BsAs syndrome

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
#61
You exaggerate for effect I'm sure.
What, me? ;)

The more you dance here (in BsAs) the more adaptable you can become as long as you are dancing with a wide range of partners.
I would expect that to hold true anywhere, not just in BsAs.

We would be better in the UK if teachers, instead of teaching their own stereotypical style, taught people actually how to dance.
Amen.
 
#62
I would suggest that there are bigger 'dialect' differences between the central BsAs Milongas and those in of the northern barrios centred around VU than there are anywhere in the UK.
How can you tell about the differences of such styles if you don't know and you are not even interested to anyone of them?
Actually, they are much more similar than you can imagine.
But everyone is dancing tango, each in their own way, and the idea that I would be dancing anything but Argentine Tango, outside Argentina (like just over the border, or perhaps on completely the other side of the world) is just daft.
I don't say that you don't dance tango just because you are outside Argentina. I say that this is a possibility. Actually I can't tell what you are dancing if I don't see you. Basing you your statements, that you only care about your local scene, that's the definition of dialect.
If you want me to entertain your premise even half seriously, you will have to come clean and properly define this 'authentic dance'. I assume that you mean that there is a standardised homogeneous tango danced throughout the rather large country of Argentina, and that everyone within its borders would agree what it is, and every serious dancer, outside, also knows, and perhaps chooses to corrupt or adapt the dance to local requirements (there being some).
Tango is a dance originated in the Area of Rio de la Plata (ie BsAs and montevideo). In the rest of Argentina and Urguay it is an imported dance just like in UK or Italy.
PS If a visiting porteña came to my next milonga and found that she couldn't communicate with me, or anyone else in the room, I'd just assume that she couldn't actually dance very well.
If a visitor from UK come to a conference in Italy and found that he couldn't comunicate with me or anyone else in the room, I'd just assume the couldn't speak... english very well. Shouldn't I?
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
#63
How can you tell about the differences of such styles if you don't know and you are not even interested to anyone of them?
I said no such thing: you were (and still are) putting words into my mouth. Up to a point I do know, and I am interested. No doubt, I cannot hope for the 'whole experience' of dancing in BsAs without going, but there are plenty of resources: books, video, conversation with others, with which to satisfy my limited curiosity. However, ultimately, the people I dance with are the members of my own local tango community. I have to fit in with them, or sit out, all night. End of.

... Actually, they are much more similar than you can imagine.
Then I need be in no fear of dancing some funny local dialect. You can't have it both ways.

I don't say that you don't dance tango just because you are outside Argentina. I say that this is a possibility. Actually I can't tell what you are dancing if I don't see you. Basing you your statements, that you only care about your local scene, that's the definition of dialect.
No, you don't mean Argentina, nor even the urban districts of BsAs & Montevideo, but small parts of one city, even to the point of naming particular clubs or milongas. If the right bit (not the wrong bit) of BsAs happens to be your local scene, then the differences make a difference - but they don't make any difference to me. Why should they?

You say dialect, but I think that you mean accent. I went to quite a posh school, and I assure you that if you spoke to me in my native tongue (and assuming that you were thoroughly fluent in it yourself), you wouldn't have the slightest idea where I came from. I certainly don't speak in dialect, and I extend the analogy to my dance.

Tango is a dance originated in the Area of Rio de la Plata (ie BsAs and montevideo). In the rest of Argentina and Urguay it is an imported dance just like in UK or Italy.
I agree, which makes the title Argentine Tango a bogus construct to start with.

If a visitor from UK come to a conference in Italy and found that he couldn't comunicate with me or anyone else in the room, I'd just assume the couldn't speak... english very well. Shouldn't I?
Given the usual English inability with other languages, that might be a reasonable conclusion, but we are talking about dance. I say that it a universal language. You disagree, but haven't begun to make any coherent case.

Assuming that there was dancing at the post-conference party, I'm sure we'd all get on just fine as we have an unspoken language in common.
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
#64
We would be better in the UK if teachers, instead of teaching their own
stereotypical style, taught people actually how to dance. I have hopes
you might be different.
isnt "stereotypical" and "own style" contradictory? and isnt the thing about tango to make it your own; at least as far as musical interpretation goes. i think style as an adjunct to the dance is like facadism in architecture....

He is different but not in the way you think......;)

I am not an adherent of any particular style. I have already seen so much vairation in what people call VU that I smell a rat. I teach Yang and Wu and Wem style tango
 

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
#66
...Tango is a dance originated in the Area of Rio de la Plata (ie BsAs and montevideo). In the rest of Argentina and Urguay it is an imported dance just like in UK or Italy...
I always find this argument irrelevant. What difference does it make where a dance originates, if I learn how to do it. I learned Swing dancing in San Diego (west coast of US). Should I assume that I'm doing an imported dance because it originated on the east coast?

