Tango Argentino > Teaching Musicality to tango dancers

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by bordertangoman, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Mae fy nhad yn ddod o Ystalyfera; rydw i hanner cymraeg ( a hanner lloerig)
  2. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    fi hefyd - rhyfedd sy'n
  3. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, that would explain why they are asking about it.

  4. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    in the third video: in the first movement most of the dancing is circular giro and various steps around each other; in the second movement it is more with the phrasing....until the last slightly fugal movement where they take up the impetus of the music with sacadas ganchos and such like.

    in the second video: the first movement starts of with simple phrasic steps flowing into more circular movements when the music flows a bit and then they slow right down;
    their dancing continues in a similar vein until he executes a sandwich at the end of a movement; again they get more circular movements for the last movement.

    in the first video the interpretation is more complex; Chicho alternates stepping on all the little beats with advanced complex swirls of his partner; he is also leading her into different movements than the ones he is taking himself; his movements at feet level are stccato whilst she is legato; then it gets playful where he starts a phrase and leads her to take the steps that end it whilst his feet are still. the whole of the dance is phrasic with a lot of sharp stops.....until the last movement wher they get swirling and boleoing.

    and here's sally potter with assorted dancers..
    [yt]<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/eaFYR3GklqU&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/eaFYR3GklqU&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>[/yt]

    one must give credit to the invisible dancer here; the camera man ; where he starts moving around the dancers.
  5. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

  6. bafonso

    bafonso New Member

    If you don't get Jazz, nobody can really explain it to you. You need to find it out for yourself, or not...

    It's not arrogant, it's the way it is. The word in spanish is explained here, obviously associated with music:


    In tango, it's typically associated with the feeling of your body dancing and conveying the music, which is very different than just dancing to the music.

    Again, dance with milongueros, let them lead you... they'll try and let you know what it is for them. There's different takes but the bottom line is that you need to embody the music. Can't explain more than this.
  7. bafonso

    bafonso New Member

    Well, you are assuming that the dance needs to make sense. I saw some videos and appreciated it as an art form, I didn't rationalize it. Maybe I should have or I failed to see the founding structural elements of it. :)

    Back to tango. The whole thing about writing is that you don't know how people interpret whatever you write and how they perceive it in their body. It's like teaching someone how to lead tango. You can't do it over the internet. I've seen it fail over and over again. Anyone that has ever tried to teach anyone basics and is serious about the dance understands this.

    I had Maxi Gluzman lead me and I got a glimpse of what people mean when they mention cadencia. He himself calls it. Other people have lead me and I feel different things but with similarities and own interpretations. It's hard to describe it or I just can't do it. It has to do with embodying the music and poring it out of your body.

    It's something I try very hard to get but seldom times I feel I'm doing. It's something I've found generally unappreciated by US citizens but more appreciated by europeans and the rest of the america.

    The whole watching videos is important but it's fundamental that you either have danced with that person or you have danced with people from the same line of thought/school to have a better grasp of what's happening or realize how wonderful some stuff feels, or not. Also, people have different ideas of the dance and sometimes it's very easy to fall into stupid arguments.

    Feel more, analyze less. Free yourself to feel.
  8. Lui

    Lui Active Member


    I'm afraid, I totally agree. Talk less, dance more. Nevertheless, in the back of my mind I'm still pondering about excercises for my students to gain a better hold on the Cadencia.
  9. bafonso

    bafonso New Member

    I think that's a very honorable goal and I'd be interested to know how that goes. Listen and feel the music... that's what I've been told many many times.
  10. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Thank you for this post, Lui. Agree 1000%
  11. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Learning how to lead is a hard enough job in any dance and many teachers have no idea themselves how to teach it so they don't try. And ballroom teaching can be worse. The old Argentine way, learning how to be lead and to follow first, practised out of necessity, had a lot of merit.

    How interesting to find a teacher using the word cadencia. Maybe it's finding some sort of usage in tango but it doesn't seem to convey anything at all as it has no such widely understood meaning. Maybe your teacher had also seen the Oscar Casas videos. YouTube has a lot to answer for! For words to be used as communication we have to use commonly understood language. And the Spanish Wikipedia page on Cadencia makes no reference at all to repeated rhythmic patterns of light, motion or sound. It only describes similar musical meanings as cadence omitting the wider english technical usage.

    Perhaps teachers are struggling to encourage people to embrace and move to the music. Perhaps he is trying to encourage listening deeply to the music and interpreting it in movement. The individuals in a partnership have to have all sorts of other attributes before each may feel it. Writing about such a connection is indeed near impossible.

    You can decide that you hear the cadences of music, rhythms (repeated patterns), inflections and intonations of both instruments and voices but it is a bit of a leap from more normal usage.

