Butt wiggling and flashy footwork are not tango

Subliminal

Well-Known Member
I've been around I really appreciate when somebody is trying to be constructive and zealous about their thing.
What I don't dislike is when anybody put others to promote themselves.

I don't say that Jan is not a gem, but her attitude is not always pleasant for discussion and to share tango enthusiasm.

I do also as Jan prefer some art forms or sports form that were actual some or long time ago, but they are not anymore.
When able I enjoy them in a form they were but I don't preach others continually that is the only and proper way.

There is an evolution going on, sometimes we don't like but I am sure that we need to accept it.
Exactly. There is so much negativity in the ones clinging to the traditional styles that it can't help but drive people away. And there are a lot of positive things that people could learn from the traditional styles, but it's off-putting when someone tells you that all other dance styles are invalid except for theirs. It closes the door to conversation instead of opening it.
 

twnkltoz

Well-Known Member
Exactly. There is so much negativity in the ones clinging to the traditional styles that it can't help but drive people away. And there are a lot of positive things that people could learn from the traditional styles, but it's off-putting when someone tells you that all other dance styles are invalid except for theirs. It closes the door to conversation instead of opening it.
There is a difference between preserving the old ways so they are remembered and used as they should be...and closing your eyes to all new possibilities.

It's funny...we have the same battles in West Coast Swing and Country. There are those who think these dances should not have evolved and should stay exactly as they were when they were invented decades ago. I, for one, much prefer the modern ideas, as long as the fundamentals that established the dance are observed. Yet, this doesn't seem to be as much of an issue in Ballroom. There are some who will complain that competitive dance doesn't look anything like what they think the dance will look like, but there isn't nearly the same level of outrage and passionate debate.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
Exactly. There is so much negativity in the ones clinging to the traditional styles that it can't help but drive people away. And there are a lot of positive things that people could learn from the traditional styles, but it's off-putting when someone tells you that all other dance styles are invalid except for theirs. It closes the door to conversation instead of opening it.

Agreed, sub. The first time I checked out the DF tango forum was years ago. I had fully decided to take up tango, looked up local classes/practicas/milongas, etc. Then I came here and witnessed some *in my view* ridiculous arguments about how to execute a particular move or certain pieces of music (or stuff like that.) I got disgusted and left. Now, years later, I am still toying with tango instead of dancing it. The idea of going to a class or whatever with a lot of elitist folks turned me off, even though I find tango INCREDIBLY ATTRACTIVE. Just not worth it.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
There is a difference between preserving the old ways so they are remembered and used as they should be...and closing your eyes to all new possibilities.

It's funny...we have the same battles in West Coast Swing and Country. There are those who think these dances should not have evolved and should stay exactly as they were when they were invented decades ago. I, for one, much prefer the modern ideas, as long as the fundamentals that established the dance are observed. Yet, this doesn't seem to be as much of an issue in Ballroom. There are some who will complain that competitive dance doesn't look anything like what they think the dance will look like, but there isn't nearly the same level of outrage and passionate debate.

The ballroom people save their passionate debate energy for different stuff ;) Just kidding! Mostly!

I think it has to do with what motivates people to do dance in the first place. If people are dancing social/historical/vernacular dance, of course historical accuracy is going to be important to a greater number of people. One could argue that ballroom, as codified by AM and others, lost its connection to the vernacular long ago.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
No one should be put off by the discussions here, or, still on line, those at Tango L, I think. I would gladly go through all the effort to learn what I learned again if I had to. The teachers I know took had a rather cosmopolitan view, actively encouraging people to explore other styles. That may just be Portland. I can't say.

The tango of (deep breath) the crowded milongas of central Buenos Aries is not a historical dance. It is the dance of those who dance there. People travel from around the world to go there, witness it, and participate in it.
(Oh, and BTW, I saw more v embrace style at El Arranque than at Lo de Celia.) Perhaps one day it will only be seen on YouTube, or whatever follows it, but not for a while.

If I could magically forget the feeling of apilado, which I don't want to do, I would be much more satistifed with "close embrace" or a more open style.

And if the only CW two step I had learned was with a ballroom hold, I wouldn't insist on using a red neck/cowboy hold! And, by cracky, that other thing is ballroom two step or fox trot!
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
This is interesting, because you have such very strong opinions on what is and is not tango that seem to leave very little room for differing styles and tastes.
There's more to Jan than it might seem, (even if she does get overly strident with her advocacy of her preferred style). She's very much been an advocate for personal styles. It's just that her limits are more narrow than some other people's limits.

At the end of the day, a lot of the debate comes down to, "how much can tango change until it is no longer tango".
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
I've been around I really appreciate when somebody is trying to be constructive and zealous about their thing.
What I don't dislike is when anybody put others to promote themselves.