Even in BA, the dance today was imported from 100 years ago, and they no longer dance it that way. Dances evolve with many influences. Unless I'm trying to do a historical recreation, why do minor differences make any difference from the original?
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#68
I agree, which makes the title Argentine Tango
a bogus construct to start with.
In Argentina it's just Tango, your bogus construct is by others,
usually abroad, and their own marketeers selling to tourists
using such a description by way of clarification.
Or should that be confusion?.

And dancing in the embrace is the way many dance, not just tango.
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#69
Stereotyping

isnt "stereotypical" and "own style" contradictory? and isnt the thing about tango to make it your own; at least as far as musical interpretation goes. i think style as an adjunct to the dance is like facadism in architecture....
And that's my complaint surely.

They teach an often limited but rigid style of their own
and by their teaching produce clones. It's not the fault
of the students other than a failure to explore beyond
what they are prescriptively given.


stereotypical
Sociology . a simplified and standardized conception or image
invested with special meaning and held in common by members
of a group: The cowboy and Indian are American stereotypes.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#70
I always find this argument irrelevant. What difference does it make where a dance originates, if I learn how to do it. I learned Swing dancing in San Diego (west coast of US). Should I assume that I'm doing an imported dance because it originated on the east coast?
Isn't that why there's a west coast swing and an east coast swing?





 

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
#71
Isn't that why there's a west coast swing and an east coast swing?
Yeah, I've never figured that out. I was taught Swing dancing in a friends living room. We just called it Swing. Years later I heard about WCS and assumed that was what I knew, since that's where I learned it. What a surprise to discover that I had learned ECS on the west coast.

We didn't have dance forums in those days, to help define the terminology.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#72
Yeah, I've never figured that out. I was taught Swing dancing in a friends living room. We just called it Swing. Years later I heard about WCS and assumed that was what I knew, since that's where I learned it. What a surprise to discover that I had learned ECS on the west coast.

We didn't have dance forums in those days, to help define the terminology.
At least you learned a real one. The only swing variant I ever learned, was disco, back in the 70s.

:banana:
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#74
Yeah, I've never figured that out.
Well, see, first it was called Western Swing. It's clear, though, from looking at the books articles from that time, that it was considered different than what was then called Eastern Swing.
Have the current differences between styles of TA been put into text books?
 
#75
John,

This will be my last post on the topic as I don't think we will see eye to eye on any of this, and also Steve seemed to kinda tap his fingers earlier, probably not wanting this thread going off the rails.

First, let me apologise if my tone was too harsh. Yours wasn't exactly gentle, and you went off dissing as a sad travelling circus me and a lot of my friends, and exaggerated your experience backing up your opinions on that.

You say your opinions have equal value. If every opinion *automatically* had equal value, we'd have creationism taught in biology class, and Sarah Palin would be EU economic advisor. The foundations of your opinion got challenged to test that value (and btw I still find them wanting).

If you want to talk about Abrazos, that is another story, and I for one am happy with what we achieved. We wanted to make a positive impact on the UK scene, and I many ways we did and will continue to do so. If you do the same in some other way, promoting and encouraging what you think is right in achieving a better UK tango scene, I say more power to you.

---

You said: "You're a promoter, you should expect it. Events of all kinds get criticised by attendees, mainly in private between themselves. Perhaps instead of criticising the critic, you should respond rather more positively."

I was reacting negatively to your rubbishing of the encuentro "movement" and a lot of very dedicated dancers, teachers and organisers whom you never met and probably in most cases never heard of, not to criticism of Abrazos, which hadn't even come up initially. At Abrazos, we dealt with your complaint in a fashion that seemed to satisfy you, and Lynn even sent you an e-mail later to make sure everything had been working out. I think we did ok generally on that score.

If Abrazos was not for you, that is fine. You mentioned "self-selection" earlier, and that is exactly what happens. We certainly didn't make everybody happy, but most people told us they'd be back before they left with smiles on their faces, and we had a deluge of glowing e-mails the week after. Our regret is that due to space constraints we will have to turn away people, probably a lot more than last year.

Again, if you had come out and said that you had a bad experience at Abrazos instead of what you did, we wouldn't have had this particular discussion, and the whole thing might actually have been more fruitful.

---

"The rest of us went (and had paid) to dance. If the organisers and helpers want a closing party, have it after the formal close."

The "party" was had by all, but if your experience was indeed so negative, please send me your bank details and I will reimburse you for the Sunday milonga.

---

"You created an elite clique on half of one side of the hall and made barren the other facing side as cabaceo there was pointless."

