Tango Argentino > Suggest a good Instructional DVD please..

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by claws, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. claws

    claws New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I love Tango music a lot and recently after watching so many Tango dance vidoes I too want to dance. But here at my place there no teacher.

    So, I want to learn using instructional DVDs I watched few promo vidoes of DVDs on youtube, but I felt they utterly suck. Though I don't know how to dance tango, I could feel it while watching performances in 'So You Think You Can Dance' show and Ballroom competition videos.

    Please suggest me a DVD which teaches proper technique. Is there any DVD by any Ballroom champions?
  2. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    Well- I think first you might need to assess what it is you actually want to learn, becasue you've come to the Argentine tango forum.

    If you are looking to learn socially danced Argentine tango (rather than stage tango) then I would suggest taking classes from someone reputable in the surrounding area if possible, who is trained specifically in Argentine tango (which is different and has different technical skills from Ballroom tango) and (very importantly IMO) one who goes out and dances socially at the milongas. (We have a couple of teachers in our town who "teach" AT but only teach patterns, and for whom it is not their main dance and also, not surprisingly, I don't ever see out at the local milongas...I don't think that's coincidence).

    Barring any prospect of local instruction, I would find a festival that is giving beginner classes and maybe supplement that with a video, though I have not yet really seen any videos I have thought really gave a good overall picture of Argentine tango (but have only seen 3-4 before I just gave it up as a waste of $$ and there's plenty more than that out there.)

    If you are looking for Ballroom tango, the Ballroom people on the forum may or may not have advice for you.

    I'm just not sure I believe that any dance can truly be learned by watching videos...though I think they are a great addition to complement in person group learning....

    Best of luck to you!
  3. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    ht tp://www.tejastango.com/video_resources.html
    you can find reviews of many instructional videos.
  4. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    Yes- there is that list...unfortunately...there's several videos on there that I bought that I personally think aren't really all that good that received quite good ratings....hence why I alwayes recommend classes in addition to videos.

    You might try Dario's Tango guide on Youtube (FREE!) first before you go spending money on videos....watching those will give you some idea of what it is like to try to learn from a video before spending money.
  5. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Cooking programmes - yes - but like I would never recommend any beginner to start a yoga programme from a DVD and instead get into a class in where she/he will get the hands-on adjustments needed esp. to prevent injury, I would say the same for tango - a film is too one dimensional to know if you are really doing something correctly. Plus, having a partner with whom to practice is also a must. What about a tango holiday or weekend workshop - to at least give you a headstart in the absolute basics.
  6. Me

    Me New Member

    I say, in complete seriousness, why pay for instructional videos? So may people are giving it away for free.

    Dario's Tango Guide is free, and available on iTunes and YouTube. Here is a link on Youtube:

    Tangostudent has uploaded over 60 videos featuring instructional demos from teachers in the San Francisco area. Here is a link on Youtube:

    The only one that comes to mind is by Corky Ballas, and I do not recommend it. As evidenced by the clip published, this video teaches some amazingly incorrect ideas. Here is a clip on Google video:

    I also do not recommend the DVIDA syllabus DVDs. I find the syllabus needlessly confusing, and the students who learn from it (and nothing else) are poorly balanced, cannot lead/follow, and are extremely frustrated and believe AT to be a complicated formula of memorized patterns. Here is a clip from Youtube where basic ochos are taught as a gold level pattern:
  7. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    ht tp://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4777681140493372572

    Now this is the right video for a name-this-syle contest.
  8. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    that was just absolutely dreadful....hip and pelvic contact a la ballroom?...flamingoing of the lady's legs because she doesn't know what to do with her free leg, lack of collection of the feet....the list goes on and on...and that's what I mean....be very careful who you take classes from or what videos you buy...just because someone dances a certain dance (latin) doesn't mean they have the knowledge of the skills in another unrelated dance.
  9. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    Yeah- that DVIDA one could have gone such a different direction, I think...and I'm only saying it because they both seem a little frustrated by what they are teaching...My impression was they were probably forced to put it in to a syllabus pattern format...and then tried to undo that a little in the Improvisation video they did....which looked a little better than the others (though I don't have that one)...but that is only my impression.

