Tango Argentino > The Booty Misconception

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

  1. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    "Unchanged" means to restrict the dance to something one feels safe and can handle.

    At the end everyone is free to feel well at such an event:

    or at such an event

    No one is better or worse, it's just the personal perception of tango. The old people in the milongas of BsAs today will not dance like the young people in the golden era of tango. And hopefully they all don't they care about the "right" posture, just embrace their partner and walk counterclockwise to the music through the room.
  2. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    I do appreciate this fair and square appoach, but for me the standard and latin styling isn´t cast in stone, too. Outside the ballroom world (in swing or folk communities) the Viennese Waltz, Quickstep, or PasoDoble are also danced quite differently and highly diverse. At least that is the advantage of social dancing, that the style, codigos, hold etc aren´t fixed but in a state of flux.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  3. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Sometimes I wonder if we are writing in the same language.
    "Unchanged" does not mean that at all, it merely
    means that the embrace of a couple remains,
    it is not broken during the dance. You can see
    that in the video which follows your comment.
    It was strangely quiet at La Nacional but people
    still mainly danced in committed embraces.

    It's sometimes rather odd for me to see these clips
    when I realise I recognise or even know the dancers.
    In the still image before playing is Alfredo who sadly
    died very unexpectedly while apparently in the process
    of a collaboration to open a tango/bar premises.
    He was a genuine dancer and clearly encompassed
    other genres. It was an education to see him dance
    Chacarera. He danced Vals in this clip.

    Meanwhile Mario danced with the lady in red who may be
    a foreigner. Mario is a somewhat of a knowledgeable enthusiast
    of tango, the music and the dance also both musician and singer.

    The second is hardly tango, fun maybe for the audience
    who they were entertaining. The music is actually Vals
    which is more or less ignored until the end.
    We don't know how the old when they were young, no evidence
    exists but the milongueros still around at the 1980/1990s revival
    possibly still danced much as before. It certainly wasn't the wild
    show-off dance of some of the young today.
    But the milongueros are almost gone and ones that remain are
    very old and they are not supple nor fluid. The younger old people
    are those who have learned during the revival but that isn't the
    point because the conditions dictated the dance not the teaching
    which influences it rather more today.

    Which brings us back to the original topic. You are right of course
    about the lack of consideration of posture, they adopt all kinds
    of posture to achieve the desire of dancing with a partner.
    My objection has always been about the commercialised examples
    of bad posture and its teaching. It's not good for students.
    jantango and itwillhappen like this.
  4. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    I agree in principle but in Britain, and in many other countries,
    if you know little about partner dance it will be ballroom's standardised
    dances you learn. What they are based on, or derived from, is rarely
    mentioned. Indeed where are there social dance scenes large enough
    and strong enough these days for that kind of natural evolution to occur?
    sixela likes this.
  5. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    It's not clear that you've even attended half the milongas in BsAs, much less enough to be qualified to make such a statement. You visit there (like many of us do), but you don't live there (like Jan does).
  6. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    I never claimed it to be empirical nor exhaustive,
    it's merely my opinion based on my own experiences.

    All the many milongas in the centre which I have attended
    either regularly - Lo de Celia, Los Consagrados, Nuevo Chique,
    El Arranque, a variety at Obelisco, Gricel and Plaza Bohemia,
    and to a lesser extent, El Beso and La Nacional - weren't mentioned
    because their one known consistency is the huge domination of
    close embrace dancing which can be seen in the many videos.

    The touristy Confiteria Ideal (long term closure for restoration)
    Friday milonga has also moved to the much smaller El Beso
    where the clientele has significantly changed. Indeed all milongas
    can change in atmosphere from night to night or on moving venue
    as happened to Julia's Sueño Porteño when she had to move from
    the now closed Boedo premises.. Oh and I shouldn't forget
    La Milonga de Juan on Monday and Wednesday afternoons at
    Unione e Benevolenza plus the many more informal and/or open
    air milongas, both paid for and free.

    Is that enough name dropping? If you need an empirical survey
    I suggest you go and do it yourself and you might find how
    pointless it is to seek absolutes in an ever changing social environment
    affected by unseen and sometimes unknown circumstances.
    Right now attendances seem down probably because economic times
    in BA are very difficult for many.

    As for visiting, yes of course. But I have spent a third of the last five
    years in Buenos Aires in periods of living there for two, three and four
    months at a time. The locals I dance with often ask if I actually live
    in BsAs, other tell me I'm not a tourist, I'm a regular.
    Believe that or not, it's up to you.

    Many people who live there choose which milongas they attend
    and restrict themselves to those they like and those which are
    most convenient to attend. Janis herself has openly written to that effect
    about herself. Other foreign residents despite living there don't dance
    as much with the porteñas as I do. And of course that mirrors some
    Argentine men who target the tourists.

    But all this is pretty pointless, it's the dance that matters. And many
    regular visiting foreign ladies repeatedly go for dancing in an
    Argentine embrace because they cannot find it at home despite
    the many teachers claiming to teach it in addition to those of course
    who do not teach an embrace at all. A comment to me by some porteña
    partners is that foreign men don't usually know how to embrace.
    You know when you are excluded from that criticism when a porteña
    turns up specifically to dance with you in your embrace.

    I think that's more than enough on this topic.
  7. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    FWIW: at home is no hope: ;)
  8. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    Good point.
    It was a young generation that danced to D'Arienzo live, that introduced sacadas and such stuff.
    What do you think about Pepito Avellaneda et Suzuki de Souza here in 1995 - one year before he passed away?

