Motivations for studying Tango Nuevo

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#41
I think "playing" means "interpretation, improvisation and general-messing-around-to-the-music movements".
And for me it most often involves some sort of interaction with your partner which may or may not evoke a "playful" response.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
#42
everyone seems to be dancing in a manner as to not disturb others as they move in the same direction pausing occasionally to execute a stationary figure before returning to smoothly walking in the line of dance.
To me, this is just simple dancing, and the bare minimum of what people on the floor at a milonga are doing. Or, perhaps, should be doing. Fine if it's done well but, unfortunately, often is not.

In this context, I think "playing" means "interpretation, improvisation and general-messing-around-to-the-music movements".
I'd consider this a step up from the basics of just walking about. Well, a few steps up, really, since it involves musicality. Yay, musicality! But I don't know that I'd consider it playful, necessarily.

And for me it most often involves some sort of interaction with your partner which may or may not evoke a "playful" response.
This comes the closest to what I tend to think of as playful.

Definitely in my definition is some idea of a sense of humor on both sides, and a certain levity in the approach to musical interpretation. Vague, I know. But, like the infamous quote, it's sort of something I know when I see it. Or feel it, particularly. A certain teasing in the interaction in how it's lead or followed, a bit of experimentation. Subtle (or not so subtle) jokes between partners, playing off the music.
 
#44
Originally Posted by Madahlia
I don't think much "play" happens until after technical issues have been thoroughly sorted out. "Play" mainly happens when people are feeling relaxed and natural with the dance process and each other.


Originally Posted by Steve Pastor
And for me it most often involves some sort of interaction with your partner which may or may not evoke a "playful" response.


Your video example of “play” is not a good example of social tango playfulness it’s more like what I’d expect to see at a circus. They are performing and having fun but it’s not social dancing.
Are you saying this is an example of how you play while social dancing?
 

Ampster

Active Member
#45
Originally Posted by Madahlia
I don't think much "play" happens until after technical issues have been thoroughly sorted out. "Play" mainly happens when people are feeling relaxed and natural with the dance process and each other.


Originally Posted by Steve Pastor
And for me it most often involves some sort of interaction with your partner which may or may not evoke a "playful" response.


Your video example of “play” is not a good example of social tango playfulness it’s more like what I’d expect to see at a circus. They are performing and having fun but it’s not social dancing.
Are you saying this is an example of how you play while social dancing?

hb:

Your example of "play" was also not in the context of social dancing. (See below)


Actually you can watch the 2009 BsAs competition that just ended. One of the rules is that the salon competition is danced entirely in a close embrace. You will not see anyone off balance and everyone is “playing” with ease.
 
#46
hb:

Your example of "play" was also not in the context of social dancing. (See below)
Come on Ampster my video was of people dancing proper tango following the line of dance as they would in a social setting. If you don’t consider them social dancing please tell me why?:confused:
His example was a comedy performance.
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#47
Nuevo shouldn’t be danced at USA milongas just like salon can’t be danced at milonguero milongas in BaAs.
Well Mahavira on a Muffin... your comment makes no sense to me. I think if you went to BA and asked the locals about "milonguero milongas" people would give you a blank stare and say "Huh?". Milongueros don't call what they do "milonguero". Its all just salon tango (vs stage or fantasia) to them. Besides, I saw plenty of people doing what we call "salon" in milongas in BA earlier in the evening with a progression to what we call "Milonguero" later in the night, or when it was very crowded regardless of time. However even a "milonguero" would be baffled by the statement "You can't dance Salon tango in the 'milonguero' milongas of BA". To them, what they do IS Salon.

And as for the idea that Nuevo shouldn't be danced in the USA, I'll remember that next time the DJ plays a whole set of Gotan.
NO NUEVO!
Gotcha. (wink)
Perhaps I should request that the DJ also make an announcement when he plays alternative music, that it is in fact, NOT for dancing, but is a 3 song cortina.
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#48
Now I know you’re kidding right? Nuevo shows flaws in fundamental traditional tango. That’s got to be the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever seen posted on this forum.
Either you misunderstood what she was saying or you just haven't done enough Nuevo to realize how true her statement is. Its not ridiculous at all, and certainly not THE most ridiculous statement ever posted here (sheesh..)

Nuevo styling often involves a lot of disassociation coupled with twisty turny moves and changes of direction during considerable circular momemtum. It requires very solid control of your internal axis alignment, core and balance. You might get away with being somewhat insufficient in these areas doing apilado and non-disassosiative "traditional" CE tango, especially if you are a smaller woman dancing with "substantial" men, but you find out really fast in a sweeping, turning nuevo with a skilled leader that you need to work that stuff some more!

