Tango Argentino > With a different music a different dance.

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Mario7, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    Subtract the music and what's left? 'Atmosphere' and steps.
    I think that this is one of the main two reasons that the 'traditional' fans are feeling sad when they see 'Tango' going on this other path...sure, it's a different dance...and they lose their embrace and their music. So, in my dumb opinion, if the two dances were called by a different name, and if the 'teachers' could limit their market instead of grabbing for every student possible....then we could all co exist.:cool:

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  2. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    Both dances have their own intrinsic beauty. I'd just like to know what I'm about to get and so let's start calling them as they are...and let's stop putting them both on the same dance floor at the same time.
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  3. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Nobody is grabbing me, or anyone, for that matter. Nobody forces me to go to venues where people do something they call tango, and in my book it is not tango. Where is the problem?
  4. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Mario. I love your posts, and I agree with you much more than I disagree with you, but as someone who has had classes from the people in both of your videos, I think you are wrong. Certainly you can say the distinction between a different style and a different dance is somewhat arbitrary, I think the two dance styles have a lot more in common than you might realize.

    BTW, while I haven't had the pleasure of dancing a tanda with Melina, I have danced one with Dana, and she is a wonderful close embrace dancer.
  5. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I think both dances are very much in the realm of AT. Sure, two different styles, but both are equally valid. And, both are exhibitions. Neither would be appropriate on a crowded dance floor.

    When I began learning AT in '93 and for several years, the only thing I ever saw taught or danced was what we now call open-embrace. Then it was called AT. So it's nothing new. The close-embrace/milonguero style was introduced a few years later, at least in the US. There is no reason why both styles can't be danced on the same dance floor, as long as all leaders exhibit courteous floor craft.

    As for teachers, since you know there are various styles, it's up to you to find out what they will be teaching before you attend their classes.
  6. Lui

    Lui Active Member

    Mario, you hit the jackpot. What you describe is exactly what is happening in the real world - in someway. In my observation those teachers/organizers, who have confidence in their chosen style and are able to gather and amaze their following students will survive in the long run. They don’t waste time and energy by trying to embrace all styles. Nor are they making up excuses why all other styles are inferior. They do their thing and shine at it. That’s what attracts the people and the survivors will shape the future of tango.

    In Berlin the dying of Milongas has started. After the tango boom, which started in the 1980, we now facing a saturation of demand. Financial crises, a very long winter - in a city unwilling and unable to do anything against snow and ice even around the Berlinale - as well as an oversupply of teachers have finally taken their toll. Just last week the “Walzer Linksgestrickt” has closed their door for tango dancers. Last fall the Milonga at “Salon Urquiza” and “Tango Vivo” were stopped. As far as I’m informed quite a few other Milongas are in trouble as well, but manage to survive, so far.

    At a closer look, almost all traditional Milongas are facing a decline in visitors (I’m not – knock on wood). On the other hand some more Nuevo oriented places are booming. The booming places follow the strategy described above. The closed places just did the opposite.

    Once you have inspired a sufficient big crowd you can call anything you like “Tango”, anything at all! Ask some random strangers on the street about the dance Tango. You will be surprised, how often movies are mentioned. Depending on the age and interests you will hear “Some like it Hot”, “Scent of a woman” and “True Lies”. Among Berlin Teenagers Schwarzenegger is closer related to Tango than any real dancer! Only very few remember “Tango Lesson” or Saura’s “Tango”.

    Is this a problem. Only to you – once you start to worry about it
  7. pascal

    pascal Active Member

    This is not tango teachers, this is Pablo y Dana.
  8. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I find it strange that you include these. In the Tango Lesson; there are glimpses of BsAs milongas but Verons dancing with Carolina Lotti is what inspired me along with such much music as Gallo Ciego by Pugliese (The g-spot of tango music).
    Saura's movie is even more contrived with a re-working of Carmen. But essentially more performance. A straight documentary film about tango in Buenos Aires might detach a lot of the mythological detritus of tango
  9. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Because, god forbid, a teacher try to attract as many students as possible. He or she should only ever stick with one thing, and stay in their little box, and never try to reach out to anyone else. That just spells the beginning of the end for everyone.

    Anyhow, different teachers DO call themselves different things--they will often say they specialize in Salon, or Nuevo. But then people *ahem* come along and protest that Nuevo isn't real tango. What, you want the absolute lock on the five letters (t, a, n, g, o) used in that sequence? Rubbish. You might as well get your knickers in a twist over ballroom dancers using the save five letters to describe what they do. Even if teachers don't expressly say what style they follow, students can always ask. In workshop situations, usually the topics to be taught are made public; if you see colgadas, it probably isn't traditional tango, so go to another teacher and deal. Why get all upset because they dare call themselves tango dancers.

