"Decorations" / "Embellishments" / "Interpretation"

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#2
What's your definition of these terms?

Are they all the same? Or are there significant differences?
For me, the first two (decorations & embellishments) are pretty much the same to me, (and another word for them might be adornments). An embellishment has the limited scope of a single step or move.

Interpretation is a different (much broader) thing to me. It could include phrasing, pausing, or anything related to musicality or style of how to dance to note, section, or even an entire song.

My two cents.
 

Lui

Active Member
#3
If tango was raspberry-cheese-cake, the choice of recipe and general look is you interpretation and the cream topping is the decoration, which means the same like embellishment to me.
 
#5
What's your definition of these terms?

Are they all the same? Or are there significant differences?
"Decorations" / "Embellishments" / "Interpretation"

Decorations you put on a Christmas Tree

Embellishments are like Dchester said (and another word for them might be adornments) to me adornments are to be used in moderation. I equate them to women dressing up to go out for the evening. Some women know just how much to accessorize not too much jewelry not too much make up and you look beautiful and sophisticated however get carried away and over accessorize and you’ve ruined the whole look.
When you tango the same rule applies be very selfish with the adornments and you will look beautiful and expert in your dance however get carried away and over do it and you join the ranks of those who are clueless.

Interpretation to me is how the man chooses to lead.
 
#6
Hmm ... Id say they were all the same. Except that "interpretations" are more clearly linked to the music. At their worst "adornos" get in the way of the music.

Consider for instance ladies who do adornos to travelling back ochoes. Do they enhance the music or do they just get in the way of keeping to the beat?
 
#11
I don't do any adornos (Can't - no matter how many Jennifer Bratt videos I've watched) but I hope and fondly believe I do interpretation from time to time.

Captain Jep said:
Consider for instance ladies who do adornos to travelling back ochoes. Do they enhance the music or do they just get in the way of keeping to the beat?
I would like to be able to do stuff like this. IF I could do it with excellent technique, when the music suggested it and without inconveniencing my partner by interfereing with his lead.

I don't really care for complicated leg swinging and twining where the man just has to wait while she gets it out of her system.

However, if you can make it look good and your partner doesn't mind I guess anything goes.
 
#13
I don't do any adornos (Can't - no matter how many Jennifer Bratt videos I've watched) but I hope and fondly believe I do interpretation from time to time.

I would like to be able to do stuff like this. IF I could do it with excellent technique, when the music suggested it and without inconveniencing my partner by interfereing with his lead.

I don't really care for complicated leg swinging and twining where the man just has to wait while she gets it out of her system.

However, if you can make it look good and your partner doesn't mind I guess anything goes.
Madahlia you win the prize. Of all the comments I've read on this forum this is the one I like the most. I would love to dance with you if given the opportunity.
 

jantango

Active Member
#14
I don't do any adornos (Can't - no matter how many Jennifer Bratt videos I've watched) but I hope and fondly believe I do interpretation from time to time.

I would like to be able to do stuff like this. IF I could do it with excellent technique, when the music suggested it and without inconveniencing my partner by interfereing with his lead.

I don't really care for complicated leg swinging and twining where the man just has to wait while she gets it out of her system.

However, if you can make it look good and your partner doesn't mind I guess anything goes.
Whatever you call them, they are appropriate for stage or exhibition--not for the social floor. Afterall, who notices them on a crowded dance floor?

I feel the greatest disadvantage is that a dancer focuses on the feet instead of feeling the music. They are worked into choreography for stage, but improvising them on the dance floor takes skill.
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
#15
Whatever you call them, they are appropriate for stage or exhibition--not for the social floor. Afterall, who notices them on a crowded dance floor?.
me for one. At least I will notice the ones my partner does. It can sometimes lead to little musical games,

I feel the greatest disadvantage is that a dancer focuses on the feet instead of feeling the music. They are worked into choreography for stage, but improvising them on the dance floor takes skill.
I would agree it does take skill, but there are a few women I know who dance them and do them well.
 
#16
Whatever you call them, they are appropriate for stage or exhibition--not for the social floor. Afterall, who notices them on a crowded dance floor?
I notice when a woman embellishes her dancing. I may not notice when I'm dancing with that woman, but I definitely notice it when watching.

And you could extend that argument to all "pretty ankle" work - why bother with making your ankles form lovely shapes when your partner won't see them?
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
#17
Whatever you call them, they are appropriate for stage or exhibition--not for the social floor. Afterall, who notices them on a crowded dance floor?

I feel the greatest disadvantage is that a dancer focuses on the feet instead of feeling the music. They are worked into choreography for stage, but improvising them on the dance floor takes skill.
I disagree. Shocking, I know.

Small embellishments are perfectly appropriate for a social floor--small circles on the floor drawn while pausing, a quick cross behind or in front of the other foot, rhythmic taps. Those are all embellishments, all small movements, and all fine for social dancing.

It's not focusing on the feet to the exclusion of feeling the music. It's feeling the music throughout your whole body, right down to the tips of your toes. It's feeling the music and being moved to express it, even in stillness. It's (often) the woman taking some of the responsibility for musical expression, independent of the (usually) man, and finding ways to add her own voice to things.
 
#19
Whatever you call them, they are appropriate for stage or exhibition--not for the social floor. Afterall, who notices them on a crowded dance floor?
I don't enjoy dancing on a crowded floor, and rarely have to in tango. I like having space around me - crowded floors feel claustrophobic.


I feel the greatest disadvantage is that a dancer focuses on the feet instead of feeling the music. They are worked into choreography for stage, but improvising them on the dance floor takes skill.
Having felt the music, how can a follower express what she hears? One way is through decorating with her feet. Nobody said it would be easy.
 

Ampster

Active Member
#20
I don't enjoy dancing on a crowded floor, and rarely have to in tango. I like having space around me - crowded floors feel claustrophobic.
You shouldn't worry about the crowded floor. It's your partner's job to make it safe for you. It's also your partner's job to lead and dance small if the floor is crowded.

If your worrying about dancing in small spaces, you're distracted from dancing, which takes away from the experience.
 

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