Tango Argentino > Videos > What would you call it?

Discussion in 'Videos' started by jantango, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. jantango

    jantango Active Member

  2. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, that is what some people believe to be "sensual" , "sexy" in dancing. Obscene unladylike gestures. She also wiggles her behind and waves her body a lot when she dances. That is also supposed to look "expressive", "sexual". In fact, I can hardly imagine anything more disruptive for the connection, musicality, and looking any sillier and out of place in tango dancing.

    But it sells.
  3. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    You are right, that does not look aesthetically. But as far as I am the uncouth guy dancing in tight jeans, it would not cause such an illusion without those baggy pants, professionals usually wear.
  4. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I guess the kindest thing I could say, is that their style is not one that I would try to emulate. I will say that, I've seen styles of "sensual" tango that I have liked quite a bit. This just isn't one of them.
  5. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I'm not a big fan of this kind of obvious sexuality or even of that much time taken to embellish in the stepover (which is what I'd call it, Jan: an embellishment.)

    But I also think that the camera angle makes this look more obscene that it actually was. Her foot is probably not as high into his crotch as it appears based on the position of her knee. I think it was likely 1/2 way between his knee and his crotch at the highest point.

    However, the fact that we are discussing how high it was means it was too high. Not something I would try with someone I wasn't in a sexual relationship with and even then, not something I would do when I know everyone is watching!
  6. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Do you feel that way about the whole video or just this one move?
  7. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    To be honest, I didn't make it through the whole video, so I'd say at least half the video.
  8. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I liked the video. Not that particular move, but I don't think it was as high as it looked. Possibly too high, but...eh. In general, I think the fact that she wasn't stick thin, combined with a dress that emphasized movement, combined with her style made it look more "wiggly" than perhaps it actually was.

    I liked their video and I liked their dancing. I thought it was beautiful, and expressive, and very musical.
  9. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    Peaches is the only one who likes their dancing judging by the comments so far. They tour the USA to teach and perform(NYC, SF, Miami), and this appears to be one of their signature moves. I wonder what the audience is thinking when they see it up close and personal. They market themselves on their site:

    "We are tango milonguero dancers and also professional show dancers. The style we teach is the style of Buenos Aires, that reflects the authentic way to dance social tango in the milongas of Buenos Aires."

    Although I have seen them in Lo de Celia Tango Club on one occasion, I know they don't dance tango milonguero. Their videos confirm it. They stand out as performers on a crowded social dance floor.

    What I don't understand is why all their videos are tagged "tango milonguero" and some of their class videos use terms like "ocho milonguero" etc. He's a malambo dancer and her training was in classical ballet. They are professional show dancers trying to pass off their "romantic tango" choreographic sequences as social tango.

    The tango they dance and teach uses long steps, lots of pauses, and too many figures to work in the milongas. Who are they trying to fool?
  10. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I actually made no comment at all about their overall dancing because I've grown weary of these debates about "real" tango. I only discussed the particular move in question. After all, that's what your original post was about.

    I had private lessons with Oscar in BA. We danced milonguero in my lessons. His embrace is one of the nicest I have ever felt. This was about 5 years ago. I have no direct knowledge of Georgina or what he teaches with her. Everything he did with me and my partner in lessons could easily have translated to a BA crowded milonga. (I know, because we went to them every night) My partner had known Oscar from a previous trip several years earlier and recognized him when he saw him dancing socially at Ideal.

    Apparently he has me fooled. :rolleyes:
  11. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    Yes, I suppose he has.

    View any one of their videos and then a video on my youtube channel. You can see the difference. They are about performing for an audience. Their tango is about complicated sequences which are not part of tango for milongueros.
  12. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Jan, why would I watch a video to see what someone teaches when I have actually already had lessons with him in person?

