Tango Argentino > Teaching Musicality to tango dancers

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

  1. bafonso

    bafonso New Member

    I'd use anything EXCEPT milonga! The last thing you want is to make them tango just like they do in salsa where they're stepping to the same pattern (either the clave or on1) because the music almost forces you to.
  2. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    i'LL let you know how it goes. I learnt milonga by a pattern of steps first that allowed me to "work" the rhythm.
  3. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Divine intervention then be your saviour. It's a plan!

    Well there's close embrace here thankfully so don't be too despondent. Not enough apilado though.
    Lui's description is a bit disheartening though.

    I'd be interested to hear now an opinion from Chrisjj, the dotty one, but we won't. He spends time in Berlin.
  4. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    hi..fwiw, I agree that the Milonga is the easiest by far to learn to dance...I've even told this to beginning couples (not yet influenced by other opinions) and they quickly danced the Milonga competently..the only problem is that this dance ability is NOT transferable to the Tango dance.
    At least that was my own experience.:cool:
    - "Among Milongueros; It is agreed that the Milonga is the easiest dance, the Tango comes next and the Vals the most difficult."
    "Intermediate dancers quit dancing the Milonga because they finally feel adequate with the Tango and don't want to be making 'mistakes'." - Maxi
  5. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Every place is one of a kind. You could say the same about the East End of London, for that matter.

    Although strangely most people prefer AT to the Lambeth Walk. :)
  6. bafonso

    bafonso New Member

    With all due respect, Maxi learned more from Oscar's teachers than from Oscar himself and I'm sure they're good friends. So, the usage of the word does not come from a youtube video. Milongueros were using the word cadencia before internet was invented...

    Maxi, like a lot of tango dancers from the new generation tried the more acrobatic stuff and then decided to focus more on the milonguero style and learn as much as possible from them. I've met at least three with a similar path.

    I like posting the forum to talk about tango as a dance. There's a lot of things people can talk about but as far as teaching dance or making someone experience a feeling, I have yet to find that possible...
  7. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    I don't think Milonga is a bad choice for salseros / salseras.

    You can present it as the AT equivalent of Merengue / Bachata.
  8. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    OK I'll accept that point even though I don't like the terminology much. It's even stranger that milongueros use cadencia as it doesn't even seem to have the same rhythmic pattern meaning that cadence has.

  9. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    It seems to me that in order of difficulty it's:

    Beginning Milonga
    Beginning Tango
    Advanced Tango
    Advanced Milonga.

    Milonga is easier to do at a simple basic level than tango, but harder to master at an advanced "Omar Vega" level.

    Waltz tempos come easily to me so I don't know how they fit in there, but I've noticed that a number of leaders seem uncomfortable with it. I don't know if its because they don't know how to use the rhythm (since as we discussed elsewhere, dancing on every beat would be quite difficult) or whether its because keeping the dance moving and flowing reduces their vocabulary too much for their preference.

    I have known leaders though who struggled using the music in tango and then just naturally flowed when a vals came on.

    I read somewhere (unrelated to dance) that in general, men prefer "marching rhythms" (2/4. 4/4) and women prefer waltz rhythms (3/4, 6/8.) This preference shows in choice of music to listen to and songs they like.

    Anyone agree? Disagree? (of course, we have a forum of dancers, so it may not be a representative sample the "average" man or woman)

    I personally have a strong preference for waltz rhythms. Even one of my favorite Metallica songs is a waltz.
  10. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    Personally, I could dance enjoyably (the woman's smile) to Milonga and Vals after just a few months of trying. The smooth (Liso) version of the Milonga was a revelation to me and is my current preference. I don't see anything difficult about the Milonga and recently watching a Princeton YT video of young Milonga (the song) dancers shows me that other Amerikans are finally getting it, too. Vals is more demanding but I could still have fun at it and the women enjoyed it early on. Tango for me was a pit of pain. It seemed like endless posing but I liked the Man/Woman intensity of it. Now, the Tango is my obsession...I like to be challenged, highly challenged.:rocker:
  11. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    For me, I like tango the best (but not by much) over the vals, and then milonga comes in third. I don't find vals (or milonga) to be any harder than tango. Some have told me that vals is my best of the three.
  12. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    IMO-This is a good example of really listening to and respecting the music.
    [YT]<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/deOpHgcHXKI&hl=es_ES&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/deOpHgcHXKI&hl=es_ES&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" [/YT]allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>
  13. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    ...and for whatever reason, I'm saying that these next two dancers are NOT listening to and respecting the music. (these dancers are Arg.)

