So You Think You Can Dance Argentine Tango

#3
Wow. Umm. Interesting.

Sorry, but I think, if I hadn't seen the title, that I'd have problems recognising it as AT. Her outfit was rubbish, they spent half the time apart, and what on Earth was going on with all those spins and acrobatics?

Personally, I'd call it a freestyle dance, with some AT elements.

I must be becoming a Tango Snob :eek:
 
#6
really enjoyed that. no AT snobbery here... ;)
Actually, I liked it too - nice and flamboyant, lots of attitude, they looked like they were having fun. But I wouldn't call it AT, is all I meant.

It's possible to enjoy watching a dance that isn't AT after all :)

Maybe there should be a new variant - FreeTango...
 

Me

New Member
#7
My opinion:

Strutting like a horse and giving the camera sleazy, "Yes, I am so sexy" looks is not Argentine Tango. That was, at best, theatre arts with an Argentine influence.

They bring in qualified hip-hop instructors on this show. They're not popping around in a theatre arts piece - they are dancing HIP HOP. Why is Argentine Tango so continually treated like a throw-away dance? Everybody on that show gripes about how intriciate and difficult it is, but, unless memory fails me, all they have ever done is bring in Latin dance instructors to throw a routine together. Of course I am not saying that the contestants should get out there and dance closed embrace. But, what I am saying is, there are plenty of very accomplished fantasia/stage tango choreographers who could do AT justice and still keep the American audience engaged.

If the exec's answer is, "We don't feel the audience would understand Argentine Tango" then please spare me the agony and take it out.
 
#8
If the exec's answer is, "We don't feel the audience would understand Argentine Tango" then please spare me the agony and take it out.
Well, it's not agony - as I said, I watched it. But it's not AT.

I guess learning / doing show tango (Tango Fantasia), which is designed for performance situations, would have involved more actual work, or something.
 

Me

New Member
#9
Well, it's not agony - as I said, I watched it. But it's not AT.

I guess learning / doing show tango (Tango Fantasia), which is designed for performance situations, would have involved more actual work, or something.
I admit, agony is a strong word. I guess I was thinking in general of all of the AT performances, including the ones from last season, not just the one from this week. I think it's the blatant stereotyping across the board that irritates me so.
 

samina

Well-Known Member
#10
Actually, I liked it too - nice and flamboyant, lots of attitude, they looked like they were having fun. But I wouldn't call it AT, is all I meant.

It's possible to enjoy watching a dance that isn't AT after all :)

Maybe there should be a new variant - FreeTango...
am thinking that for the purposes of the show, every sort of dance style used is going to be loosely interpreted. i could be wrong, from what i've seen so far, the choreography isn't intended for the purist, but to lend a flavor of the dance & showcase -- hopefully -- the unique talents of the pair.
 
#11
am thinking that for the purposes of the show, every sort of dance style used is going to be loosely interpreted. i could be wrong, from what i've seen so far, the choreography isn't intended for the purist, but to lend a flavor of the dance & showcase -- hopefully -- the unique talents of the pair.
Yeah, but it doesn't really (give a flavour), does it? It's freestyle dancing, with some minor AT elements, done to a neotango track.

Whilst I'm not going OT on the criticism, as I'm of the opinion that anything done to raise the profile of AT is a Good Thing - but there's "loose interpretation", and there's "nothing at all like AT", and I think this clip falls into the latter category.

Whilst I'm painfully aware that I got a lot of stick for enthusing some time back about a AT performance on "Strictly Come Dancing", and I don't want to revisit that discussion - at the very least, that performance was AT. This one wasn't.

Not saying it wasn't fun to watch, or that they're not talented dancers, but there doesn't seem to be much in the way of AT in that performance to me. Less than half, certainly.
 

Laura

New Member
#12
Well, considering that I've recently seen a rumba on this show where the gentleman had zero rumba action and not even any discernible rumba walks, being authentic in any style seems like too much to ask for. After all, these people get like three days to learn their routines. Alex da Silva choreographed the "Whatever Lola Wants" piece, what do people think of him in general in AT circles? I thought he was more of a salsa guy.

