Tango Argentino > The Booty Misconception

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by TomTango, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    [quite]when Suzanna used the term 'milonguero' to simply mean 'the way the milongueros danced', non-Argentines (mostly Americans) turned it into a categorized and labeled dance style[/quote]

    Cacho, the style and definition of tango milonguero How did it come about?

    Look, Susana and I didn't know how to name it, but...

    Pardon, but you wanted something to differentiate it from the rest.
    Before, you were going to say how it was when you and Susana Miller began wanting to spread this Tango.
    You had to make it different and..
    How did the name came (sic) up?
    Susana asked me. "And how were they calling you?
    I replied. "They were calling us milongueros."

    Sure, they were calling us that way, we were milongueros.
    So we gave it the name "estilo milonguero."
    It's tango salon, but danced body to body, danced with a close embrace

    Based on this interview, it sounds to me like Cacho and Susana labeled: "the style," ie "this Tango."

    Here are my notes from a class with Susana from 2004.
    "Lead with the chest. Extreme straight and leaning posture. Somewhat wider stance than I’d been taught. Should be room between feet, while woman’s feet are together."

    BTW, no one I've ever taken lessons from has ever described dancing apilado as "shoving the lady around with one's chest." Nor have I ever heard anyone who has had lessons in a style that features weight sharing (force sharing? maybe not) to create a shared axis talk about it that way.
  2. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    I have heard the same thing/s from her at times when we were together (and, of course, it's difficult to directly attribute complete meaning/intent w/o the rest of the story).
    That's good.
  3. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    I quite like the idea of (gentle) pressure, much better than force
    or, that wretched term, shared weight. But I've come to prefer
    forward intention. Zoopsia has commented in the past how she
    has found herself becoming more upright, less lean, and that
    is how many argentine social dancers are able to dance for hours.

    Latin dancers in general are forward weighted to the balls of the feet,
    and, despite the intermittent support of heels, so are many tango dancers.
    That forward weighting of both partners leads to a connection/intention
    at the upper chest, not at the lower position nearer to the centre
    as used by ballroom. It shouldn't be forceful nor stressful of posture
    although the connection is very positive; if I step back the best partners
    stay with me without thinking and without even the necessity of arms.
    I have to say that posture, good or bad, is highly influential on the
    success or otherwise of the partnership - more so than any other
    dance I know. And it certainly also depends on each partner controlling
    their own weight, moving their own centres and creating their own axes.

    As Zoopsia indicates, words are indeed difficult to describe this.
    Dance is dynamic, and there are many variations even within
    one partnership and one dance of that partnership.
    Tagontarian, sixela and Angel HI like this.
  4. Tagontarian

    Tagontarian New Member

    Thanks for the welcome. Sometimes unintended consequences can be good :)

    I won't disagree. Though I will have to add a note here that with some styles, people are prone to make more mistakes than did others. That usually happens because they don't fully get the mechanics of execution and probably haven't got it corrected. And therefore (bad) habits develop.

    Couldn't agree more. Especially when it comes to dances that have grown out of cultural traditions. The evolution is often non-linear. On top of that things can get lost in translation. Without common understanding of the meanings of labels, it makes conversation about the subject more difficult. At some level to communicate effectively, I think labels are useful. But when they have a checkered history, we have to be more careful.

    Taking it to an extreme for show/stage tango vs social dancing is where I think the debate is. Not saying he is responsible for what many subsequent teachers started teaching as "Apilado" to social dancers.

    Forgiven :)

    I couldn't have said it better!

    As a leader sometimes this is a source of frustration for me - some followers are so tuned to wanting that lead to come from the chest than from the core. They will try to lean harder against the leader or not follow properly. Yes I can adjust to that, by leaning in a bit more and making a movement upper torso a bit more pronounced, but that is not something I enjoy dancing. The good thing about leading with the core is that it doesn't matter whether the embrace is open or close (and that's not just for Tango, but applies to almost all other dances).
    Angel HI and sixela like this.
  5. Tagontarian

    Tagontarian New Member

    No. I assume you meant 'trolling'. Not sure what 'baiting' would be.

