member

    One point about the labeling (Salon vs. Milonguero) is the ad-hoc asignment. A lot of famous milongueros [edit: I realize this is very subjective] (meaning: ones we would easily identify with the ultra-close embrace with small steps), e.g. Tete, called their dancing "Salon". Others who danced a more VU style would resent it if they were told that their dancing was not "milonguero" style.

    Seems like a semantic argument at the end of the day. Maybe we can agree that both the term "Salon" encompasses both Centro-style (milonguero) and Barrio-style (VU), since both styles share an emphasis on chest to schest connection (with a focus on different points of contact in the chest)?

    What I think is at the heart of Melina's argument is the focus on the chest connection ( Salon), vs. completely open hold (Nuevo) vs. hip contact (Ballroom Tango)
  14. ant

    ant Member

    How you have put it above makes perfect sense to me but it is not the way I think it was put by Melina.

    It seems to me that Melina was more concerned about the way people have categorised your chest connection category and the way names given to subsets of this category can change from country to country.
  15. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    She should get over it. It happens all the time.

    In 1980 dancers in Texas called Wesern Swing / West Coast Swing, "California style swing". Texas "Shuffle" became known became known as Texas Two Step, or just "Two Step" around the country, even though there was already a different Two Step that had been around for decades.

    Western Swing WAS West Coast Swing, but is now the same (maybe?) as "Country Swing" or "Cowboy Swing". People in Los Angeles country western clubs danced "Western Swing" in 1981 among other dances. Which one do you think it was? (That's a rhetorical question.)

    In California dancers called the swing style from the East Coast "the New Yorker".

    There is still, and ever will be, confusion about different styles of swing.

    Why should we expect tango to be any diferent, especially since it is so global?
  16. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    I see your are enjoying your new book... ;)
  17. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    IMO, there are a several styles that can fall into the "collection" of "things" called salon. Milonguero style fits in there (as a subset of salon), and VU style (where they do tend to take big steps when the space is available) is another subset of salon.
  18. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    The problem is that "styles" are now merchandised as incompatible labels. Why are they merchandised? It has become an industry, a lot of people live on dancing and teaching. To get along they proclaimed the one-style-only dancer. Of course of the only true style...

    I like to dance "Salón" with Caló and Fresedo,
    "Milonguero with Gardel and Tanturi,
    "Neo" with Gotan Project
    "Nuevo" with Pugliese
  19. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    No argument there, as the music very much will change the style I want to dance.

    Out of curiosity, what is "Neo" style dancing? I've only heard that term used with music, not with a style of dance.
  20. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    After reading comments on the article itself, I started looking at my notes from my lessons with Miller years ago. Then I thought about how some of the teachers here in Portland didn't obsess / talk much at all about what style they are teaching.

    Well, you know a little bit of knowledge is dangerous. So, what about a large bit information?

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