Tango Argentino > What Tango Is All About

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by jennyisdancing, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    Just wanted to share with you a beautiful, amazing post from a tango blog written by an English lady who now lives in Buenos Aires. I hope the writer doesn't mind my linking it here.

    It just says everything about what tango really is (the connection) and what it is not (fancy choreography). I wish more people where I live would think about this. Many of them unfortunately feel that a dance is not worthwhile to them unless they perform a lot of showy steps.
  2. kieronneedscake

    kieronneedscake New Member

    Sally is a (now estranged, pesky Argentina) tango-friend of mine. She'd love that you see fit to spread her writings around.

    I agree with her, that the best tango is the magically connected kind, but here's the rub. It happens so rarely and is so dependent on characters and moods, what are you supposed to do for the rest of the time? A fella has to keep things interesting somehow.

    Also, I see nothing wrong in fancy choreography if it really nails the sentiment of the music. It just takes disgusting amounts of skill (from both partners) to carry off without disrupting the connection.
  3. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    Not saying there is anything wrong per se with fancy steps, it can be fun to do them. As you say, it ideally requires crazy skills PLUS the connection. My objection is only to those who define 'good tango' solely as an experience in which they can perform complicated steps and patterns, to the point of not caring whether they are connecting with either their partner or the music. And sadly there are many of those folks out there.

    As far as dancing with someone where that truly magical connection is absent - I still think that a connection is possible with most partners, although maybe not at the desired level. Sometimes it's just pleasant but unremarkable. I guess I don't think that elaborate steps are necessarily the only way to keep things interesting, though. I think it's very satisfying to do simple steps with great elegance and wonderful musicality.
  4. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Agree that AT is wonderful without fancy steps. The magical connection is nice, but not required. A very good connection, without that magical something extra, is plenty for me.

    That said...I dislike the (seemingly) predominant viewpoint that simple steps are somehow better than the fancy stuff. Or that they're inherently more appropriate to the music. Both simple and fancy can have bad, good, or magical connection; both simple and fancy can be wonderfully appropriate to, and expressive of, the music; both simple and fancy can be exciting and enjoyable.

    AT is AT, to me. It's pretty much all enjoyable.
  5. kieronneedscake

    kieronneedscake New Member

    Yes it is. Can you know it without experiencing it? Is that what stops them seeking it?

    An elegant and musical walk takes a lot of control and practice constructed painstakingly over years... or you just gel with someone and it's marvellous.
  6. spectator

    spectator Member

    for me tango is all about the connection between you, your partner and the music. having said that i have seen people dancing on their own to a tango and being so connected to the music that it was beautiful to watch. I would still call that tango.
  7. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    This is one of the biggsst problems as I see it...that most persons look to the other partner for "the connection". Or, to the music, fancy pattern, or nice day. The writings (Sally's) are correct. The essence of tango is found in the joy that is felt over each step...the joy that is felt within ourselves. If we can feel something special within ourselves as we dance, then every dance partner is someone special, and every dance is a connected one.

    Surreal? Absolutely not. I do it everyday.
  8. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    For me; tango is about the free snacks and nibbles on the tables. ;)
  9. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Its funny; that's what I am always teaching, connection, connection, connection. but I never get the wow factor out of the connection, but more from how my partner is responding to me and the music.
  10. bjp22tango

    bjp22tango Active Member

    I agree. Sometimes I worry too much about connection. When I just let it be the response to my partner and the music is much more enjoyable.

    Having said that, I don't have "no frame" either, I'm just not concentrating on the nirvana of frame. LOL
  11. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Whats she says is still not 100% convincing as she went there to become a performer, failed, and having switched to social tango now explains that this is the only way.
    It's like the tale with the fox who would like to eat the wine grapes but can't reach them.
    «Ils sont trop verts, dit-il, et bons pour des goujats.»
  12. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Frame? What frame?

    frame is, I guess whatever works and feels comfortable for both of the couple.
    My one regret is that I never got to see myself dance with Ines Moussavi; it was nice dance but apparently she was doing lots of little decorations with her feet which I could feel happening but couln'd see; We even got a small round of applause. ( We? - I mean she)
  13. kieronneedscake

    kieronneedscake New Member

    Nice? Bordertangoman, is that all you can manage for Ines? I am inclined toward more exciting superlatives.

    As for expecting joy to come from outside sources, I can see where Angel is coming from, but come on, it is a shared dance. The combination of two minds, hearts and bodies can create something far greater and more satisfying than the efforts of one alone. It is hard to deny the hope of being inspired, and the urge to strive, and to hide the sorrow of each step that could have been so delightful but turned out as nothing.

    I guess the special quality emerges for me when all other distractions go away. Balance issues, BO, muscular tensions and crushing embrace, depressing music, fear of inadequacy, dance floor congestion. When each of these is below a certain threshold, it no longer draws my attention away from the moment, and I can really live the dance. Perhaps it takes a number of years to wear the edges off and make you care less.

    I also wonder if "the magic" is different for lead and follow.
  14. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    ok it was a lovely dance.

    happy now?
  15. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    I did not see that at all. she did not state that she wished to be a performer. She stated that she, as many others, went there with the wrong idea of tango in mind...that she went there having been sucked into the flash of voleos, ganchos, and volcadas, and learned that the tango is not this, but a feeling, a way of life, a communing with self and others. Her only fault, if that, might have been confusing her natural feelings with her tango feelings with regard to her partner and the timing of their relationship.

    Isn't it nice that in AT, we don't even use the term "frame", rather "embrace". It isn't just semantic.

    Absolutely. And, I would never intend to mean otherwise. My suggestion was to find it first within ourselves, then be better prepared to receive it from others.
  16. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    You're absolutely right, and of course the "connection" of which she speaks helps if you fancy the pants off the guy and is later is sleeping with him. Give me Antonio Banderas and I'll exhibit a whole new concept of tango connection that doesn't involve the feet :mrgreen:.

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