    Strangely I see no cadence/cadencia (in the conventional sense) in what Oscar Casas is teaching. Much of what I've seen in his videos can be useful but not these examples, at least to me. He always seems to have a somewhat loose, flowing, easy style rather as if he might be a swing dancer dancing tango.

    To get the most out of videos, first you have to know and understand the basic principles and techniques. And already be able to execute them preferably. They aren't a substitute for good tuition and a willingness to learn and practise.

    It's tempting to say why are you on here then? But I know you don't mean this badly. So I'll agree!
  12. Temza

    Temza Member

    it is true that cadencia is unmistakable but every dancer does it in a different way. So once I asked a tango dancer and teacher whose cadencia I liked particularly to explain it to my partner. He said something like this: every person walks with a little sway (if this is the right word), but the type of sway will differ from one person to another. The key (he said) is to let your own natural sway into the dance and do it with the music, not trying to copy anybody.

    He also said that it would come with experience and confidence in one's dance.

    I don't know if this is helpful or even more confusing :)
  13. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    that makes sense to me. I didnt find the jazz analogy helpful, because jazz playing jazz can be taught and its such a wide field of music anyway.

    If it is something that needs to be felt to be understood then fair enough; I spend as much time as I can with my students getting them to feel movements anyway and I have been led by some visiting teachers..... Unfortunately BsAs is beyond my reach at the moment.......
  14. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    the group I'm teaching at the moment are salsa dancers mostly so they already have a feel for music but from a different genre...so I'm looking at how to make a transition from what they know to tango. I might use milonga as the tempo is closer....
  15. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    This is consistant with what I have been taught/told about cadencia, it is an individual/personal thing.
  16. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Yes. Precisely. Which is why I emphasize "learning to lead" and "floorcraft" as the first priorities, at least for beginner leaders.

    Hmmmm, getting a sense of deja vu here. Or have I had that already? :D
  17. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Yes. Precisely. Which is why I emphasize "learning to lead" and "floorcraft" as the first priorities, at least for beginner leaders.

    Hmmmm, getting a sense of deja vu here. Or have I had that already? :D

    PS I'm waiting for the movie to come out "On Being Dave Bailey."
  18. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    Ok this is getting interesting:bouncy: I like Balfonso's post a lot..it speaks to the mystery of the whole thing..and it has a lot of 'truth' in it.
    Hmm, It was Maxi Gluzman who taught me to lean forward from my ankles which fixed my tango lead in 10 minutes after 1 1/2 years of my own futile suffering and struggle. It was also Maxi who held me in his embrace in order to demonstrate 'the embrace'...it was a revelation. I never expected that 'the embrace' would be sooo relaxed and natural (and warm!)... ok, after digesting that..try this one; It was Maxi who could not explain 'Cadencia' in words ( I should have asked him to explain it in Spanish) and it was Maxi who said that he doesn't think that a non-Argentine will have that special Cadencia (Maxi teaches all over the US and Europe).
    Hey so what? There's magic in this whole thing and you don't have to get pissed off and reject the guy's teaching just because he said something you don't like... I felt that I got zero from his class on Sacadas but the first 20 mins of his class on Close Embrace made up for the other four classes that left me clueless. I HIGHLY recommend the first level CE class for 'experienced' CE dancers.:rocker:
    PS- Maxi did give a very nice demonstration of the Milonga Liso dance! It changed my own Milonga dance just by seeing it! This guy is very intelligent and very sensitive, he teaches by osmosis. He also has some good stories; It was he who told how an old Milonguero told him that his dance was too clean..that he had to 'dirty' it up some..(my interpretation is that; he had to introduce some peronal oddities/mannerisms into his dance.-all milongueros have this).
  19. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Oh the mystical magic that only Argentines have. I just don't believe it, they themselves are spanish italians (or should that be italian spaniards) so how about the Spanish and the Italians at least.

    As for me, leaning from the ankles was natural - I'm not sure how else you can lean. It's interesting that you found that such a revelation after such a long time and perhaps you should ask yourself what it was your previous teachers were teaching.

    Perhaps you had been learning in classes and Maxi gave you rather more personal tuition?
  20. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    Buenos Aires who's culture originated the Argentine Tango is/was one of a kind..due to myriad influences = this fact is undeniable.
    I got LOTs of 'instruction' from teachers both in general and private classes on the embrace. None were Argentine except for one Nuevo teacher:evil: who was no help for CE . I could write/quote page after page of 'advice' I had received from teachers and fellow students, all that didn't work for me.
    I believe in the 'Cadencia' and the Apostles and the Saints.:rocker: This is an Art I know but sometimes I can't help but turn it into a Religion.
    Reading Lui's description of what's happening in Berlin, I see the CE AT as an endangered species, one that will soon be found only in BsAs...I hope it will still be found there.:(

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