    I wasn't sure what you were implying in your first response to my post. On top of that it was not possible to tell whether you were being sarcastic, snarky or just matter of fact, in that particular response. Because you made certain references but never clarified directly what point you were trying to get across.
  6. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    Especially if a follower closes her eyes, I lead with every contact I have, maybe from the cheek down to the thigh, in some situations with my arms and my hands. But normally I lead with a consistent frame around her and rather with my back than my chest. Ok, I move from my core, but I can't map that to leading from my core.
    sixela likes this.
  7. Tagontarian

    Tagontarian New Member

    I would vote for 'pressure' as better word than force or weight.

    For example, because of the height and weight difference, I can give Dchester a fair amount of my weight before he needs to really give much back or feel as though I'm pushing him over, requiring counterbalancing.

    Can you please explain what you meant by "less connection through the chest". I understand 'connection', I understand 'connection through core', I have seen instructors demonstrate 'connection through chest' - except that it is only done in close embrace. Unless we have different understanding and meaning, irrespective of embrace, I think the connection should emanate from the core. The actual physical mechanics whether through follower's left triceps on the leader's right bicep, the hold, chest, are mere manifestations of that connection. One could get the mechanics right but if the connection from the core is lacking then that will manifest itself in the dance and the difference (of the lack) easily perceived by the partner.

    Aside when you said "more through the follower's left triceps on their right bicep", did you mean the leaders using 'arm lead' technique (as expounded by Gabriel Missé ) ?
    Angel HI likes this.
  8. Tagontarian

    Tagontarian New Member

    Okay we are getting a bit technical here. For brevity and simplicity sake, I would say that what you described as leading with back is synonymous to leading with core. Semantics aside, how do you feel when a follower is less responsive, when you are lead with your back and turns more responsive when you increase the pressure at the chest/upper torso level?
  9. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Much more now has been written but, because of time limitation,
    I will confine myself to this:
    Susana Miller seems to have done the milonguero labelling herself,
    wasn't the name exactly because they wanted a name, a label,
    to describe what they were teaching? Indeed Cacho Dante's
    rather rigid style became the yardstick rather as Gavito's extreme
    style became unfortunately perceived as apilado in general. Even
    when teachers toned it down with less lean, the lean was still more
    than you would see in Buenos Aires. And dangerous to people with
    back defects and/or poor core strength.

    How do you know this? Argentines even today talk about chest connection
    or the lack of it when it comes to foreigners. Surely all successful partner dancers
    of any genre should move from the centre, the question then becomes about
    how that centre is engaged or influenced.

    My partner has individual lessons with a professional performance dancer,
    ex Tango Fire in fact, but he is teaching core dance principles and an
    emphasis on the chest is emphatically what he insists upon. He dances
    socially differently to me (he likes the milonga Parakultural at Canning
    and I do not) but my partner finds herself hearing the same things from
    both of us, sometimes simultaneously. But her learning has brought
    something to me too, and it is all about the chest, posture and projection.

    So let's go back to the centre/core etc. The centre is at the core of it
    but the centre/core is used to make the movement which is amplified
    by being transmitted chest to chest, whether it's forward, sideways
    or circular. If you have no core you can't transmit up through your body
    to the chest. While the connection is different you surely have to agree
    that any open hold dancer, swing, latin, even nuevo tango, needs a core
    to keep all the body, leader or follower, centered and moving in unison.
    And let's be clear about this, tango is not the only dance effectively lead
    from way up the body: arguably all the open latin dances are lead from
    an even higher position, at the shoulder, even though the physical
    connection is quite different.

    Shoving? No.
    Moving from the chest? Most definitely, yes.

    But like any successful partnership, it's a partnership
    of the willing and the more experienced the better.
    It's most definitely a skill gained best by much practice.

    If I have to shove anyone, or hold them up, they won't
    be danced with again. But there are argentine men who are
    more brutal than me and some women happily dance with them,
    so they have the skills to do so. I am sure there are limits though.

    Before leaving this topic for now, let's talk about the consequences
    of Gavito. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he didn't intend this
    as indeed some the quotations here and elsewhere seem to confirm.
    If someone excessively leans (in so-called "full" apilado) I find that
    they are indeed pushing quite hard and it is very limiting of free
    movement especially in any direction other than forward and backwards.
    In Gavito's videos, his partner's lean can be so excessive that
    you can see the constraint expressed in staccato circular movements.
    Performance is visual so it works for that, it doesn't work socially.
  10. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    From having lived in BsAs, and being taught this from several maestros back in the late '80s. In that time, a few of us non-Argentines (Trenner, Walker, Shulman, myself, and a couple of others) were quite privileged to have gained quite an education from persons like the Dinzels, the Bastones, Puppy Castello, Copes, Mingo and Esther Pugliese, and several others. Over the years, it has not been my quest to become one of these "big names", but just to share to the best of my abilities what they taught us. (LOL) You seem to just like to question/argue with me, but your post is actually restating in different ways all of the same things that I posted. We agree.
  11. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Your points are valid, and you have understood me perfectly; There is a big difference between "Leading from the core is to lead from the chest" and "Leading from the chest is to lead from the core". This will help you with those follows you mentioned.
  12. Tagontarian

