Crossing over from ballroom to Tango

Angel HI

Well-Known Member
^ If that what it is to you, that's perfect; after all, communication is not the perfect wording, it's the perfect understanding, and what you have posted is exactly what I am saying.
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
I dunno. I think there are two types of "In the Moment". There are times when everything seems to flow naturally without any thought, which is what TC is talking about I think. Then for me, there are times of hyper awareness, when everything seems crisp and sharp and clear. Sometimes I do think about what I'm doing then, and plan something intentionally neat that will make my partner smile. But my thoughts are zipping around so fast, it doesn't interrupt the flow of the dance.

The latter state often happens to me in milonga, actually. Drink 6 cups of coffee, snort some pixie sticks, and BAM! Off we go! Dun, da da da, dun!
I'm going to start a new thread on this...
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
It could be that women are more likely to be "dancers" like me and don't feel a need to analyze the music. They feel it and they know what's about to happen because they feel it, not because they study it. (leaders are frequently baffled how I know to be ready to stop for the last note as though I know it is coming... I DO know it's coming even in an unfamiliar piece... although I sometimes get taken by surprise when it continues)
I'm the same way. I had always assumed the reason I didn't need to analyze music was because of my musical background. That some people with music backgrounds say they need to study the music, was a bit surprising to me. Tango music (of the golden era) tends to be rather simple and predictable, with the ending about the only place where some games might be played.

I actually enjoy dancing to songs I don't know yet, as much as songs I do know, (assuming it ends up being a good song). I guess I just don't think it takes that much skill to dance musically to songs that you've heard hundreds of times.
 
I'm the same way. I had always assumed the reason I didn't need to analyze music was because of my musical background. That some people with music backgrounds say they need to study the music, was a bit surprising to me. Tango music (of the golden era) tends to be rather simple and predictable, with the ending about the only place where some games might be played.

I actually enjoy dancing to songs I don't know yet, as much as songs I do know, (assuming it ends up being a good song).

I agree with you, mostly. Golden Age music is simple: two or three sections with regular phrases and sub-phrases, fairly simple melodies and harmonies, etc. And it is predictable – for someone who has heard a lot it, or done some focused study, not to a beginner new to the dance and the music. A lot of tango music is even simplistic, with little musical value. That doesn’t make it bad dance music, just boring to listen to.

When I was an absolute beginner – with no prior dance experience of any kind, never having listened to Golden Age music – I needed to study the music to get to know it. I’ve written before there are different types of analysis: actively listening to the music; and detailed, bar by bar, pencil and paper type. The latter is the quickest way to learn new music if one has the skills to do it. I rarely do the level of analysis in the El Choclo thread, analyzing the sheet music bar by bar. If the music interests me enough I’ll do it just to know it inside out – no amount of listening will achieve that level of comprehension, at least for music beyond the simplistic.

I think it’s clear the analysis of El Choclo and the three orquestas’ playing of it has been a valuable exercise. Anyone following along knows the music extremely well and, more importantly, has learned to distinguish Firpo’s, Di Sarli’s, and D’Arienzo’s styles. Or at least is well on the way towards that. That is being overlooked by those who haven't read the thread and assume its been all about bar-by-bar analysis of the music only. There is valuable info. there, beyond the analysis of the notes.


I guess I just don't think it takes that much skill to dance musically to songs that you've heard hundreds of times.
Well that is the key point really. For someone with a good ear and dance technique, I agree. Just randomly listening and/or dancing to music will eventually get such a person there. Focused analysis guarantees it, even for those less innate dancers. I’ll take focused thought over randomness any day.


I like dancing to music I don’t know too – now, not when I first started out…
 

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
I'm the same way. I had always assumed the reason I didn't need to analyze music was because of my musical background. That some people with music backgrounds say they need to study the music, was a bit surprising to me. Tango music (of the golden era) tends to be rather simple and predictable, with the ending about the only place where some games might be played.

I actually enjoy dancing to songs I don't know yet, as much as songs I do know, (assuming it ends up being a good song). I guess I just don't think it takes that much skill to dance musically to songs that you've heard hundreds of times.
I began playing musical instruments before my teens, and I've danced to a wide variety of music. Still, tango music was unfamiliar to me when I began AT. I liked it, but it was a little different. I never analyzed it in detail (wouldn't be able to), but I just played it constantly in my house until I developed a familiarity with it.