We had reserved seats for about 12 people or so (2 out of 16 tables), out of around 150-180, depending on which milonga we look at. How that makes one side "barren" is beyond me. And nobody stopped you from changing your seat. Friends like to sit together, so some clustering always happens.

As for the cabeceo, not sure what exactly you mean with "there" and "pointless". Almost everyone used the cabeceo just fine. Sometimes when people don't acknowledge your cabeceo, they might not be ignorant about it, they might actually be *using* the cabeceo very consciously.
Or maybe you mean cabeceoing the "elite" was pointless. Again, that might be true for you, but no-one has a duty to dance with anybody, and I did see many of "them" dancing quite a bit with people they didn't know. Not emitting a hostile vibe against them might help.

If it wasn't that, I truly don't understand your particular issue there. I wish you had pointed it out to me there and then.

---

"By the way I have no idea what you mean by the "whole "elitism"
complaint", other than to assume I am not alone in this observation."

What I am referring to is a phenomenon I've seen also in Germany, but to a much greater extent here in the UK. Some people bitterly complain about perceived elitism, and what it usually comes down to if questioned is that they resent people having reserved seating (unless it is in Buenos Aires, of course…), or some people having free entrance at a given milonga (unless…), dance better than they, and mostly "they don't dance with me, so I hate their elitist guts".

Best wishes,
Andreas
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#76
Abrazos/Festivals

John,

This will be my last post on the topic as I don't think we will see eye to eye on any of this, and also Steve seemed to kinda tap his fingers earlier, probably not wanting this thread going off the rails.

First, let me apologise if my tone was too harsh. Yours wasn't exactly gentle, and you went off dissing as a sad travelling circus me and a lot of my friends, and exaggerated your experience backing up your opinions on that.
Frankly I'm fed up of you taking this line. My opinion is that we would be
far better trying to create local social scenes rather than having to travel
the World. I wasn't dissing anyone only expressing a different view to
the one offered by Temza who was advocating such travelling.
You keep making this personal.
You say your opinions have equal value. If every opinion *automatically* had equal value, we'd have creationism taught in biology class, and Sarah Palin would be EU economic advisor. The foundations of your opinion got challenged to test that value (and btw I still find them wanting).
I never compared value only that my opinion was valid
(whether you accept it or not). This is tango not creationism and
you seem to be claiming a greater validity for your opinion than mine.

If you want to talk about Abrazos, that is another story, and I for one am happy with what we achieved. We wanted to make a positive impact on the UK scene, and I many ways we did and will continue to do so. If you do the same in some other way, promoting and encouraging what you think is right in achieving a better UK tango scene, I say more power to you.
Oh the classic answer, if you think you can do better etc., etc.
I'm not trying nor intending to make a living out of tango, just enjoy it.
If my enjoying it contributes positively to the scene then well and good.

You said: "You're a promoter, you should expect it. Events of all kinds get criticised by attendees, mainly in private between themselves. Perhaps instead of criticising the critic, you should respond rather more positively."

I was reacting negatively to your rubbishing of the encuentro "movement" and a lot of very dedicated dancers, teachers and organisers whom you never met and probably in most cases never heard of, not to criticism of Abrazos, which hadn't even come up initially.
As I've said already, the stilted style of Abrazos and presumably the other
so-called Encuentro Milongueros festivals is not that of Buenos Aires.

At Abrazos, we dealt with your complaint in a fashion that seemed to satisfy you, and Lynn even sent you an e-mail later to make sure everything had been working out. I think we did ok generally on that score.
I never even mentioned any of that but you have repeatedly. I omitted
mention of Abrazos altogether on purpose but you have repeatedly.

If Abrazos was not for you, that is fine. You mentioned "self-selection" earlier, and that is exactly what happens. We certainly didn't make everybody happy, but most people told us they'd be back before they left with smiles on their faces, and we had a deluge of glowing e-mails the week after. Our regret is that due to space constraints we will have to turn away people, probably a lot more than last year.
You claim too much for Abrazos none of which is appropriate to comment
about here. You don't agree with my viewpoint anyway.
Again, if you had come out and said that you had a bad experience at Abrazos instead of what you did, we wouldn't have had this particular discussion, and the whole thing might actually have been more fruitful.
Don't blame the messenger, I didn't start this nor specify Abrazos.
I'm not interested in long drawn out discussions that would not end
in any sort of agreement. I've expressed my view already by not rebooking.

"The rest of us went (and had paid) to dance. If the organisers and helpers want a closing party, have it after the formal close."

The "party" was had by all, but if your experience was indeed so negative, please send me your bank details and I will reimburse you for the Sunday milonga.
I danced and that was enough. The "party" was obviously a private one
between travelling friends and the inner circle. I left before the end and
also it suited me to start the long return home at a sensible time.