I don't say that Jan is not a gem, but her attitude is not always pleasant for discussion and to share tango enthusiasm.
I can't argue with that, even if I do like Jan.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure I'm comfortable with this conversation having turned into what looks like a referendum on jan. I don't know if she's dismissive of the turn of conversation, amused by it, hurt or embarrassed by it. Not everybody likes being under the internet microscope.

But, since that's where we are, I'll tell you what. If earth were bring invaded by aliens and we had to fight to the death, I would want jan on my team. That's right. Y'all cannot have her. If we all get stranded on a desert island with only conversation for entertainment, I want jan. Uh huh. She may be a challenge at times, but she is NEVER boring. Do I agree with jan's views? Much of the time, no. But she is a woman with courage of her convictions. I admire that. It's hard to come by these days.


And, to bring my comments sort of back on topic I agree with dchester.


At the end of the day, a lot of the debate comes down to, "how much can tango change until it is no longer tango".
That's the question. We may all have different answers, but none of us can deny that it's a good question and a relevant one. :cool:
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
If people are dancing social/historical/vernacular dance, of course historical accuracy is going to be important to a greater number of people.
I don't view tango in those terms (well, OK, vernacular). It has a history: but so does every other style; but things change all the time, even in the standardised dances (but slowly). The only tango I can dance is now, where I am (which isn't BsAs) and with the women embracing me. Nothing else matters, nothing else is normative. No one else is going to tell me, without challenge, that I am dancing anything but tango. If, individually, anyone prefers to dance tango in a different style, just don't dance with me - and everyone is happy. Except the spoiled child who would rather break the toy than share it.
 

LKSO

Active Member
Dances evolve as a result of the changing styles of music over the decades. Thus, the change in dance style is a direct result in the change of music.

What makes tango different from other dances is that the music has stayed the same. We are still dancing to music from the 30s, 40s, an 50s. However, tango has also had changes to the music. Piazolla, for instance, composed music that isn't danceable nor was it intended to be danceable. Currently, electro-tango appears to be in fashion along with tango-nuevo movements. This is also the evolution of tango, but the movements are the result of electro-tango's ambiguousness; you can do almost anything with ambiguous music.

I've listened to electro-tango longer than I have tango, and you know what? I didn't even know it was electro-tango. I thought it was club/contemporary music and I danced to this music solo. I even tried to choreograph a solo dance to some of them (e.g. Sentimientos). Electro-tango does NOT take two to tango.

The freedom afforded by ambiguous music is great, and as an artist, I enjoy things that allow for creative expression. However, when I see performers "dancing" to non-ambiguous music, such as the classics, I cringe with disgust. I am disgusted because what I see and hear are two different things. Imagine a young, attractive woman wearing a short, revealing red dress with matching red pumps. She'd be perfect except when she speaks, she sounds like Barry White. Does this image induce cognitive dissonance? Something is clearly wrong.
 

LKSO

Active Member
If you think the classics are 'non-ambiguous' then you still have a lot to learn about the music and how you can dance to it.
We may have a misunderstanding of ambiguous here. By ambiguous, I mean it's highly open to any kind of interpretation and they would mostly be right. By non-ambiguous, I mean interpretation is pretty narrow. I think I'm being non-ambiguous now, am I not?

...but it may not be what you think.
I'm pretty certain what I think is what I think... or are you trying to be ambiguous?
 

sixela

Well-Known Member
By non-ambiguous, I mean interpretation is pretty narrow.
OK, once again: if you think that any one of the true classics has a narrow range of possible interpretations, you have a lot to learn about the music and how to dance on it.

Which is entirely normal, given you haven't been at it for long, but I'm still puzzled by your insistence that what you don't see or hear mustn't be there.

Golden age music (especially if there's a singer) is actually known for its complex polyrhythms that leave the dancers a wide choice of options on what to ride at any one particular moment, depending on the mood, the connection between the partners, the room they have (at a milonga), and whatever floats the boat of both partners (who, if it's a leader who's learned to 'surf' what the follower has to offer, are even going to pick up different things in a cat-and-mouse game.)

I find most modern music, on the other hand, much more forcing, at least if you want to follow its mood. Which has its own good sides (it's easier to 'go with the flow' and it's easier for both partners not to have a completely different take on things), but it's different, not better, worse, or less ambiguous.
 

sixela

Well-Known Member
Actually, take the video that was at the start of this thread: the fact jantango abhors the musical interpretation that the couple is using does mean that there's a different one (or a bunch of them). Yet it's clearly a 'classic'.
 
LKSO, I advise you to invest more time in trying to fully understand the scope of the traditional tango music, which if even, takes many years. Most electro-tango is incredibly superficial, nothing can replace the danceable structure of the traditional music. For me, the traditional music allows for genuine artistic expression, while neo music generally doesn't give me any fertile soil to feel the music, it's just the same cheap beat every time.
 

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