Tango Argentino > What should tango vals look and feel like?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by bordertangoman, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member


    my idea of what a vals feels like is best expressed when I dance with people who come from a ballroom background; they know what a waltz is and how you move to it.

    In the Tango Lesson Pablo Veron and Sally Potter's vals on the banks of the Seine is full of flowing movement and turns and changes of direction.

    (Is this being taught anywhere?)

    But what I see at milongas are people treating it as just another rhythm to step to.
    Fine if you are in a packed milongs in BsAs; you have to adapt to the space available
    but in the UK there's a sort of traditional minimalism; that reduces it to small steps even where there is space aplenty.

    this is one example, albeit very showy, of how I think a vals should be;


    (i tried embedding it but just got a white square.)
    what do you think?
  2. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

  3. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I am looking forward to being able to apply my Ballroom experience, and Viennese Waltz in particular, to Vals, once I feel a little more confident in the tango style of movement. I have no real repertoire can use yet, and don't trust myself not to just start waltzing!
  4. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    tango vals is more complex in musicality that viennese valtz so it is impossible to compare.
    Some general thought about circularity and fluidity may apply.

    This vals is perfect example of what I said:
  5. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    I'm assuming you're a leader.
    The big change you'll find is the completely opposite approach to weight
    changing in Tango. Your Viennese and slow waltz experience is based on
    automatic step patterns and weight changing and requiring a definite
    hesitation hold to prevent it. My problem in Tango has been to lead in time
    weight changes whenever I've attempted a ballroom feel Vals.

    Nevertheless the best vals I've ever had was with a dancer from a ballroom
    background. Towards the end we were flying round hitting every beat Tete style.

    For the moment work on turns - something many leaders don't do much.
    And be prepared to be frustrated by all the non-moving couples still doing
    their normal tango while you want to flow and rotate to that lovely music
    around the floor.

    You'll love it! Eventually. And when you get it right,
    the real dancers amongst the ladies will seek you out.
  6. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    i agree; its a very nice example, thank you.

    All their movements have a fluidity.
  7. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Oh dear, oh dear. Don't try that on a social floor.

    I'm no musical expert but as far as I know Argentine Vals is Viennese Waltz
    played with Tango instrumentation. Certainly sounds like it to me.

    What is different is not the complexity of the Vals music but the potential
    complexity of the dance. Viennese is fast, rotating but with little variation
    in pattern. Vals can be be both slow, fast and changing.
    Whatever the music inspires.
  8. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I think the standard tempo for Viennese Waltz is 180 BPM. Some Tango Vals are that slow (yes, slow), but many are quicker, up to around 230 BPM. That would be a brisk Viennese Waltz.
  9. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    the problem is that most tango dancers are too slow moving around the floor; the line of dance needs a speed minimum otherwise its like being a porsche in the slow lane of a motorway.
  10. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    I meant on pauses in music and fluidity in movement.
    I don't have intention on leading ganchos and boles on crowded social floor.
  11. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    But surely most Vals is danced on the first beat of three only, whereas Viennese Waltz is always danced on each beat. That makes a huge difference to the 'speed' of the dance.

    I'd love to try leading fleckerls with a follower, perhaps pursuading her that it was new form of giro? Not at 230 bpm, though!
  12. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Find a video of a vals danced by Julio Balmaceda. It must look like this.
  13. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Yes, of course. Beats 2 or 3 often are used also, but it's probably not often that all three beats would be used, and certainly not continuously.
  14. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Not in my experience. IME, vals is danced to anything and everything. Sometimes just the 1, sometimes the 1 and 3...or 1 and 2...or on half beats to emphasize various things...or or or... Kinda like tango and milonga, unsurprisingly.
  15. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    I had musicality class on vals.

    And it was playing with 1 2 3 beats. It was fun.
    how to interpret and play.
    Put white plastic glasses and red onto white to mark the beat.
    Play and see what you can find. :banana:
  16. ant

    ant Member

    Originally Posted by UKDancer [​IMG]
    But surely most Vals is danced on the first beat of three only

    I think you would nearly always dance on the 1 beat. I regually come across dancing on the 1,2 or 1,3 or 1,2,3. I have not come across dancing on the 2 or 3 or 2,3 before but I suppose that is possible.

    but I have not come across dancing on the half beat before and other variations implied in the above post, I find these difficult to conceptulise. Indeed the arguement always seems to be whether it is correct to call dancing on the 1,2 or 1,3 double time or not.
  17. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Milonga and Vals are my two favorite flavors of the AT experience. Some posts have touched on some of the reasons already.

    Does anyone teach Vals?
    In 2004 Steven Payne in Portland, OR taught a 5 week long course titled "Turns and Vals Musicality" at Alex Krebs' Tango Berretin. Steven has not been teaching classes for several yeears now. I think this is a great loss to the Portland AT community.
    I haven't been watching the classes offered, so I can't say what is being taught, or not taught today.

    "Ballroom" waltz used to be more varied, making use of with the canter rhythm and the single step or "Hesitation waltz". The time period was the early 1900s, but I can't even give you a decade or decades.

    For what ever reason that versitility has been retained in Argentine vals and the dancing associated with it.
  18. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    Yes, and no. It depends on the music, the mood, and the conditions on the floor. Sometimes, you can do this, sometimes, you dance on each beat, sometimes every other beat applies, sometimes you ignore the beats and dance to the rhythm, sometimes you do all of these several times in the space of one song while going slow because the floor is packed. Then, you keep this up with a partner for one tanda (a set of four songs)

    My point is, "Vals" (not ballroom) is more dynamic, and would be be difficult to put into stringent ballroom rules for it to work. That's where the improvisation comes in handy.
  19. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    What on earth is tango vals?

    Don´t know if I got you right. What do you mean with "another"? different, perhaps? The problem is, that vals hasn´t got a different rhythm. Vals is a dance of it´s own, with a totally different appeal.

    In this sense I cannot agree with the title of your thread, at all! Vals argentino isn´t Tango stepping in 3/4 signature!
  20. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    The Hesitation Waltz was popular in the Ragtime era, 1900 to 1914 (WWI). There were a few other hesitations also, besides the full measure hesitation. There were some other variations on the waltz, including the Boston and I think a 5-count waltz.

Share This Page