  9. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member


    I don't need an empirical survey. I merely challenged whether you were qualified to state your opinion as fact. IMO, you're not.
  10. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    We are mixing a style and a history discussion. Sacadas are older than tango itself and were around right from the beginning of our dance form. But different styles made different use of this move. My last point, in the beginning tango was danced in open hold on the spot (tango criollo).
  11. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    I read all of JohnEm's recent comments. For what it's worth, I agree with everything he wrote. IMO, John has spent enough time in Buenos Aires to know the milongas, milongueros, codigos, and tell things as they are.
    JohnEm likes this.
  12. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    I completed 18 years in Buenos Aires this year.
    Reuven Thetanguero likes this.
  13. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    I think (having seen Pepito dance) whoever did the postproduction and stitched the audio together with the video did a very, very bad job of syncing the two.
    itwillhappen likes this.
  14. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    From what I saw of the milongas he posted, I feel his selection of milongas is skewed. FWIW, some other people that I talk to who live there, do paint a somewhat different picture of things. However, I trust your judgement since you actually live there.
    opendoor likes this.
  15. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    There are currently 78 milongas in Buenos Aires. No one has time to attend them all. For the most part, young dancers don't attend milongas for seniors in the afternoon and evening. Seniors aren't interested in attending the night milongas where young people dance. There are milongas of all types.

    I suggested milongas during your recent visit and gave you my thoughts about the list for your group tour. I did the same for John when he came for the first time five years ago. I know the milonga scene well enough to recommend milongas based on the dance level and age of the individual. I hear comments from people about the milongas that weren't right for them. If one has only three weeks to dance, it's best not to waste time trying out milongas.

    John's description was accurate. He knows where to dance in the city center milongas. He rents an apartment walking distance to them all. These milongas open as early at 3:00 p.m. I attend the same milongas as John.

    I'll be happy to help you when you come for a month or two so you can establish a daily milonga routine and feel a part of the local tango scene.
    Tango Distance likes this.
  16. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I'm probably a bit more of a hybrid (or something), as I like a variety of different milongas. I must confess, I really do like dancing to some of the tango bands they have in BsAs, (as most bands here in the US don't really focus on the "Golden age" style of music. They're more into fusing jazz with tango songs, which gets old quickly for me). So a lot of nights, we would go to a milonga where a band would be playing.

    My most memorable milongas this past trip were: Nuevo Chique (some really nice embraces there, and where I had the honor of dancing with someone very special) :inlove:; Salon Canning (with La Orquesta Tipica La Juan D'Arienzo playing, and they were great); De Querusa (listed as a practica, but it sure seemed like a milonga); and at Club Gricel (some great performances that night, and some great dancing in the milonga).

    I tried to talk more to people on this trip, and get their thoughts on various topics. Some of the Argentines were very surprised that there was tango in the US. On one of the nights at Salon Canning, a nice man who was at the table we were at (we were all the guests of one of the performers that night), was skeptical about tango in the US (as well as me being a DJ). He was (politely) quizzing me about tango music, until he was satisfied that I actually did know a something about it. Later, after drinking some bubbly, he admitted that we danced well, (although I have to admit, he was a better dancer than I was).

    To be honest, I had great time at the milongas I went to (even though the styles were very different at some of them). People were friendly to us. However, I couldn't do every milonga I planned on doing, (I didn't make it back to Sunderland this time). In any case, it's a great lifestyle (while on vacation) when you can do a early milonga, go eat dinner at 10, then go to a late milonga. Also, I did get talked into going to a fancy (i.e. expensive) restaurant, Chila. If you're into overpriced gourmet food, it was very nice. :D

    The bottom line, I felt very comfortable there in BsAs, and look forward to my next visit, whenever it will be.
    jantango and sixela like this.
  17. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    I somewhat agree with opendoor - this is starting to confound way too many different things.

    I actually thought that what you were talking about tango that is close embrace and counterbalanced. In my experience this is somewhat at the higher end in physical demands and technically more demanding that a lot of dancing where the embrace changes. Creating that characteristic internal coiling energy between the dancers and working with it is somewhat tricky and requires quite a bit of core strength.

    I would suggest that the dimension in which a lot of dancers restrict their dance to feel safe is their balance/axis. They keep their geometry essentially independent of their partners, and forego the options that using the partners energy and groundpath offers for movement.
    opendoor likes this.
  18. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    Ok, many "occasional dancer" in Europe are skilled in a lot of moves but not trained to do them (counter-)balanced. So they dance something like "Tango de Salon". That is some kind of restriction.
    And they dance enrosques but it looks awkward. :cool:

    On the other hand, what we see today often as a "milonguero" may be very experienced but mostly not trained nor skilled. He prefers a comfortable posture and a pleasant close embrace. Many moves are not possible in a close embrace. That's another kind of restriction.
    And even if not - they would not even try an enrosque. :cool:

    Beside that a new generation of highly skilled and trained performers is leaving the tango schools of BsAs. They are not restricted to a style, but "Tango de Salon" is nearer to their "Escenario" in performances.
    And their enrosque is excellent, of course. :cool:
  19. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    It's not my style but I have little problem with it
    as a dance. Outstretched arms are always a problem
    for others in crowded conditions, some dancers draw them
    inwards but far too many others seem to have no awareness
    so do not respond appropriately to the conditions.

    Have you ever been threatened or even been hit
    by an outstretched arm?
  20. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Why would they, it isn't necessary and it disruptively
    interferes with the connection and the dance.

    And by the way, the only thing special about enrosques
    in loose hold tango is that tango choreographers gave it
    the name. I find myself doing a similar movement in other
    open partner dances because the situation called for it
    but it wouldn't ever be planned, nor named,
    nor ever executed just for the sake of it.
    jantango likes this.

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