Tango Argentino > The essence of Tango Argentino

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

  1. Madahlia

    Madahlia Member

    I'm not quite following you there - can you give an example of something concrete that does not happen in tango.

    I think it is feasible that someone who cannot dance particularly well themselves due to physical limitations or whatever, might still be able to visualise brilliantly and foster their vision in someone who is physically well-adapted for the task.

    One difference that occurs to me is that in the arena of sport all that is necessary is to beat the opposition according to a clear set of criteria. Tango is much more complicated than that - there is no clear definition of "brilliance".
  2. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

  3. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Oh, christ! I see I have created a reputation for myself. :rolleyes:;)

    Heh. Reading back over that thread, I'd have said I was being nice and friendly. Shows how much more crotchety I've become...

    ETA: Err...belated apologies OD.
  4. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

  5. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Hmmm...at this rate I'm going to be an absolute raging b***h by the time I'm ready to retire. Heh.
  6. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    One of the reasons I keep returning to figure skating as a comparison instead of other sports is exactly that. There is a subjective quality in judging skating that simply isn't present in any other sport I can think of. Its the "artistic" portion of the score, which brings it closer to the world of dance. If i had any knowledge of competitive ballroom, I might use that as an example since it is a more similar art form to Tango.

    The observation was made about "credentials". So I sought an example where the credentials are established beyond doubt by an "industry standard" despite the obvious relevance of subjective artistic merit. The problem with judging Tango credentials is that no such "industry standard" exists as does in competitive sports.

    However, even without direct competition, the judging based on comparison to the "opposition" takes place in a subtle way even in Tango. A friend of mine once observed (about the local tango scene) "The only thing nessesary to be the 'best' dancer is to be better than all the other bad dancers". In other words, you don't have to be "good" to be the "best" in any given comparison.

    The reason Yao ever even went to a world level competition is that there was no one else from China better than he was despite his being pretty bad. In a remote area that gets little in the way of traveling world class teachers, someone who is not very good may be the 'best' teacher. The lack of actual competitive scoring doesn't change that.

    Perhaps other examples of great teachers who weren't famous as practitioners can be found in the world of Ballet, where "greatness" is not determined by competitive scoring, but is universally accepted nonetheless.

    Balanchine will go down in history as a great teacher, choreographer and "impresario" without ever attaining extraordinary fame as a dancer. To some extent, he was in the right place at the right time in his leap to the West.

    But another way in which he made this transition possible was that he trained his dancers in HIS preferred style and then showcased the ones who best demonstrated what HE felt was the perfect ballet form. By having his own company, he was able to change the look of Ballet into his own vision and over time, create some of the "best" dancers in the world.

    These same dancers might have been rejected by the traditional ballet world 100 years prior, or even in the companies that trained Balanchine. Had they danced as he taught them in Russia, of the early 20th century, they might never have become soloists or principles. But now they go down in history as some of the great Ballerinas.

    So when we judge Tango dancers, teachers and styles, we are also affected by this type of transition. When a teacher/ impresario emigrates to a land without much Tango and forms a school or company based on his/her own vision, "Tango form" changes, and over time the definition of who is great changes as well.

    Is Balanchine NOT ballet, because his form is not that of Diaghilev? At one time the answer might have been "No, he is not". But today, we can't imagine any answer other than "Huh? He's like the epitome of Ballet, dude!"

    I believe this transition and loss of the old style is at the heart of what Jan is mourning. The ballet world loses if Balanchine's way become the ONLY respected form, and the Tango world loses if the traditional social form of the old milongueros is replaced and lost.

    It is impossible for any art form to remain unchanged. Innovation and transition WILL occur. We may disagree as to whether the newer forms should be called "tango" (and history, not us, will ultimately decide as it always has)

    However I think we would all agree that the total loss of the traditional forms would be a tragedy.
  7. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Here is the way I look at it. To be a great dancer, one needs good information, and the ability to execute. To be a great teacher, one needs good information, and the ability to communicate it.

    If you agree with that, then the question comes down to, is it possible to get good information without the ability to execute. I say it is possible. However, just because it is possible, doesn't mean it always happens. That is why I say, you could be right about the specific example that you started this off with (but not necessarily for the reasons you gave).
  8. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    :doh: Why can't I be as eloquent and succinct as you? :headwall:

    Damn that was good! :notworth:
  9. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    By discussing Olympic medalists and professional athletes I think we've gone outside the scope of Mario's original comments, with which I agree. If we are merely talking about Mario, or me, taking advice from another dancer, I think I would want to see the person dance before giving too much credit to the comments. It's the same for the other people in this forum. We're not world class, just common dancers, I suppose. Are there any professional tango dancers here?

    Also, the comment that one could simply try out the advice to see if it works, is a good one, but I think it applies to any teacher. I've had well-recognized teachers give me advice that I found to be faulty, for me, personally.
  10. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Then what's the point of having the forum and asking questions on it?
  11. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    To gather information and other viewpoints. However, if I'm explaining all about how to do sacadas, but I can't do them myself, maybe my explanation is not that good.
  12. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Perhaps...but perhaps your explanation is fine (probably based on what you've been told by teachers, have experienced while attempting/practicing them, have difficulty with yourself) even though you have not been able to do them well consistently.
  13. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    But if you would "want to see the other person dance before giving credit to the comments" (as stated in your other post) then aren't you basically saying that you can't give the information you get here any credit since you can't see us dance?

    Why gather information if you feel its inherently questionable because you can't see the source dance?

    My point is that you clearly must have some other way that you evaluate the validity of comments written here since you can't use our dancing to form a judgment. In evaluating the comments, you must have decided that some are valid or you wouldn't bother to come back to the forum.

    Therefore, the conclusion is that you are able to decide whether people are giving valid comments WITHOUT seeing them dance and so demonstration is NOT nessesary.
  14. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    True enough, but I would not be claiming to offer my own advice if it didn't (hadn't yet) worked for me. I would say someone else explained it as so. I did that earlier when I told how Mingo Pugliese explained a sacada exercise. I'm not able to do the exercise .
  15. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I do give some credit, I think about it, maybe I try it out, but yes, for me it is inherently questionable until I can validate it somehow.

    Seeing how a person dances would be a significant step in evaluating their explanation of dance. Now, if we're discussing some historical aspect, then it doesn't make any difference how a person dances.
  16. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    OK, so until you post a video of yourself dancing (like in the thread you started), are your posts inherently questionable?
  17. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

  18. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Entirely, completely, absolutely - how else can I say it? What I say regarding dance technique is merely a direction that I have found worthwhile. Until other readers have tried it out and found it also worthwhile, it is only possibilities.
  19. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    :headwall:What's the problem, here? Now, at my once a week Milonga, the freaking as$@ole of a musician decides that we must really like French and Italian ballads...so, I am stuck with no where to dance. Now, that's a problem!:headwall:
  20. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    Professional dancer does not need to be great teacher. They are so accustomed to their partner so they are unable to dial in to various partners.
    I don't think that is generally true, but more that we don't take professionals for gods.

    We should always respect partners advice, because there is a reason why s/he says about sth.
    Partners have experience with partners that have certain type of movements regarding height, posture, musicality and ...

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