Also, it seems to me that leaders who prefer nuevo and alternative fall into two groups:
1) the ones who drive the follower like they are steering a bus (visualize the big steering wheel) Dancing with them requires all that strength and control I was talking about because they can wrench your back pretty badly if you let your axis "break".

And
2) the leaders who are good at this style seem to mostly (in my experience) actually prefer a VERY light lead and connection. (lighter than a traditional style leader) So the follower REALLY can't rely on the contact with another person to help with her balance or movement AT ALL.

Both CE and Nuevo each have their own challenges and things you can or can't "cheat". But its not at all ridiculous to say that dancing some nuevo will show where a follower may be weak in her "tango fundamentals" and force her to work on those things.
 
#49
Well Mahavira on a Muffin... your comment makes no sense to me. I think if you went to BA and asked the locals about "milonguero milongas" people would give you a blank stare and say "Huh?". Milongueros don't call what they do "milonguero". Its all just salon tango (vs stage or fantasia) to them. Besides, I saw plenty of people doing what we call "salon" in milongas in BA earlier in the evening with a progression to what we call "Milonguero" later in the night, or when it was very crowded regardless of time. However even a "milonguero" would be baffled by the statement "You can't dance Salon tango in the 'milonguero' milongas of BA". To them, what they do IS Salon.

And as for the idea that Nuevo shouldn't be danced in the USA, I'll remember that next time the DJ plays a whole set of Gotan.
NO NUEVO!
Gotcha. (wink)
Perhaps I should request that the DJ also make an announcement when he plays alternative music, that it is in fact, NOT for dancing, but is a 3 song cortina.

Well then Nuevo on a Nut Cracker…….okay I’ll rephrase my milonguero statement. If you went to Lo de Celia on a Saturday night you couldn’t dance open anything because of the crowded floor. But if you arrive early enough (gringo tourists) you can dance the mashed potato no one would care. Also in the popular traditional milongas of BaAs Gotan is not played.

Also you seem to link Nuevo to Gotan? You’re confusing music to a dance style. I can dance a very good milonga to Gotan and I can do it without disturbing others. It’s not the music it’s the way you dance to the music and I haven’t seen a Nuevo dancer yet who hasn’t disrupted the floor.

Let me tell you a story about a very popular Tango Festival I attended last year. I won’t mention any names but it’s a festival by dancers for dancers.
At the Grand Milonga a few nuevo’s showed up and disrupted the floor. A festival guest instructor from San Francisco confronted one clown. He was told he couldn’t continue dancing that way because he was disrupting the entire floor. The guy just yelled something obnoxious at the instructor and continued spinning uh dancing. My point is one couple can ruin a milonga by disregarding rules and dancing a style that doesn’t fit into the mix. So who suffered here? One Nuevo couple or 300 people that paid good money to attend a Festival by dancers for dancers. You’re a smart girl I know you’ll figure it out. (wink wink)
 
#50
For my own purposes, I now study it as a matter of broadening my horizons and learning a second "language" in order to dance with others schooled in that way.
Absolutely. There could be no other reason.

And so leads us to hbboogie's apty described reasonings:

More freedom" …….to take up more floor space
Some other phrases involving freedom of expression as well as motion
"Breaking the rules" We can forget about line of dance, floor craft and generally respecting other dancers.
"Being outside the box" (and getting into another one - Paul's response) Don’t have to work at learning traditional tango any longer can do my own thing and call it “nuevo”
"I like how it looks" …especially the baggy pants and tennis shoes
Followed by the question begging to be asked...

What are people rebelling against that they should feel the tango they have been taught is denying them freedom?
And so, the only time any form of movement should be borne out of rebellion is within a political/human rights context or in a stage/screenplay where the role requires it of the actors. Anybody else is just gagging for a slap :)
 
#51
Originaly posted by hbboogie
My point is one couple can ruin a milonga by disregarding rules and dancing a style that doesn’t fit into the mix.
We can all tell the same type of story but instead of a nuevo dancer substititute a Salon dancer and/or the other way round.

At the end of the day it is not the style that that disrupts the floor but the dancer.

However in my opinion one of the other comments you made was the most revealing

Originally posted by hbboogie
The guy just yelled something obnoxious at the instructor and continued spinning uh dancing.

That sounds to me like a person that has no manners or regard for other people and should not be used an example to help put the case for or against any style of dance. IMO that person is not representative of any normally behaved dancer I know. I find dancers generally to have the greatest of respect towards each other.
 
#52
Wow, this is one of the most confusing threads I've read on here... and yet fascinating because of that.

The original question seems fairly simple... "Why do people study Nuevo"... but chaos results because noone agrees on a definition of "nuevo".