    Tagontarian New Member

    The point I was trying to make is that the 'chest connection' is either incorrectly understood by those follows or they aren't/weren't corrected by their instructors/teachers. I lay more blame on the teacher/instructors for not correcting these follows and leads. Not including those that are relatively new or dancing less than a year or two. The new beginners can be forgiven, most time they aren't the problem because are they still in learning phase such that they are not set in certain ways(habits?). That still leaves many long time dancers who still are either beginners or lack appropriate technique.
    Angel HI likes this.
  13. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    You left the most interesting part out (for me anyway). Cacho told that when he was a young man and an active part of the BA tango scene "milonguero" actually was a bad word, because "milongueros" could not dance. He and his friends were "dancers" and used to dance to sophisticated music as Pugliese for instance. So, isn't it a case of "irony in history" that of all things Cacho coined a word that he rejected disgustedly in his earlier life?
    Mladenac likes this.
  14. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    The leading technique in milonguero style is called step projection. Milonguero style isn't a democratic animal. So, if a follower is less responsive, your projection wasn't clear.
  15. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Your teachers would not be my teachers, in fact if theirs was the social tango
    of the milongas I would not be here. At least one of those didn't even mark
    the tempo of the dance, although his partners did most of the time except
    when having to step at double time to keep up with the movements.

    I briefly watched a video of Pupi Castello teaching the walk with Daniel Trenner
    commentating. It's the very opposite of what I do. Compare it with any video
    of Ricardo Vidort (and others). in this case his is step projection and a relatively
    slow weight transfer - the body (yes its centre) follows his foot/leg.
    In mine, my leg follows my chest (and thus body). My delayed foot landing
    (on the beat) is weighted, Pupi's is not.

    This isn't personal, please don't confuse the issue by trying
    to make it so. This simply is about what you wrote.
    Some I agree with, and elucidated further;
    much that I don't.

    Well what you wrote about the chest and the centre
    disagreed with your own teachers who you decided
    to interpret for yourself. If that is right, because none are
    milonguero/apilado dancers (terminology is so difficult)
    and they dance with more free movement of the bodies
    themselves and in relationship with one another, it is
    important to have the context which you have now given.

    Essentially all are/were professional dancers in that they
    earned money from the tango revival, based on the shows;
    most were not social dancers of the milongas in Buenos Aires.

    Still I am glad to accept that we agree now even if
    in the future we surely won't! Feliz Navidad!
  16. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Whose style?

    There is no one milonguero dance,
    but so-called step projection essentially emerged
    from show tango, an exaggerated visual style.

    To my Argentine partners I dance milonguero,
    some are extremely complimentary I am glad to say.
    I don't step project except for very specific circumstances
    where my foot needs to go (in the certain knowledge
    that my body will arrive), for stability or
    for the avoidance of a collision of the feet.
    In other words, such projection is functional
    and purposeful not visual.
  17. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    I was merely answering the question... not stating that I ultimately agreed, disagreed, or certainly dance like them.

    You are hysterical. Merry Christmas to you, also... Sincerely.
  18. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

  19. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    I suppose we all know people who are somehow able to walk, to embrace, beget a child. But at the moment they enter a tango class and shall change something regarding their posture or their walk or their lead, they move like drunken apes. Teacher all over the world did their best to find words and imaginations to avoid that. So if most of them state "lead with your chest, not with your arms", that might be in average the least worse they can present.

    Only at the moment, of course. The way we dance today is inevitably the vintage stuff of the next decades. So let's look back: ;)

  20. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member


    Sorry, but you have to say fare-well to this illusion. Leading in stage-tango is based almost on the opposite conception of step-projection. They have developed other solutions. Ask Angel, he studied with all those stage theoreticians and pioneers. By the way, it seems that you do not know what step-projection is in the end?


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