Tango Argentino > Watching Yourself Dance to Improve

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by TomTango, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    The good things that you dance with a lot of people and you teach, a lot can be learnt by teaching.
    I hope that you analyse your demos by yourself.

    And it's also good i.e. excellent that you travel and take classes and dance with foreign partners.
    There is a danger that you would teach dancers how to respond to you,
    but in fact you are the one who should work on adaptability skills.

    Just keep practising and try to be as smooth and relaxed when dancing. :D

    Here is a nice demo by couple who share a lot of style components with Carlitos and Noelia, and it's demo on turns

    What you can notice here how Marko when doing turns moves his upper body first and how continuous are movements of the couple.
  2. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Maybe so, just because people are Argentine doesn't automatically
    make them good examples nor even good teachers. There are good
    and bad everywhere and I've experienced both in Buenos Aires
    even though I don't have lessons there.
    I think that's going a bit far!
    Why should you assume they are loved by the majority?
    They certainly seem to be adored by many
    but I am one of the many others who do not.

    Tango suffers everywhere from people who teach what they don't know
    and you cannot know it if you cannot dance it.
    I've written many times about Ricardo Vidort (now deceased)
    and some of his videos are clear but you have to embrace and
    dance his way to feel it. He did teach the principles of his way
    and then sent people away to find their own dance.

    That's the part that cannot be taught and the teachers who by implication
    effectively indicate that are frauds in my opinion. And there are Argentines
    who claim to teach "milonguero" and do nothing of the kind. "Milonguero"
    as a style never existed yet now it used as a marketing name.

    I know how I dance so I don't have a wish to see myself dance
    in someone's sort of style. It's my dance, no-one else's even though
    the principles are those of Ricardo Vidort and a few others.
    The closest instructor I know of today is Oscar Casas but his dance
    seems to have changed in accordance with today's visual fashion.
    Probably yet again it's in order to sell classes to foreigners.
  3. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    I am sorry that you got this impression - i don't think anybody here hates Noelia and Carlitos - they are part of the top dancers. The main point people are making that what we see in performances are, well, performances. And by neccessity that means that they will use the fact that they are practicing lot together, and that they know each other and each other technique inside out to create special effects. Because of their style they use (or at least i think i see) a lot of very subtle things in their embrace and dynamics to get these effects. And these things are personal to them - a lot of them them are (in my opinion) unique to them, and nobody else can use them. I.e. we see the end product of them playing and exploring technique, not their starting point. And we see the best example of a milonguero style performance that makes the musicality and interplay between the partners visible - a lot of the same things are present when there are no embellishments, but they exist just in the interplay between the embraces and timing of the leading and following. Not really exciting to watch ;). Noelia and Carlitos found a way to make this part of the dance accessible, but i am afraid that like with so many other tricks that show off specific skills of the dance there are people who are trying to learn the embellishments and not the deep technique that makes them possible. Thats how we end up with dancers where the leader and follower take turns, instead of dancing with each other.

    One of the dancers i really admired, and things i learned from him keep surfacing in my dance is tete.
    If you watch them you will see a lot of the same things as in Noelia and Carlitos dance, but much less visible. Silvia does not show where she influences the dance, and we can only infer it from the way the couple moves. But on the other hand not doing embellishments means that she doesn't need to generate extra room for herself. Now, at least one of my friends who danced with him hated it - she felt constrained and squeezed (and i know exactly why she felt like that - she prefers a open style where she use slack in the embrace to dissociate more). And when i was in one of his workshops we were working on a turn sequence and one of us had a really hard time with it, and silvia told him not to worry, and that it would fall into place once he got a bit more experience in tango. The guy replied through gritted teeth that he had been dancing tango for 5 years... and his dancing at the milongas clearly showed his skill. But again, his body mechanics and tetes did not mesh at all.

    Basically i feel (and i have ranted about this here a lot) that this is one of the big problems of tango teaching - different people can have completely different body mechanics, and still look relatively similar, and then when we go to a workshop we get all kinds of corrections, and with another teacher another set of corrections, and both sets of corrections make whatever movement we were trying to do actually more difficult, not less. Learning from people with different mechanics is possible, when we understand where they are different, and why, and what they are doing. Noelia and Carlitos are not very transparent in that regard - e.g. tete is much more so.
    Mladenac likes this.
  4. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  5. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I have noticed this a number of times when some leaders start teaching too soon in their development. They are "teaching" followers how to follow the moves they lead, but their corrections do not advance the follower or the follower's overall technique. It isn't taking the follower's experience into account at all. It is all about that leader's experience of the follower and how she responds to him specifically.
    Angel HI likes this.
  6. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I think this dance is beautiful:

    Angel HI likes this.
  7. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    I haven't taken any classes from Pablo Inza but watche a lot of performances, and I really like his dancing:

    And I adore Federico Naveira dancing with Ines Muzzopappa

    It's very important to note that I take pieces of couples and suit my style and depending on a partner I am dancing with.
  8. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    Here is the case when there is no other available options.
    The good thing OP is humble and have good intentions.