    [YT]<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/EQVAM6kZ6kM&hl=es_ES&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/EQVAM6kZ6kM&hl=es_ES&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>[/YT]
  14. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Mario, the dance style of the two couples is VERY different, and we know which you would generally prefer regardless of music... are you sure you aren't letting your prejudice about styles affect how you see the musicality?
  15. tangonuevo

    tangonuevo New Member

    Mario - I think that irrespective of the music, and irrespective of the style chosen to dance to the music, the dancing can be musical or non-musical judged on its own merits. For example, I believe that someone could tap dance to either of these songs in an extremely musical manner.

    More generally, I think that your overall reductive approach to tango in does you a disservice and entirely undermines what credibility you might bring to any discussion. We already know the answer. If it isn't close embrace/apilado, it isn't tango. Consequently, I already know, with a high degree of surety, what you will say in any discussion.

    It is one thing to have personal preferences in ones dance style. It is entirely another to proselytize.
  16. Lui

    Lui Active Member


    The first couple dances a very basic musical interpretation with little fantasy, which is perfectly alright to enjoy dancing together. They are mainly stepping on the beat, but they ignore rhythmic changes or the melody. Their dynamic is very tame and I see hardly any pauses and little of that cadencia. They seemed to be at the beginning of their journey into Tango and their dance is very good suited for social dancing. I would enjoy dancing with or next to them. I don't think it's very fair towards them to post (and expose) them here as an example.

    I can’t see your second example with Roberto Herrera, as Sony is blocking it, claiming copy right infringement in my country. I’m too stupid to work around that. I’m a big fan of Herrera’s stage work, so I picked some examples at random.

    Obviously, Herrea’s dance is focused at stage work. Most examples, you will find, feature songs that are little suited for a crowded Milonga, as they are rather dramatic. Dramatic music calls for dramatic movement and dramatic movement requires plenty of space. Herrea aims his performance at a large audience and nails down many important points of stage work. He fills the stage by playing big, visible, spectacular, with lots of surprising and changing moments. His musical interpretation touches all three levels: beat, rhythm and melody. In my eyes he is one of the great living master of stage work. Nevertheless, I understand that not everybody likes his style or the fact that even stage/fantasy tango exists and prospers.

    In Stage/Fantasy Tango, big heroes of mine are Eduardo Capussi and Mariana Flores. In my opinion the have the most musical, inspiring and charming choreographies, full of fantasy. Don’t let the acting fool you, their technique is extremely clean. If you let yourself see beyond social dancing, you will find rare gems of the Tango dance and culture.
  17. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Was that really necessary?

    Prejudice aside, the second one has only passing acquaintance with the music's rhythm and melody. Apart from the dance being full of flashy moves that don't fit or relate to the music, often they aren't even cleanly on the beat.

    There are much better performances of tango to be seen.
  18. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I've got a GREAT idea! Instead of posting on topic, let's look for videos of bad examples of a tango style we don't like, and post them just so we can complain about them and stir up trouble! Come on, everyone should play!
  19. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    This was my first thought as well, after watching both videos and reading Mario's comments. While not everyone agrees with me, I think the dance should match the mood (or emotion) of the song, and thus the dancer's style needs to be able to adapt somewhat. A point Mario made in another thread is correct to some extent, with a different song, you get a different dance (or at least you should, IMO). There's more to musicality than just stepping on the beat.

    I thought both pairs of dancers were good, and before I go any farther, let me say, I feel funny whenever I say anything negative about dancers that are much better than I am (but I'll do it anyway). ;)

    I thought the first couple didn't quite capture the emotion of the song. While it was technically good, it lacked the energy that I felt that song deserved. I thought the second set of dancers did a much better job of matching the mood of their dance to the mood of the song, with the possible except of the move (I don't know what it's called) where he was dragging her around.
  20. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    LOL, I'll buy that and that relates to musicality too.
    Honestly,, I do not post videos to 'cause trouble' but rather to get other opinions and to see if my own has any agreement. I liked the first couple's interpretation a lot in spite of the negative comments on the YT page that it was on. Actually, before reading d'chester's post, I was considering that maybe it was the song that blew my mind even more than the dance. I think it was but still the dance was very observant of the mood of the song (IMO).
    For me, it is VERY difficult to find an older milonguero's dance that doesn't put the music first..and that must say something about that particular style of dance, don't you think?... .:cool:
    P.S.-I've had fun here today. My once a week milonga is now no more and my main practice partner is heading up a charity drive (no time) while the other one is not starting yet because it's still tourist season and she has a business. So, what's a guy to do after practicing alone for five straight days??? Well, find some kindred souls to talk tango to of course!! Anyway, thanks for engaging me as I was needing it...:friend:

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