I enjoy dancing to a "new" tune occasionally (assuming it's a good tune), just like dancing with a new partner (same assumption).

I don't think the detailed analysis that TangoMonkey provided will improve or alter the way I dance to El Choclo, but I do think that having a basic understanding of how music repeats itself would be useful for leaders in fitting their dances to the music. And, I'm pretty sure that lots of people don't really realize how that works.
 
I don't think the detailed analysis that TangoMonkey provided will improve or alter the way I dance to El Choclo
I find that interesting. Do you dance to Di Sarli's El Choclo the same as D'Arienzo's? I don't have your level of experience, but I find myself doing different steps to the same parts of the music, depending on who is playing. Carefully studying the music and the playing of it has made me very aware of the differences and hopefully my dancing is more nuanced as a result.

This type of discussion is very interesting. It should be posted in the El Choclo thread so others can add their views and experiences...
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
Do you dance to Di Sarli's El Choclo the same as D'Arienzo's?...
If there are different interpretations of a single piece around, I usually dance only to one of them and I kind of hate the other ones. So with "Junto a tu corazon". I only dance to the José Garcia (canta Alfredo Rojas) version, but not to Carlos Di Sarli (canta Alberto Podestá).

Di Sarli http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-7vB2AfWWE
Garcia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGRweyHzsL4

In most cases I like the original best, but in the case of "Junto a tu corazon" I´ve got no original by now. Does someone of you have a Stamponi recording?
 

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
I find that interesting. Do you dance to Di Sarli's El Choclo the same as D'Arienzo's? I don't have your level of experience, but I find myself doing different steps to the same parts of the music, depending on who is playing. Carefully studying the music and the playing of it has made me very aware of the differences and hopefully my dancing is more nuanced as a result...
I absolutely dance differently according to the feeling and tempo of the music. I heard the emotion in the music (my Spanish is limited) and I'm influenced by it. I know the general structure of the music and my choice of steps and expression is influenced by that. (Poema is a perfect example). I hear the different voices of the orchestra and am influenced by that. But, this is all to a much more general level, or maybe more intuitive level, than the details you provided, such as chordal changes.
 
I absolutely dance differently according to the feeling and tempo of the music. I heard the emotion in the music (my Spanish is limited) and I'm influenced by it. I know the general structure of the music and my choice of steps and expression is influenced by that. (Poema is a perfect example). I hear the different voices of the orchestra and am influenced by that. But, this is all to a much more general level, or maybe more intuitive level, than the details you provided, such as chordal changes.
I meant dancing specifically to different versions of El Choclo...What I was wondering is, doesn't knowing the versions in detail effect the way you dance to them, even subconsciously? For me it does. I don't think about what is coming up - I just respond from having the music within me, from analyzing and hearing it so many times. I'm specifically talking about dancing to the El Choclo versions, not dancing in general.
 

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
I meant dancing specifically to different versions of El Choclo...What I was wondering is, doesn't knowing the versions in detail effect the way you dance to them, even subconsciously? For me it does. I don't think about what is coming up - I just respond from having the music within me, from analyzing and hearing it so many times. I'm specifically talking about dancing to the El Choclo versions, not dancing in general.
I would definitely dance differently to the various versions of El Choclo that you mentioned. I would also dance differently to those orchestras generally, regardless of which tune they were playing.

For me, D' Arienzo has a more rhythmical and emphatic sound, and that's how I would dance. Di Sarli sounds much more lyrical and I would dance that way. De Caro has a simpler orchestra and orchestration, so my dance might be simpler, maybe more repetitive. If D' Arienzo played a tune that came out sounding very lyrical and smooth, similar to Di Sarli, I would dance lyrically and smoothly.
 
I would definitely dance differently to the various versions of El Choclo that you mentioned. I would also dance differently to those orchestras generally, regardless of which tune they were playing.

For me, D' Arienzo has a more rhythmical and emphatic sound, and that's how I would dance. Di Sarli sounds much more lyrical and I would dance that way. De Caro has a simpler orchestra and orchestration, so my dance might be simpler, maybe more repetitive. If D' Arienzo played a tune that came out sounding very lyrical and smooth, similar to Di Sarli, I would dance lyrically and smoothly.
Agree on all points... :)
 

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