Close Embrace Tango Teachers

#61
There was no relevant tango in in Argentina during the '60, '70 and '80.
A few years after the great success of the tango show "Tango Argentino" in the US 1984 it got revitalized in Buenos Aires.
Unfortunately that show tango had nothing to do with a close embrace milonguero style.

In a region with massive demonstrations against sexual violence and rapes a sensitive embrace will not be given broadly by nature.
So today living milongeros had to learn their close embrace the one or the other way as adults.
It should not be so difficult to find out who taught them...
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#62
OK, since this was my post to begin with, I'm not necessarily asking who dances in "close embrace", or who performs in close embrace, but who teaches how to embrace, and in close - an ability sorely missing in most Americans and Europeans. I just returned from BAires, and women there prefer dancing with Argentines, and say that it is a rare thing to find a non-Argentine who can embrace properly. I find that, too. I think many Argentine men find that foreign women don't get it either, because a lot of men will look at me with wonder after a dance, and ask if I am a Portenã. (I'm not, and really can't hope to pass). Hieu Lee and Ernest Williams are two I can think of here in the USA - who are the other ones? Maybe you can post videos of their students rather than of them dancing themselves. If you get it, who taught you? I learned in the arms of Argentines.
Were you able to find a sub for you while you were away? Who did you end up getting?

There is a couple in Las Vegas - Judy Margolis and Jon Martin - that you might find interesting.

My experience is that the trend of dancing open and big is on its way out and a smaller more intimate dance is coming back in vogue here in the Eastern US. Granted, many people aren't doing it all that well, but more people are doing it, which is a start. I think in any pursuit, most of the participants will be, by definition, average rather than excellent. The baseline level in major cities is higher, but the "middle of the pack" is always going to be the largest segment of the pack for hobbies taken up by adults. So I don't think it is fair to compare tango dancing at its place of origin where people start it young and have it ingrained in the culture, to the practice of tango in other places.

That said, there are plenty of bad dancers in BA too. ;)

I am biased because I started in a "milonguero" style and danced it exclusively for a couple of years which made me fairly unpopular in my community. Almost everyone was dancing open and had no idea how to lead without overuse of their arms or without looking at the partner's feet.

I've written this in other threads before, but I'll repeat it here: I always start beginners in a parallel, flat on, chest connected, close embrace with a fair level of forward "presence". IMO, it's easier to adapt to a V embrace or completely open embrace from "milonguero" than it is to go the opposite way. Once people have developed habits like overusing the arms, looking down, letting the arms become independent of the core, etc, it's quite difficult to break those habits. By starting in a more milonguero style, it's harder to "cheat" with those things.
 
#63
By starting in a more milonguero style, it's harder to "cheat" with those things.
That sounds to be a well thought-out approach. I learned from teachers that explained walking in a milonguero style but showed sequences in a salon style afterwards. Some convenience habits seem to be quite common to students and teachers. ;)

To dance in milonguero style is quite pleasant and the default for me - as long as I perceive that it's the proper distance for the connection and as long as it fits to what we want to express.
So for me at the baseline our dance leads to an embrace, not reverse.
 
#66
Were you able to find a sub for you while you were away? Who did you end up getting?
One of my students (an Argentine who learned tango from me here in the US) and Grace Evitt from Chicago filled in. Sounds like you'd be a good choice next time, Zoopsia. I am familiar with Judy and Jon, having met them in BA years ago, I think in 2003. While our community went to close embrace back in 2000, lately with some new teachers and dancers we seem to be going the other way. This makes me really sad, since our community was once poised to be one of the best. No longer.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#67
There was no relevant tango in in Argentina during the '60, '70 and '80.
So today living milongeros had to learn their close embrace the one or the other way as adults.
Except for the fact that there were people who were still dancing tango.

interviewer - At that moment (when Cacho Dante was young - SP) the Golden Age of Tango was already over.

Cacho - Yes, but even so there were milongas in downtown every night.

I followed up up this, and found this here
https://elfirulete.wordpress.com/2000/04/20/the-milongas-portenas-of-the-1970s/
"
The conclusion drawn by many, and supported by outright lies told by prominent touring professional teachers, was that tango died in the seventies as a consequence of being proscribed and banned by the government. The reasoning followed that if the tango had “died,” it was because the Argentines “killed” it, and Americans and Europeans with hard currency on hand performed some sort of exorcism, and voila, here is the tango again but now it belongs to the world.

