Tango Argentino > Where's the BEEF?? or is it LEAD??

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Mario7, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    Well, high, low ...how about different? Ricardo Vidort used to say that his students will only need a total of 8 classes before they are on their own and capable of the dance. (Tango)...we must be talking about different dances don't you think? ...24 teachers? sheesh!:eek:
  2. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I was told that I danced on Day 2 (or 3?) when I started to learn. Of course my technique was crap, but what he meant is that I could follow basic things and I felt the music. After 8 classes I could see it being enough to get out there and move around the floor and know enough basic stuff to put together a dance.

    24 teachers? Not so much if you count festivals and workshops, and possibly taking a one-off class from visiting teachers. By that count, I had three in my first week.

    It's easy to pull quotes out and lose the context...
  3. tangonuevo

    tangonuevo New Member

    You've had 8 classes and are still working on ocho cortado. And I don't say that you are unusual. There is a lot about tango that is hard. I know that I had far more than 8 close embrace classes (privates) from a superb dancer and teacher, and well over 500 hours, perhaps as many as 1000 hours (lets see, 3 hours per night, 4 nights per week for two years = A LOT) on the dance floor before I began to feel good about my dance. And that was just close embrace!

    In my opinion, to be a good "nuevo" dancer, one must first have sufficient mastery over close embrace that in most circles you would be considered an excellent close embrace lead. Say 1000 hours on the floor.

    Then one must add to that all of the additional technique to make the "nuevo" leads work, to make them clear and enjoyable - a LOT more hours of classes/privates and a LOT of personal struggle.

    Then one must have danced it enough to move beyond technique and be able to execute the dance without thinking about each step, or each move, or whatever. Say again, 1000 hours.

    Then, and only then, can one begin to fit things into the music in a smooth, highly connected and flowing way.

    Yes. A very high skill level. If you are watching unskilled dancers and complaining about them, well, ... what do you expect??
  4. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member


    Surely a community has the right to define the direction it goes in? :confused:

    In fact, surely we all have that right? :confused::confused:
  5. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Huh. Just thinking. (I'm snowed in...I've got a lot of time and boredom on my hands.) One of the most amazing nuevo leads I ran across had comparatively little AT experience (2-3 years?). But! But, he had been a serious ice dancer since he was a little kid. I've got to say, he was amazing. So completely and utterly in control of his own balance and axis, was amazingly good at leading whatever he wanted to lead without ever disturbing my axis or balance, a seemingly very good understanding of just what it took to make happen what he wanted to happen, and very very smooth. Incredible.

    Unusually, his close embrace completely sucked.

    Yes, I realize this is totally off topic. I'm going insane. (See above reference to snowed in.)
  6. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Actually, no.

    You're observing what happens a lot - and FWIW I agree with you. A lot of nuevo dancing in milongas is massively disconnected and unmusical. Most of it, possibly.

    But Mario is ranting that nuevo is Intrinsically Evil - he's making a blanket assertion.

    They're very different positions.
  7. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    I'd very much agree with this. The skills required to dance nuevo well are as much as those required to dance trad well in my view.

    Didn't we have a thread about this a while back?
  8. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Yup. Bad dancing is bad dancing, regardless of style. (And OMG, it happens in Salon and milonguero, too. OMG, does it happen.)
  9. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Probably. The more things change the more they stay the same.

    Personally, I don't see a huge technique difference between the two styles. I still think the fundamentals are the same. (OK, there's a fundamental break between weight sharing in apilado and being completely on your own axis in nuevo.)

    I wonder if it's a difference between the leader's role versus the follower's. As in, there is a significant technique difference between nuevo technique versus milonguero/salon technique for the men, but perhaps not so much for the women?

    I'm just throwing out ideas at this point.
  10. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Blimey, I've got about 800 hours to go I reckon :(

    But I think you're right in principle. I'm going to start (re-)learning nuevo this year, and I only feel comfortable doing that now that I'm relatively relaxed in close.
  11. tangonuevo

    tangonuevo New Member

    So perhaps I exaggerate. Or I'm just slow. But I do know that I danced for years, a lot of hours per week (see my arithmetic), to feel really comfortable with a lot of things that I now do without any thought for the "step", but only thought for the music, the floor and my partner.

    And this was on a base of >10 years of other (non-tango) partner dance! Yeah. I'm slow!
  12. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    I'm also slow. But I get there in the end.

    And as I said, I think you're right about the general principle.
  13. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Nah, you just had to overcome all of those years of non-AT experience! LOL.
  14. chanchan

    chanchan Member

    I thought the main, and maybe the only, technical difference between nuevo and salon is that in nuevo you are not necessarily on your own axis.
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Perhaps I misspoke earlier. (If it is an earlier post of mine to which you are referring.) Apologies...there has been a lot of vodka involved with this past weekend/week. ;)

    Apilado, of course, involves dancing with weight sharing. IMO this is a fundamental difference between that style and either Salon or Nuevo.

    With nuevo, being danced mostly/stereotypically in open embrace, the partners are on their own axis. However, one of the hallmarks of nuevo IMO, is the idea of partners playing with each others' axes. Taking off and restoring, counterbalancing, etc.

    Is that more clear? (There's still vodka involved, so if it's not...I'm not terribly surprised.)
  16. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    as a Dutch teacher who was following Castro's format of combing different steps between leader and follower said:: this will be easy once you've done it a thousand times.
  17. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Well i would say that it is probably true. i dont find that there are many dancers who are capable of dancing nuevo well in the uk; they simply dont have the balance and axis control.
    But I've seen Homer and Christina dance and they have a fabulous connection however they dance. I would say that there are just a lot of low to medium experienced dancers in the UK (DB can tell you what the London scene is like) But I would say that there are a lot of 'traditional' tango dancers who have the same faults
  18. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    It's tough. Real tough. It's like a Darwinian process with regards to floorcraft.

    Last night, I was at a milonga and I counted 10 teachers dancing on the floor. All of them were dancing nuevo, even the ones who made a song-and-dance about the wonders of traditional. Maybe it's a marketing thing.

    Sure - but because it's not so visually-obvious when something goes wrong in traditional as it is in nuevo, it's easier to think that nuevo dancers are simply rubbish.
  19. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    If we forget the usual semantics of "what is nuevo" and think about it as a way to analyze, understand, and "synthesize" movement in tango, the idea of there being "nuevo milongeuro" makes sense. There for a while, I would see references to this.
    (Whereupon there occurred the standard arguments about what nuevo means and sos and so is doing this to sell lessons... etc)
    My favorite teacher approached all of what he taught in a very systematic, and when you got down to it, analytical way. He never used labels. Never uttered the words milonguero, or apilado, or nuevo, etc.
    Still, his approach to teaching a close embrace, weight sharing style of tango was... nuevo.
    And yeah, it's pretty easy to see bad things when people are dancing large and energeticly. With close embrace you can watch someone dance and even have the facility of being able to see the very small shifts that happen within the couple, and STILL not know how a potential partnership will go.

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