"You created an elite clique on half of one side of the hall and made barren the other facing side as cabaceo there was pointless."

We had reserved seats for about 12 people or so (2 out of 16 tables), out of around 150-180, depending on which milonga we look at. How that makes one side "barren" is beyond me. And nobody stopped you from changing your seat. Friends like to sit together, so some clustering always happens.
Friends grouping together make cliques, they were quite a few of those.
I can't go back in time but my impression was of more than two tables.
Perhaps your "inner clique" added to the reserved section alongside them.
I did change my position quite a lot. Cliques don't help solo dancers.
As for the cabeceo, not sure what exactly you mean with "there" and "pointless". Almost everyone used the cabeceo just fine. Sometimes when people don't acknowledge your cabeceo, they might not be ignorant about it, they might actually be *using* the cabeceo very consciously.
Or maybe you mean cabeceoing the "elite" was pointless. Again, that might be true for you, but no-one has a duty to dance with anybody, and I did see many of "them" dancing quite a bit with people they didn't know. Not emitting a hostile vibe against them might help.
You do push your luck with your accusations.
The last one is beneath contempt.
If it wasn't that, I truly don't understand your particular issue there.
I wish you had pointed it out to me there and then.
I didn't go to have a discussion about your organisation and
sometimes about the lack of it. Most of this has arisen as an antidote
to excessive claims made about Abrazos and other "Festivals".

"By the way I have no idea what you mean by the "whole "elitism"
complaint", other than to assume I am not alone in this observation."

What I am referring to is a phenomenon I've seen also in Germany, but to a much greater extent here in the UK. Some people bitterly complain about perceived elitism, and what it usually comes down to if questioned is that they resent people having reserved seating (unless it is in Buenos Aires, of course…), or some people having free entrance at a given milonga (unless…), dance better than they, and mostly "they don't dance with me, so I hate their elitist guts".
Then don't raise it in discussion with me.
Any bitterness seems to be emanating from your direction.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#77
Ok, that will be the last two posts in this ongoing "discussion" between the two factions here. And, yes, thanks for acknowledging that there was a hint back there.
 
#78
I said no such thing: you were (and still are) putting words into my mouth. Up to a point I do know, and I am interested. No doubt, I cannot hope for the 'whole experience' of dancing in BsAs without going, but there are plenty of resources: books, video, conversation with others, with which to satisfy my limited curiosity. However, ultimately, the people I dance with are the members of my own local tango community. I have to fit in with them, or sit out, all night. End of.
You said that "the only scene that should matter is the local one" and that " It is useful, perhaps, to have some awareness of other scenes, but it's definitely an optional extra."
There is nothing bad in it, expecially if you have no other option: you have to fit in with them, or sit out all night. I'm only suggesting you to consider the possibility that this way the dance could be more or less different.
No, you don't mean Argentina, nor even the urban districts of BsAs & Montevideo, but small parts of one city, even to the point of naming particular clubs or milongas. If the right bit (not the wrong bit) of BsAs happens to be your local scene, then the differences make a difference - but they don't make any difference to me. Why should they?
We could go further: every dancer has his/her own style. And you are encoureged to have your own, if you don't want to be a clone of someone else.
Now, the question is: what are the differences that make a differece?
I am proposing a sort of threshold, as a rule of thumb: if you don't manage to have single decent dance is such places, then it means you are dancing somehting else: a different "language", or a "dialect". Otherwise, maybe you have an "accent", but it doesn't matter so much.
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
#79
... every dancer has his/her own style. And you are encoureged to have your own, if you don't want to be a clone of someone else.
Well I don't want to be a clone of anyone else, and I don't see any useful purpose in modelling my own dance by reference to anywhere else, BsAs included, as long as I fit in on the broad spectrum of what is considered normal/acceptable in the places where I dance.

This was meant (I think) to be a light-hearted discussion, and I suggested a definition of BsAs Syndrome several days ago, which was:

... the susceptibility to feelings of anxiety and stress induced by the members of our local peer groups, when everything that we say, do and dance is measured (and commented upon) by reference to the standards and practices prevailing in another place (or, even more likely, in another place, and at another time).
I don't suffer from it. Plenty of people seem to take pleasure in trying to infect me, but I have been immunised. If the faux-Latinos don't all want to kiss me on both cheeks, every time we meet, then at least I don't have to share their garlic-breath. Life has its compensations.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#80
I don't suffer from it. Plenty of people seem to take pleasure in trying to infect me, but I have been immunised. If the faux-Latinos don't all want to kiss me on both cheeks, every time we meet, then at least I don't have to share their garlic-breath. Life has its compensations.
I kinda like garlic.





 

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