As for the costume etc, I thought it was all very "James Bond" -- dashing guy in a suit, woman all tarted-up with a dagger in her boots -- I thought of Ursula Andress in "Dr. No."
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#13
So, the dancers get blasted for not dancing enough rumba.
Meanwhile. Nigel comments that the only reason "Argentinian Tango" dancers don't do pirouettes is that the probably can't.
Hey, Nigel, is it true that the only reason ballet dancers don't spin on their heads is that they can't?
At least Mary Murphy knows what a gancho is. But she doesn't seem to know that they should at least look like they are being led.
So, once again, the judges reveal their almost complete lack of knowledge about Argentine Tango.
Meanwhile, over in the the more general thread, people thought the dance was hot, and sexy.
Dave, you are becoming knowledgeable, not snobbish. You should not feel obligated to apologize for having educated yourself about something. If you have done your homework, you are entitled to an opinion.
Here's another opinion. From the perspective of it supposedly being Argentine Tango, the dance was very, very bad.
 

Ampster

Active Member
#15
Ampster's take:

For what it's worth, Danny and Sara danced very well. They were entertaining. They were smooth. Their dancing was enjoyable. The dancers should be commended for doing a good performance out of their own elements. The choreographer gave them a routine they could handle well.

Regarding their "Argentine Tango" routine: What they were doing was some sort of dance with Argentine Tango signature movements inserted in. It was NOT an Argentine Tango . The technical aspects and techniques were wrong and/or missing, connection was not there, again (my pet peeve) it did not even look like the lead was leading. It was a memorized number, and it shows. Just looking suave & sexy with lots of posing does not do it.

It is a conglomeration of what non-AT choreographers "THINK" AT is. Sad, sad, sad. The judges also expressed their ignorance of AT very well. Sadder, sadder, sadder. :nope: :doh:
 
#16
Ampster's take:

For what it's worth, Danny and Sara danced very well. They were entertaining. They were smooth. Their dancing was enjoyable. The dancers should be commended for doing a good performance out of their own elements. The choreographer gave them a routine they could handle well.

Regarding their "Argentine Tango" routine: What they were doing was some sort of dance with Argentine Tango signature movements inserted in. It was NOT an Argentine Tango . The technical aspects and techniques were wrong and/or missing, connection was not there, again (my pet peeve) it did not even look like the lead was leading. It was a memorized number, and it shows. Just looking suave & sexy with lots of posing does not do it.

It is a conglomeration of what non-AT choreographers "THINK" AT is. Sad, sad, sad. The judges also expressed their ignorance of AT very well. Sadder, sadder, sadder. :nope: :doh:
Excellent post. Why is tango so misunderstood, anyway?

However - although the routine was certainly not AT to me either, I still enjoyed it for what it was - just a nice, flashy show routine by two good dancers.
 
#18
Alex da Silva choreographed the "Whatever Lola Wants" piece, what do people think of him in general in AT circles? I thought he was more of a salsa guy.
I've not heard of him, but assuming he's this guy, then, err, he's a salsa teacher isn't he? :confused::confused:

Salsa teacher. Choreographing an AT routine. Hmmm...

This says he knows some AT, but I don't believe he's an AT teacher?
 

Laura

New Member
#19
Alex is certainly not the 'name' in the AT world that he is in the LA Salsa world. Maybe next year they can get a real AT choreographer. Remember in season one they had Alex choreograph cha cha (and it was pretty awful). Then this year they got former US Latin champions to choreograph most of the Latin dancesport dances. So perhaps next time around...it seems that AT is the only style where they don't have an acknowledged expert working with the couples.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#20
I think there is general agreement that AT is one of the, if not the, most difficult partner dances. Then there is the whole foreign culture thing. Argentina is way different than the latin countries we are more familiar with. As I sometimes write (jokingly), it's like they have their own culture and everything.
We've had the nationally televised ballroom championship shows on PBS here in the US, but there is no similar event for AT, which is not known for its competitive nature. There have been several mainstream films about ballroom dancing, hip hop, jazz dance in "Chicago", etc, but the films featuring Argentine Tango have played to very small audiences.
Although shows such as "Forever Tango" create a stir, it's barely a ripple in the big pond of popular culture.
There is also no national organization of AT teachers, who are well known for not sharing standard lesson plans. Heck, they differ widely in the style of AT they teach, and how they teach it.
AT just isn't widely practiced or even known, except for the HOT and SEXY stuff people like ADS serves up. And you know, with the judges not bothering to educate themselves about the dance, and thus not being able to offer valid criticism, the audience learns nothing, except that this must be Argentine Tango.
Well, I can tell you, that if anyone is inspired to take lessons, they are in for a surprise. Unless they get a show dancer as an instructor, and never go to many milongas.
 

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