    And dancing the best it not always suitable for all the occasions.
    What he definitely focus on while dancing is adaptability to partners.
    Since I saw how he dances I believe he is on a good way to become great social tango dancer. :)
  9. TomTango

    TomTango Active Member

    In regards to me describing my efforts to "turtle back."

    So this journey started about 6 months ago. I had constant lower back soreness while dancing for a while, so I halted all other tango work (pretty much) to try to get it sorted out. It was clear I was hyper extending my lower back while dancing, so I just had to figure out how to fix it, and being cognizant of the problem actively while dancing and trying to will it to stop wasn't working.

    So, a lot of research on what causes lower back extension involve me breaking lifelong habits, like the way I sit. My hip flexors and hamstrings were too tight, my abs too weak, my quad and lower back too strong. So I fixed these with stretches and reducing my sitting time. I did this in addition to trying to "turtle back," i.e. visualizing I have a turtle shell I'm trying to fill with my back in order to open up my back and close my front. This really works to relieve back pain, but as you can see in my "coqueta" video, I was still in the process of over-exagerating it to get the technique down. Now I'm in the process of not expanding my back so hard, letting my chest open up a little bit more instead of closing, and stretching up with my core and base of my neck to get that nice posture.
  10. TomTango

    TomTango Active Member

    That's true, there are bad teachers and good teachers in Buenos Aires. But you said that Noelia was too tense to dance the Argentine way, and I was just pointing out that that must not be true, since Noelia is Argentinian, so at least the way she is dancing is AN Argentine way of doing it. One of many ways that exist in Argentina.

    I based my assumption on my observations. The different teachers I talk to, visiting or out of town, show general admiration and respect for N&C's dancing. The various posts and forums and blogs I frequent hold their dancing as a good example. So based on the data, I can say for certain that the majority of people I know admire Noelia and Carlitos, and most likely the majority of tango dancers. But I could be wrong. This is the first place I've encountered a general feeling of "meh" toward them.

    I agree, that's why I don't teach anything I don't dance. Analyzing videos can make you a better teacher because they're similar skills. While watching a video, you're trying to see technique and methodologies and reasons why things happen. Then you can try it out with a practice partner and see if you can get a feel for what's going on. In class, you as a teacher have to observe people dancing and see what technique, good or bad, people are using with their partners, and why they're doing it. Then, you step in and dance with the student and see if you can confirm by feel what you saw by sight.

    I really like Pablo's dancing. He's got that musicality style that really speaks to me. Saved this to my future videos. Federico's was nice, but didn't have that "stick in my brain" feeling.
  11. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    This performance is subtle on so many levels. And that's why I like it so much.
    What I like about them is effortless dancing, it seems so easy but it is not.

    Here they shine with musicality and energy

  12. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Before offering any possible help I asked you who it was you were watching
    and it was your Carlitos & Noelia response that has provoked the course
    this thread has taken. There are many ways of dancing when it comes
    to tango but I meant (as surely you actually realise) Argentine social dance
    which still relates to its more natural evolution in the golden age.

    Mostly they do not dance as your model couple nor would I want
    to dance with Noelia nor any of her acolytes. Carlitos & Noelia are
    a travelling performing and teaching couple dancing to attract
    business from people who are visually attracted which completely
    ignores that social tango is a dance of the senses.

    Personally I think you are chasing the wrong things. I can admire
    the fact that you are prepared to post such revealing videos in
    your quest for help but not what it is that you appear to be chasing.
    From your videos there are many more important aspects
    that need changing first. But you have only managed so far
    to confirm to me that any possible help from me is pointless.

    Both of you need to address how you dance first, individually
    and together, and then you could be in a position to develop
    your own natural style rather than someone else's affectation.

    As I tried to indicate, the dance abroad is not that of the social dance
    of Buenos Aires. Nor is it the dance of classes, even in Buenos Aires.
    Often I am told by Argentines that they have had to forget the stuff
    of classes in order to dance at the milongas.

