Tango Argentino > The essence of Tango Argentino

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by jantango, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. jantango

    jantango Active Member

  2. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Please, Forgive the Lengthy Post

    I am very happy to see this article, and agree with its concepts and philosophies. I have been teaching these same things for much of the 25 years that I have been dancing tango. I do, however, disagree with some of the statements' clarity, as they could be misleading.

    It stated: "All movements that occur are while maintaining this embrace. The embrace is not broken. This is nearly universal for porteños dancing in the milongas of Buenos Aires."

    Understood that this appears to be directed to those dancing in other than a closed embrace. I understand, but...

    It stated: "Open the embrace and the emotional connection between man and woman is compromised, and, "...nearly universal for porteños..." ."

    This would imply that even these porteños who relax the embrace do not know, or are not dancing, tango. I would question this. Furthter, tango is not the only dance with its type of embrace, nor the only dance, internationally, that maintains such.

    Again, I agree with the feelings of the walk. Yet, it stated, "The tango walk is improvised. ‘Tango is a feeling that is danced.’ Walking is not unique to tango, but the manner of walking is. "

    If these things are true, then the walk is not a didactic, rigid, and unchanging element. One can not say that there is but one way to do it. No two persons walk the same, thus, no two persons will dance the same. In the same manner, no two persons might; 'feel' the same thing, to the same stimulus, at the same time. This is not a bad thing. Contrarily, it is a good thing. It has allowed tango to be born, reborn, grow, and evolve as we have since the '30s and '40s of its origins.

    It stated: "Thus, tango is a man embracing a woman and walking in a elegant manner that is not predetermined, yet is connected to tango music. The music defines it as tango, and the embrace is unique to tango."

    Though, I agree with the definition of tango, the post might be misleading. Some persons receive a certain heartfelt feeling when watching the ocean; others receive the same feeling when watching the mountains. Some are impassioned by classical music...others, by tango. Tango music might define itself as tango, but the tango does not limit itself to only its music.

    Again, it stated that tango is a feeling that is danced, and that the execution of movements of any kind to music that is not tango divorces the dance from the source of energy that drives it.

    Much music has impassioned me to remember, embrace, and dance tango. A smell; a taste; a sound can all remind us of home when we are away. Why would tango be different.

    It might seem as though I do not agree with it, at all. Yet, I do. I understand that it is speaking in terms of what tango is to the argentines who have lived in and with it as an integral part of their beings... their lives... and their culture. In this, the post is correct. However, as a bi-national who is well aware of two birth cultures, and having lived in and amongst several others, I would like to submit that it is possible for a foreigner to perceive, conceive, and appreciate another's culture even if it becomes mixed with one's own.
  3. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    It seems that you are again promoting "milonguero" style as only one proper AT dance. :rolleyes:
  4. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Re: Claim to sole representation

    No agreement, at all!

    Someone seems to have a very short memory, or does he/she forgot intentionally that all the influences came from Italy, Spain, Cuba, Kongo, Germany, and Poland? (And in a second wave from England, France, and USA)

    When tango entered the stage, its first and unique selling point at all was "the dance with the cortes y quebradas", and it is still so, yet. Ask a (non-tango) dancer what TA is, and he will answer: the dance with the fancy leg wraps...

    Not been attentive, we have almost the same embrace in Vals criollo or the slow parts of the Danzón cubano.

    Tango is a moment in a slow but steadyly flowing stream. Better to float to unknown coasts than to put some water into an aquarium tank.
  5. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    Embrace in tango is like technique in high jump :cool::cool:
  6. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    What about all the fine, old porteño dancers who danced an open embrace: Juan Bruno, Lampazo, Danel Bastone, many more? I would not want to say they are any less of a tango dancer for having an open embrace.
  7. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    This is not meant as a reply specifically to Andabien's post..just some of my thoughts;
    If this were an artist's (painter) forum, each artist would have a sample of his/her work posted for others to see. Then one could interpret the opinions posted as to their source...yes, he/she disagrees strongly with such and such but look at their work..they are completely blind to those things that I, myself, hold as important and vital. And so, I can confidently discount some or all of what they have said.
    Here, we are talking to each other blindly, so to speak. I wish that we could see and evaluate each other's dance quotient so to speak..a video of ourself dancing.
    ( If posting a video of our own dance is too difficult to achieve, how about posting a video of the best dance that we can find (our favorite) on YouTube? Surely that is possible.)
    There was an 'expert' on Tango-L who always sent me chiding emails about how I was misinterpreting close-embrace dancing and how I really couldn't make the distinction, even. After sincerely trying to grok his points for several months, I finally asked him in he had a video of himself dancing...he did, and sent me one of himself actually participating in a contest of close-embrace dancing. Well, I was relieved upon seeing it that I could then discount 90% of anything that he said and go on with my own line of investigation..this guy's idea of Tango was definately nowhere near my own!
    Likewise, there was a fellow who posted that upon seeing the dance of some of the most agressive posters there, he could "..only shrug."...meaning; " WHAAA? All that adamant opinion coming from someone who doesen't even ... "
    Reading these comments here, gives me the same feeling...reading blind...opinions and disagreements from persons that really could at times be segregated into different dance forums...persons who have entirely different aims as to; why they dance.
    I hope that no one takes this post as an ungrateful putdown of the members here...I am very grateful for the feedback...all of it! ..it's just that reading some of these threads are like chasing one's tail. I wish that people would come forth and begin each post with the ax that they are grinding ...ie: "Hey, I don't think that a close embrace is attractive at all in couple dancing but rather only something to do when called upon."...that being said..my opinion of this article is:....blah-blah-blah.
    Then I/we would not be 'reading blindly'
  8. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi Mario, dont know if I am referred to? Close embrace apilado is the first style I learned, and it is still sacrosant for me. So I dont like if someone comes and tries to steel my treasures. (Although Im learning different styles currently) And concerning the cited blog I only commented the untenable or biased statements on the history of TA. I am for pluralism in Tango. And I dont like that some guys misunderstand world cultural heritage as a museum, and themselves as museum´s guards.
  9. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    Same old conversation. Yawn.... :rolleyes:
  10. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Oh, good lord. Do we have to have this bloody topic brought up again?! Really? Is it not enough that there are already a ton of posts on...lemme see...pretty much this exact same topic?
  11. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    I don't know what your problem is..only that you have become more and more aggressive each week...would you rather that Jan and I left this forum? I'm ready to go but I hope that Jan sticks around.
  12. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Heh, I am reminded of something I heard from a visiting teacher. We were discussing how to bring emotion to the dance, and at one point she stopped and said something out of the blue that just... rung true. It went like this:

    "All of you who are here tonight to learn... it is no accident you found this dance. There was something in it that spoke to you. All of you have the ability to bring out that feeling that is tango."

    A little melodramatic? Perhaps. But it brought a smile to the face of every student there. So how does that apply to us? I think it means that everyone here who dances tango is very passionate about what the dance means to them. The differences in style keep coming up again and again and again because people feel so strongly... but in the end, we all dance differently, even those of us who were taught in the same style. And some people want to dance in all styles, to any music. Is that wrong if it makes them happy?

    But then again, if we all agreed on what tango was there would be no traffic on this board. ;)
  13. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Nice post.

    Mario, do not be offended by Peaches, CJ, and others. They are not attacking you or Jan (directly). It is only that Sub's post is a good one, and many are very tired of being told that if they do not dance one particular style in one particular way to one particular music at one particular time in one particular venue then they are not, nor will ever be, dancers. I believe this to be a legitimate concern. I, for one, as you well know, have enjoyed you here.
  14. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Bleedin' hippies, they're like cockroaches... :tongue:
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    My post was not directed at you, or anyone in particular. It was an expression of frustration. I'm crotchety--always have been, always will be. It comes out more some weeks than others. I have no opinion on if you want to stay or leave; that's your decision and yours alone. More people here to discuss things is always great...so long as there's actual discussion.

    I have issues with the same dead horse being beaten time and time again. It is not productive. It is often offensive. Nothing ever changes, nothing is ever accomplished, because there is nothing to accomplish.

    There are other things which can be discussed: technique, music, musicality, emotion. Hell, shoes! :D There is so much experience and knowledge floating around in this forum, and so much that everyone here can learn from others. And even ideas about the essence of tango can be an interesting discussion...but it rarely is that way. There's rarely anything other than "I am right, and you are wrong" and I just don't have the patience for that.
  16. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Bear in mind that new people are joining the forum (I've been away and back & have noticed a few new names here) and so...yes...even though, yes, it appears yet again the same rotting skeleton is being exhumed, for these newcomers it is all fresh blood and therefore something to read and therefore discuss.

    ..."always have been crochety and always will be". Hmm..begs the question. Why?
  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Fair point. There are a fair number of discussions which I've seen come up time and time again, and they don't bother me. (And, in fact, greatly enjoy reading and contributing to...again and again and again. :) )

    But this particular topic has come up multiple times recently, and always with the same very predictable results. Namely, "If you don't dance like X, Y, or Z you're an idiot/not a dancer/are not dancing tango/don't have a clue/etc." That's the "discussion" I object to...again.

    *shrug* I'm not a patient person and rather lack the desire to change, because I'm old and set in my ways and I like me and people around me like me? I actually consider myself a very upbeat, chipper, easygoing sort of person...but I also know that that's not what tends to come across. *shrug*
  18. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Oh man, if you think that's bad... I went to another class (different teacher) where they talked about "absorbing the free energy in the room and sharing it with your partner". ;)
  19. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Christine Dennison has some interesting observations of Tango Dance Styles in her history.


    the assumption that tango as it is danced now is the same as it was in the golden age is a moot point, and if you follow her links to the history of music you will see how the music itself influenced how tango was danced.

    For me the essence of tango is in the music of Pugliese especially La Yumba, Zum and
    Galla Ciego

    and Negracha

    Footnote for Capn Jep; IMO the best recording is from Quinteto Juan Esteban Cuacci: album: A Ningun Lado
    watch out for Kicho
  20. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    OK..I thought that I was about to get ganged-up on...I see that that is not so.
    However, as we all know; there IS a Giant battle going on in the dance and we have often conjectured as to whether it will go one way or another and if it will change beyond our present day recognition etc etc...I will be attentive to this and talking about this as long as I'm interested in the Argentine Tango.
    That Jan writes from Buenos Aires and continuously defends the purity of that dance is something beautiful to me and I applaud it and want to hear/see more of it.
    If someone would rather talk about other aspects of the dance, by all means go ahead..and please refrain from denigrating those threads that don't sufficiently entertain you. If a topic attracts no participants, it will soon extinguish itself...vote with the number of your posts.

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