    I have several of these videos from when we first started becasue at the time there was a serious lack of good instruction in town and we were desperate...but we quickly saw where they were going and put them aside...probably should have got the improvisation video instead....

    My only beef with Dairo's Tango is that he does use some of the same type of pattern oriented resolutions (always doing starts and endings of the basic which I don't like to see...too confining and gives the wrong impression about how to relate to your partner.

    However, none that I have seen talk about or discuss connection with your partner as a true basis for movement in more than a passing way....maybe someone who has seen Daniel Trenners vids can tell us if he spends any time on it?
  10. claws

    claws New Member

    Hi again,

    I didn't know there are so many styles of tango:

    I'm inspired by http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=_cDf65VaYSE , so Its the international style ballroom tango I want to dance. Isn't this dance awesome? slow & long steps but suddenly quick&instantaneous movements, stylish & passionate. These are the things that impressed me. But none of instructional videos have them, that's what is disappointing. Does Argentine Tango also have these?
    Can any one point me to best Argentine Tango performance? The stage Argentine Tango and the social Argentine tango, are they different?
    :O surprised!! How could a former latin dance champion teach incorrect technique.??
  11. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    He's teaching technique that is incorrect for Argentine tango. I can't say anything about how correct his technique is when applied to the dance he dances...latin...latin and AT don't use the same technques and applying on to dance the other doesn't usually lead to good results...
  12. claws

    claws New Member

    OK. To put myself more clearly, (I don't know which style it comes into) The Tango walk is too stylish. toes pointing, sliding along the floor and importantly taking long steps.

    I saw the Dario's 1st video. In the beginning of the video, there was a performance (in black and white, may be from an old movie) that was also, stylish and has all those things I'm interested in. What style is it? stage argentine tango or social one?

    So, these are my interests please tell me what is the style best suits these.
  13. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    From what I can tell, what Dario is doing at the beginning is mostly performance (Stage) tango...you wouldn't generally have enough room at most social places to dance in that way and it takes years of work to learn that stuff...and if you have a good teacher then you should be learning the social aspect first before moving on the those more difficult concepts IMO. It's all tango...but part of what distinguishes social tango is that you have this other group of entities to think about (the other couples and also the group who is dancing on the floor as a whole to consider)...and a lot of the movements that are used in stage tango generally don't work in a crowded room....Stage tango has ochos...social tango has ochos....stage tango has lifts....in social tango lifting is discouraged....stage tango has ganchos (leg hooks)..social tango...sometimes they are used but tend to be kept discreet....etc etc...stage tango has drops, ariel movements and other things that just aren't done on a crowded floor plus ballet concepts as well.

    Many milongas (tango dance parties) are in very crowded spaces or very small spaces and so large movement that could injure yourself, partner or others is discouraged....sometimes (and I have seen this) to the point that someone will take a disespectful person aside to tell them they are creating havoc on the floor for others.

    All those types of tango you saw listed (Canyengue- a very old style from the early 1900's, Tanog Liso (simple tango- the way tango was danced in the 20's- probably a precursor to the modern Salon style...and so forth...are all part of Argentine tango). The only ones that aren't are ballroom and Finnish (whihc I think is more like ballroom tango than Argentine). I have no idea what Tango Oriental refers to...
  14. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    The black and white segment at the beginning of Dario's instruction videos are all of Dario and Claire themselves. The tango they are doing in these segments in the early videos is very much a performance style of tango not suited to social dancing.

    You can certainly learn stage tango (aka Fantasia) but you would do better to learn the proper social form first. You will have limited opportunities to practice stage tango unless you have a space and a partner to practice on your own. Most of that stuff can't be done at a social dance, so what would you do with it if you aren't a performer? And how would you get to the level of being a performer without learning how to dance socially and becoming known?