    What they do when performing is irrelevant to me. Lots of folks dance differently when performing. What they teach me in my lesson is all I'm concerned about when I'm paying for a lesson. I've had lessons from show dancers who don't teach social dancing and that was not the case with Oscar. Our lesson with Oscar was on social dancing in crowded spaces in a milonguero embrace (because that's all my partner does) and there was absolutely NOTHING we worked on that wasn't applicable to the most crowded BA milonga. (well, except chacarera, which we spent a few minutes on at the end of the lesson because the teacher we'd had for that didn't speak English and we were confused)

    Your response makes no sense in the context of what I said, and your insistence on defining Oscar as only a show dancer isn't flying with me. You've watched videos... I've actually taken lessons with him. He is perfectly capable of dancing and teaching a milonguero type social dance style if that is what the student wants.
  13. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi Zoopsia, hi Jan,

    I fear, there are different opinions on what a professional dancer, or teacher should do. Professionals have to pay their rent. They have to be flexible concerning the wishes of their students, and the styles, and the show effects and so on. To get along they have to compromise.

    Milongueras and milongueros on the other side are an endangered species, hard to find in BsAs.

    But on the other side, all those show dancers and teacher around the world are kind of a conservationist in a wider sense: may be the typical traditional way of tango will vanish, but something quite similar will stay.

    (And, by the way, watch the old videos, Jan, those moves are not new, they stem from a very early tango period).

    And a happy new year, then
  14. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Guys, lets not feed the trolls.

    Discussing the video is one thing, but actually replying to Jan with anything that approaches reasonableness or logic is pointless (there is no reasoning with a True Believer fanatic) and only encourages things. Lets not go there.
  15. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    HEY! DF dumped me out of the reply window while I was writing and took me back to the main page! Phooey.. I was almost finished with my post! This isn't the first time this has happened recently.. anyone else having this sudden "SURPRISE! HAHA I Gotcha!" happen to them? It's like I hit the cancel button without actually hitting the cancel button.

    Anyway... I normally wouldn't bother debating the "performance on a video vs ability to social dance" issue, but there are lurkers who read posts and I want them to have a complete picture of a teacher I respect and have PERSONALLY taken lessons with.

    If I had no direct knowledge of Oscar, I wouldn't be defending him because a video would be my only source also. However videos AREN'T my only source, so I feel I must set the record straight rather than allow false impressions to have free reign.

    Readers and viewers are free to form their own opinions, but they should form them based on as much information as they can get. People who haven't ever had or observed a lesson on the subject of their interest shouldn't judge a teacher's ability to teach that subject.
  16. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    Okay, we can agree that we disagree about Oscar and Georgina.

    I have viewed several of their teaching videos on their youtube channel for classes in the USA with large groups. They teach a sequence to the class, but we never see the students dancing. I haven't attended a class nor had a private lesson with them. I know their teaching because they upload so many videos under the category "tango milonguero."

    I have seen them on only three occasions at a milonga in the last five years where they dance only as a couple and not with other dancers. That doesn't seem to demonstrate they are "social" dancers.

    Tango is a social dance. Milongueros can dance with any woman, and go to the milongas regularly because they love tango. Most have no interest in teaching. That's why how they dance and feel is still a secret that many will never understand.

    Some people will believe whatever they are told (sold) as tango. That's my concern, but there is no way to prevent marketing on the internet. I am witnessing tango de salon turning into a performance dance. The champions have a title and begin a professional career that has nothing to do with social tango. They might as well be dancing on stage; in fact three salon champions (Naccuchio, Sanchez, Archaval) will be doing just that in a couple weeks.

    It's scary to think of tango de salon as a performance dance. There will be no need for the milongas, because there will no longer be any social dancers in the audience. Nuevo was the beginning of this trend...and it's gaining momentum with all the young couples seeing a brighter future in tango.
  17. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Well, I just sort of did the same thing by hitting the "back" icon on IE. But, what we type here is only in a temporary buffer somewhere, and is gone when you come back.

    WAY too easy to do.
  18. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I think a large part of the evolution of social tango style has come about because there is simply more room in the dance spaces of North America, and possibly Europe and Asia (I've never been to milongas there) I've only encountered the sort of jam-packed conditions I experienced in BA at two milongas outside of BA, and it was more due to the size of the dance floors than the number of people in attendance. Both were restaurants with tiny little dance areas. The same number of dancers at most any other milonga here would have been considered "sparse" attendance.