    I've had experience of teachers learning from video and then teaching,
    it can truly be dire. The one thing I would conclude from your videos
    is that you are in not in any position to teach.
  13. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    JohnEm, I know that you and Janis appreciate Lo de Celia milongas. Which other milongas have similar style or anyhow acceptable dancing to visit?
  14. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I might be going to Tango Element, but I'm not sure yet (life is complicated right now).
  15. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Not answering for John, but...
    JanTango sent me to El Arranque on a Thursday? afternoon. A few more v style couples, but I thought it was very much like Lo de Celia.
    And JohnEm was there!

    Yes, they get around to tango. I like the white suit guy's style.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
    LadyLeader likes this.
  16. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    LOL! Indeed! :(
  17. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Yes, it was a Thursday.

    Nuevo Salon Argentina is closed and the reasons and time scale
    are not clear. So El Arranque is currently and confusingly at Lo de Celia
    on Thursdays and Saturdays although, for the moment at least,
    Tuesdays seem lost.

    But there is also Nuevo Chique at Casa Galicia on Tuesdays and Thursdays,
    Los Consagrados at Centro Region Leonesa on Saturdays plus the milongas
    El Maipu at La Nacional (Plaza Italia), milongas also at Plaza Bohemia and
    Canning of course (preferably Wednesday and Sunday only). Most of these
    are either so-called afternoon milongas starting at 3pm or 4pm for 6 hours.
    Mustn't forget the new venue in town, Obelisco on Entre Rios which hosts
    milonga organisers on many nights and Cachirulo later on a Saturday night.
    El Maipu and maybe most at Plaza Bohemia start later at 6pm but all are
    civilised hours for real people rather than for those that exist only for dance
    and are prepared to be night owls. There are others I have missed.

    Of course you can find other styles in Buenos Aires at places such as La Viruta
    and Club Villa Malcolm but I find the dancing dangerous in a crowded context.

    Look here for more clues:
    Accuracy is not guaranteed, circumstances change without warning.
  18. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    A teacher gave me the imagery of something like an automobile fan belt going up your front (lifting) and down your back (lengthening). Since the belt is continuous, you aren't concentrating on just the back or just the abdomen. They work together. Each supports the other.

    It helped me with my tendency to over-arch my lower back and allow my stomach to flop. However, if you have a tendency to tuck your pelvis under (contracting in the lower abs) you might overcompensate.

    The trick is to remember that even with one side of the belt going towards one pulley and the other side going towards the other pulley, there is equal length and equal tension on both pieces (sides) of the belt between the pulleys.
  19. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    Thanks for the milonga names; I just wanted to know how much I missed of the venues you appreciate. My room mates seem to be informed and they visited even Obelisco but those nights i was doing something else. Other venues i visited - maybe not the right day but the place.
  20. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    We all have a history where the start position is quite far from the position/preferences we have today.

    Start - open rigid tango salon
    My Argentine tango life started by a visit of a touring tango show in our city and afterwards I signed up for courses. The teachers in town had mostly 2-3 years experience. Later I learned that some of the figures we learned were from Osvalde & Moira video, but what else it could have been. There were only a few traveling teachers or money to pay them, hardly anything on internet, later on our community started a video library but that time I did not have a player. This period i learned to move, primitively connect to my partner, some musicality and a lot of fun had we.

    Inspiration - open nuevo moves
    A few years in 2000s a Belgian couple started to visit Sweden regularly. Vincent & Maryline had a musicality which hit me powerfully and their movements had a before unseen pattern of beauty. Their attitude towards each other was lacking all that artificial passion so common in performances of that time. I was hit by enormous wave of inspiration: I wanted to learn, worked hard, travelled to meet them regularly untill they announced their last workshop in Brussels, April 2005.
    This was a time for experimenting and with them i layed the widest boundaries of my movements and everything else thereafter has been within that circle.

    Change - Milonguero / Close salong
    One day I noticed that the community had grown and there was not anymore space to dance in nuevo way. The second surprise was to find myself capable to keep the dance going on even with small steps. That ability had been developed under cover of the long nuevo strides. This small dance has been going on more than a half decade now.

    Future - Close nuevo
    I feel that this sedate milonguero way of dancing is getting somewhat boring. I am curious!

    I think that a person who is dancing a long time will always change the way of dancing at some point, s/he will re-learn on the way. I think it is allways better to ...do... something in the area you are interested in. You check your options, choose the best among them and start experimenting - and you change when you find something even better!

    TomTango, according to my opinion you are managing your options exceptionally well!
    Mladenac likes this.

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