    Stage tango moves are fun, but they are not for beginners and not very useful for the average tango dancer.
  15. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    Screwdriver! 9Isn't that what you say when you've said the same thing at the same time???...I'm so old!....) :rolleyes:
  16. claws

    claws New Member

    I see.. So, the Tango that is taught in Dario's guide, is it Stage one or social one?

    To be frank, IMO Social dancing is lame compared to Fantasia. I wan't to learn Fantasia (and I'm a stage performer and wanted to be a) and more over in India we are never going to have any kind of Tango dance parties.

    I would like to perform it. :)
    So, now how is this Argentino Stage dance different from International Style Standard Tango? Anyway, Now can one please suggest good DVD for this AT (Fantasia).
  17. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't it make more sense to just watch the videos and see whether you like what's shown than to worry about which it is?

    But anyway, I think you are going to have trouble finding INSTRUCTIONAL videos of some of the more complicated stage moves. For one thing, a fancy move is often choreographed. (such as the turning lift in the intro to Dario's videos where Claire changes legs in mid lift.. that's definitely NOT a lead and follow type move!)

    People invent these cool moves through trial and error and they aren't eager to help another performer use them. They put together their routines through their own hard work and watching hundreds (or thousands) of hours of tango dancing in addition to doing that much dancing themselves. No one is going to create a video of "Here are all the best show stopping flashy moves that you can fashion into a 'tango' performance routine without learning any tango"

    Any instruction for advanced stage moves is going to ASSUME a good background in basic technique.. which you're have to get by doing the stuff you call "lame". (Can't wait to see the posts in response to THAT comment by the way) you don't perform in Swan Lake without doing hours and hours of plie' and you don't become a good tango performer without actually learning basics of tango.

    My thinking is that if you came here looking for help in shooting to the top of the tango heap without doing the hard work that the rest of us are putting in to get there, you aren't going to get much in the way of positive reinforcment here. The performers we tend to respect are all excellent social dancers.

    If you are a performer already, you can just watch a lot of tango performance videos and figure out how to incorportate some of those falshy things into whatever you are already performing. If you want to be a TANGO dancer, you have to learn social tango or your performance is just "paint by numbers".

    You are reminding me of skaters who just want to get out there and do big jumps without learning how to stroke cleanly or do any footwork.

    But take heart... MANY people were drawn to tango because they wanted to learn the fancy stuff... we all just had to take a deep breath, be patient and learn the "lame" stuff first. And we're damn glad we did (and along the way, we realized that its actually just as rewarding, beautiful and DIFFICULT as the flashy stuff)
  18. claws

    claws New Member

    O.K firstly here I didn't mean to offend any style of dancing, what I was trying to say was the Fantasia AT looks far far better than social dancing, its like instead of saying 100 is greater than 10 I said, 10 is very much less than 100 and secondly I'm a dumb knat who doesn't know anything about Tango so I really am no one to tag any style as "lame".

    My sincere apologies if my words meant otherway.
    All I mean is Fantasia looks more fancy and attractive than social dancing. As I told already, its those performances that dragged my interest to Tango dancing.
    Yeah, it does. I just asked out of curiosity. But you didn't answered it :p
  19. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Not to take anything away from your enthusiasm, the int'l style is the one of the major 3 that is least based on tango. Though, I began w/ this style for many years, I prefer AT.

    It is my humble opinion that if one wishes to be a good dancer, one must know 3 things; tango, amer. bolero, and int'l silver fox.
    A completely impossible request. There are several different styles each with its own great performance. Find or purchase "Tango Argentino" and/or "Forever Tango" (still the best). "Tango Fire" is a good third choice.
    Furthering the topic of instructional vids, there is no substitute for class/coach training. If that is not an option, I would recommend http://www.cosmotango.com/TDVideos.htm .This series of 3 DVDs by 2 of the most respected persons alive are the best for breaking down the basics. of course, there are others. I will PM you with several options re vid samples, teaching vids, and lessons.

    On a side note...thanks, Zoops, for the PM.
  20. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    Champion or not, that was silly :nope:

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