    If you don't like calling nuevo, or even non-apilado style, "tango," fine. Then don't. But why give a damn about what other people choose to call themselves. Who.cares?
  10. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    I care. What I would like is a clear naming of what to expect. Something like 'Traditional Tango' for the music and/or the dance. And I'm asking organizers and teachers, etc. to label their tango 'Traditional' if it is..there are some who are doing that already and they have all of my respect and patronage. Let's start to stand up for what we want to see stay around; namely the Traditional music and dance (Argentine Tango)...I'm trying to quit complaining and put the responsibility on myself and other reactionaries like myself...Label your product clearly and stick to it.:doh:
  11. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    But even your label of "traditional" is a misnomer; read the history and tango had a lot more variations in the early days; cortes and quebradas for instance; Copes was complaining that the embrace of younger people today was too close.. I just think tango evolved and is still evolving; what you see see now is just a moment.... I see all the variations as part of a spectrum.

    These kind of debates go on in musical circles' people argue whether to go back to the composer's original notes for arranging a score (even if like Mahler he may have changed it several times) or choose to make an arrangemnet that reflects something different which might even be the acoustics of the hall of the performance.

    By all means take whatever you value in the dance and the music but be careful about becoming the Ministry of Truth
  12. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    What to expect when? Are you talking about a class, a milonga, or a performance?

    I expect to see something closer to what Dana and Pablo did during a performance. I expect to see something closer to what Detlef and Melina did, during a milonga (unless it's advertised as alternate or nuevo). I expect a class to be close to what is the course description says (and of course, the teacher's reputation comes into play as well).

    I don't understand why performance tango during a performance, seems to cause you so much angst.

  13. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    I thought that we were in agreement that what is performed is what winds up (for whatever reason) being taught and danced 'socially'.:peace:
  14. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Performance tango has been around since the early '80s. It's what re-invigorated interest in tango. It doesn't destroy tango.

    The people who dance tango are the ones responsible for it's quality, not the performers.

    If your milonga is going down hill, I'm sorry to hear that, but it's not the fault of performers.
  15. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    I have no problem seeing any kind of styles, old, new, fusion, whatever, if it's in a performance. The dancers are supposed to be creative and entertain the crowd. And (presumably) pro-level dancers would also know how to adapt or restrict the moves to be appropriate on a social floor.

    The only issue to me is when less-skilled people insist on doing the big flashy performance moves at a social dance and they don't care that a) the moves are not suitable for social dancing b) they're blocking the line of dance or c) they're accidentally kicking other people.

    Unfortunately I do think many teachers gets caught between a rock and hard place. They know that the flashy moves attract many people to take lessons. And then they risking turning off those new students by telling them that the steps they saw, are not ones they actually should learn and do socially. Students could misinterpret that as sort of bait-and-switch. It takes a while for people to understand the difference between performance and social dancing.
  16. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Lui, though I can understand this view, I would fight it with tooth and nail! The music rules the style, not bed and breakfast!
  17. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    The funny thing at some places I go to, it's sometimes a few of the highly skilled people who the things you listed would apply to. To be honest, whenever me (or my follower) have been kicked, it was by someone I would describe as highly skilled (much more than me). With blocking, it doesn't seem to matter what the skill level is, as both advanced and beginners I've seen doing this.
  18. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    To my view, if those people are blocking the line of dance and kicking people, then, by definition, they are not highly skilled, at least not in every sense. They might be skilled at performing various steps, but are apparently not skilled in dancefloor navigation and etiquette - or worse, maybe they're just too rude to care.
  19. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Rude idgits != inadequate dancing ability.

    Inadequate social skills, an underveloped understanding of etiquette, an inflated sense of self-importantance...sure. But it speaks nothing of their ability to execute the dance with skill.

    And rude idgits happen regardless of the style being danced.

    ETA: And, furthermore, it has absolutely no bearing on what to call what it is they're dancing.
  20. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    You know what? This thread makes me love my teacher more. She very much falls in the traditional camp as far as tango goes. But she is also the least pretentious person I know. The other day she showed me a clip from the old Tango Argentino show to demonstrate something. And it was very obviously performance tango. But she told me to look at the connection and musicality of the dancers, not the moves. And I got it.

    Connection. Musicality. Grace. Beauty. You can find these things in "traditional" tango, performance tango, and nuevo tango. Just because you refuse to see it doesn't mean it isn't there.

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