So from the above posts:
-To some nuevo appears to equal bad floorcraft, inconsiderate dancing, rude behaviour etc
-To some nuevo is rebellion against some established order or set of rules
-To some nuevo is open embrace
-To some nuevo is using certain "moves" for want of a better word
-To some nuevo is the music itself
-To some nuevo is a "feeling" of the dance, driven by the style of music
-To some nuevo is dancing "big" or "energetic"
-To some nuevo is more playful (with three different definitions of play so far)

Weird... glad I don't have to sort all of those out, because I can only assume people's motivations for dancing whatever nuevo is are different according to their chosen definition.

So.. if I'm dancing playful, rhythmic tango, in a predominantly close embrace, to Gotan project, with safe & considerate floorcraft, expressing the energy and feeling of the music in the rhythm and style of movement and in dance elements including ganchos, boleos, volcadas, colgadas, etc when there is space to do so, adapting my embrace as necessary to allow myself and my partner to express what we feel and hear from the music... what on earth are we dancing?

What is a dance, but an expression of music, thought and feeling through movement?

If anything, the above varied definitions show that you can't easily draw a box around something and label it nuevo. Virtually all the above definitions fail to accurately label the above dance description, because they try to apply a set of absolutes to something that is a fuzzy concept composed of multiple elements that vary along a continuous scale.

So, for my personal answer to the question, I'm going to choose to define nuevo as a "feel" of the dance, born from the interpretation of some of the music played at milongas. That subset of music includes quite a lot of contemporary or more recently produced music, some non-tango music, and some tango music, but this is again a fuzzy set, because the distinguishing factor of the music is not its age or its composer or its original intended use... it is the feelings and thought associations it invokes in me.

And with that definition, my answer to the original question is easy. Why study "nuevo"? In order to express in movement what this music says to me.

Blue
 
#53
Come on Ampster my video was of people dancing proper tango following the line of dance as they would in a social setting. If you don’t consider them social dancing please tell me why?
Competition dancing is definitely not the same as social dancing, ever.

There are some overlaps, but there are also some pretty damn big differences.

Most obviously:

  • You practice with the same partner for competitions
  • You typically develop partner-specific steps and sequences
  • You focus to make the dance look good as a priority, not feel good
  • It's less improvisational
They're different beasts, really they are.
 
#54
Also you seem to link Nuevo to Gotan? You’re confusing music to a dance style.
Errr, yes, and...?

OK, I know they're not as tightly-linked as traditional is with trad music, but there is a connection.

To me, nuevo dancing generally fits more with neo or alternative music. It just feels better that way.

Let me tell you a story about a very popular Tango Festival I attended last year. I won’t mention any names but it’s a festival by dancers for dancers.
At the Grand Milonga a few nuevo’s showed up and disrupted the floor. A festival guest instructor from San Francisco confronted one clown. He was told he couldn’t continue dancing that way because he was disrupting the entire floor. The guy just yelled something obnoxious at the instructor and continued spinning uh dancing. My point is one couple can ruin a milonga by disregarding rules and dancing a style that doesn’t fit into the mix. So who suffered here? One Nuevo couple or 300 people that paid good money to attend a Festival by dancers for dancers. You’re a smart girl I know you’ll figure it out. (wink wink)
Again, yes, and?

The problem with that couple was not their dance style.

The problem with that couple (or the leader) was that they had no regard for floorcraft. I imagine they'd also have no regard if they were dancing traditional style, although they might not have caused such obvious discruption.

The problem with that couple was that they were rude and inconsiderate.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
#55
No. The problem is that no matter how many times anyone points out the difference between a rude couple with no floorcraft versus characteristics inherent in a particular style of AT, hbboogie will never get it...because he refuses to.
 
#56
No. The problem is that no matter how many times anyone points out the difference between a rude couple with no floorcraft versus characteristics inherent in a particular style of AT, hbboogie will never get it...because he refuses to.
Well, to be fair, it's much easier to be more dangerous in nuevo than it is in traditional - simply because you obviously take up more space, plus you may not be progressing at the same pace as trad couples.

So it's not unreasonable to say that mixing trad and nuevo on the same floor can cause problems, or that there are more inherent floorcraft problems with nuevo than traditional.

But that's a long way from saying "All nuevo dancers are rude inconsiderate scum" or whatever.

By the way, there's an interesting diagram I found here:
http://www.cielito.co.uk/images/tangostyles.jpg

- shows different tango styles and routes.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
#57
Well, to be fair, it's much easier to be more dangerous in nuevo than it is in traditional - simply because you obviously take up more space, plus you may not be progressing at the same pace as trad couples.

So it's not unreasonable to say that mixing trad and nuevo on the same floor can cause problems.
I certainly agree. Always have. That's why discretion, floorcraft and etiquette are so important.
 

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