Not so, writes Adela Zulema Cardozo, a surgical nurse and a founding member of the Institute of Tango Research. The ignorance of such claims is partially a consequence of the minimum cost of admission charged by the organizers of the numerous milongas porteñas during the seventies, that allowed access to their salons to a very large number of people of limited or non existent resources. These were indeed modest places, owned by regular people who could not afford the prohibitive costs of radio, TV and printed advertising, which is what gives massive promotion to an activity proposed to all sectors of society.
But maybe, these promoters were not interested in advertising since their facilities never lacked attendance because of the high interest shown by the public in dancing tango
"
You might look at JanTangos blogs and see how many milongueros have been around long enough to have learned before they were "adults."
https://jantango.wordpress.com/
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#68
One of my students (an Argentine who learned tango from me here in the US) and Grace Evitt from Chicago filled in. Sounds like you'd be a good choice next time, Zoopsia. I am familiar with Judy and Jon, having met them in BA years ago, I think in 2003. While our community went to close embrace back in 2000, lately with some new teachers and dancers we seem to be going the other way. This makes me really sad, since our community was once poised to be one of the best. No longer.
I'd be happy to talk to you about it if you need someone next time!

I do think these things go in cycles. Your community is cycling away from close embrace it seems. It is sad, but it will come around again. That's the thing about cycles. ;)
 
#69
Except for the fact that there were people who were still dancing tango.

interviewer - At that moment (when Cacho Dante was young - SP) the Golden Age of Tango was already over.

Cacho - Yes, but even so there were milongas in downtown every night.
Interesting material, no question!
At the website of elfirulete on a page "A show named Tango Argentino" I read:
"The current revival of the tango spread with blazing intensity, thanks to the globalization of communications. It started to rise around 1990, after 30 years of no major tango activity, with the unexpected success of a musical revue aptly named Tango Argentino."
Anyhow, I do not even intend to suggest that there was no tango at all. If one wants to feel out the mystery of the embrace, he can limit that research to milongueros which were not involved that time.
And I would carefully ask, whether sophisticated leader techniques like step-projection, follow-the-follower etc. that make following increasingly pleasant might be more or less a trend of the last 25 years...
 
Last edited:

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#71
...I read:"The current revival… started to rise around 1990, after 30 years of no major tango activity...
That statement simply is wrong. There were a lot of very, very profilic and substantially important releases on vinyl in the 60s and 70s. It's a pity that those self proclaimed tango expositors (including el firulente) seem that ignorant.
 
Last edited:

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#72
...would carefully ask, whether sophisticated leader techniques like step-projection, follow-the-follower etc. ...might be more or less a trend of the last 25 years...
I live in Europe. The first generation of argentine tango teachers in the 90s taught something like swim or sink. So they were not quite successful. Furthermore they taught something like stage style (escenario). To get a look-in they had to equalize their teaching to the didactics over here. Subsequently especially in Berlin those techniques evolved, spread and were mirrored back to argentina. A lot of todays tango giants lived in Berlin during the summer and returned to argentina in winter.
 
Last edited:
#73
I think a very good explanation of this part of tango evolution is here:
Tango and Chaos in Buenos Aires | Chapter 6 | The Nuts & Bolts of Tango | To Decorate, or Not to Decorate
tangoandchaos.org/chapt_6school/18decorations.htm
Now I'd like to present the other side of the coin. While the milongueros in the above videos were dancing in the relative obscurity of the BsAs milongas, a group of other well-known Argentines was touring and representing tango to the outside world. Here's an example of three of the biggest names in tango at that time: Carlos Copes, the Dinzels, and Osvaldo Zotto. They were the headliners at a couple of large workshops in the U.S., and here's some video from their classes:
 

sixela

Well-Known Member
#75
Your community is cycling away from close embrace it seems. It is sad
Not necessarily. If it's cycling towards something akin to how Chicho and Juana (or Chicho and Eugena, for those who remember) dance, then it ain't sad. It's just something different (although for old geezers like me it's a lot harder too).

But of course if it cycles away from something simple and elegant to something complicated, grotesque and hollow, dancing-with-the-stars-esque...
 

Dance Ads