    By contrast, when I was at Nino Bien (which I wouldn't call a small space) it was so crowded that we made less than a single circuit of the floor in an entire tanda. Typically we got about 3/4 way around to our starting point each time. (and we were in the outermost lane!) And yet we moved constantly in tiny little increments.

    It seems natural to me that small crowded spaces contributed to the evolution of a compact intimate dance, and larger spaces with fewer people will result in bigger styles that travel faster and farther with each move.

    I have found that a number of local dancers here do not have much ability to adapt when it is crowded, however, it's also true that more and more of them are finding a way to get to BA. They come back with a new appreciation of traditional styles as well as a whole new definition of "crowded". The trend I see is not that traditional styles are vanishing, but that slowly more and more people who have been doing tango for a few years or more are exploring them after pursuing more showy styles in the beginning, resulting in an ability to do both and adapt to conditions.

    When I started, no one but my partner and I were dancing milonguero or fixed CE. Other leaders who were total beginners would try to take him aside and tell him what he was doing "wrong". Now I know several other leaders who dance only in a non-changing CE embrace and quite a few others who have a flexible embrace that utilizes traditional CE at certain times. A few leaders still dance only OE where years ago, most of them here danced only open. I see far more variety of styles than I did even 5 years ago, and the number of people dancing traditional CE in my region is growing, not shrinking.
  19. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    While it's true that I didn't care for that video, it's still just one video. I agree 100% with Zoopsia that performances have no relationship to how well someone dances at a milonga, and it also has no relationship to how well they can teach. There are plenty of great dancers who are lousy teachers, and they are plenty of dancers who simply aren't talented enough to perform, who are great teachers.

    There have been plenty of talented dancers, who's style I might not care to emulate, but that doesn't mean I can't learn something from them. In selecting teachers, I care a lot more about feedback from people who have taken classes from them, rather than looking at video. I do find video useful if there is a specific move I'm interested in, done in a specific way (or style). However, for basic skills, fundamentals, etc., feedback from others is the main thing I want to know, assuming it's feedback from someone I trust (or at least know where they are coming from).

    Jan, from my perspective, you are advocating what you like (which doesn't bother me in the least), but also (from my perspective, not speaking for anyone else), you are looking at it too simplistically (at least for me).
  20. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    I began this thread to know what people would call a very unusual signature step in salon tango and if they thought it was appropriate for the milonga floor. We all know that dancers want to learn to do what they see performed.

    The couple markets themselves as being teachers of tango milonguero, which they are not. I can list all the characteristics of their dancing that denote them as stage and performance dancers, not social dancers, i.e., long strides, leg lifts, choreography, etc. which have nothing to do with tango milonguero. That term is the hook to get people to sign up for classes, many of whom will never get to Buenos Aires.

    I'm not saying I dislike their dancing. I'm saying that what they claim to dance/teach isn't what they are giving their students in classes. I can see that in their teaching videos. Oscar uploads them very soon after recording.

    Would you expect a swing performance from tango teachers? No. But students are seeing a choreographic performance when they should get an improvised dance from their teachers to reinforce the lesson.

    The people in ctheir lasses need to see a demonstration of social tango from teachers who say they teach tango as it is danced in the milongas of Buenos Aires. You teach what you know. Result: Oscar and Georgina are calling it one thing, and doing something else. The latest video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiL1Yb7ndCE is another example of big strides, stepping backward down the line of dance (a big no-no), with lots of space between the couple, etc. -- nothing that bears resemblance to the tango dance in the milongas.

    So many really want to learn tango, but they are being used by a slew of tango brokers who claim to know what they're doing and haven't a clue about how to connect the dance with the music. Counting one-two-three in tango is pointless. They haven't figured out one-and-two, three-and four after all their years in dance.

    I am really concerned about the future of social tango in BsAs where it's all about winning a salon title and then teaching performance tango.

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