Search Results for: tango

asides tango

nuevo tango…

One from Tango‑Ⅼ:

Originally, nuevo tango was something very exciting. We all did it and worked like demons. And loved it. Now it is just a lot of bad dancing (with a few exceptions). (by Nina)

tango video

abysmal tango?

Another treasure at youtube: the SHI-TANGO playlist

  1. SHI-DANCER understands autenthicity as the following of its unique individuality, which emanates from the heart, but not to mode or to public.
  2. SHI-DANCER attempts to converse with itself, by partner and by environment through the heart, but not the mind.
  3. SHI-DANCER dances in the state of meditations, ⅰ.e., in the relaxation, to keep totaly watch over, in the totaly observation and in acceptance without nondivision, such as to hear heart.
  4. SHI-DANCER to listens music by ears, but it to hears by its heart, but not by mind. They to forgets now itself as ego.
  5. SHI-DANCER, hearing music by heart and of its unique individuality to follows dance.
  6. SHI-DANCER is approached now each moment spontaneous to responses to itself, partner and environment at the level of hearts. Now too hearts to fuses into one whole. Now one internal dance is on too appears.
  7. Bodys visualises now not only rhythm and phrasing of musics, but also its tunefulness, overtones, dynamics and polyphony. In the motion of bodies it is possible to see impulsiveness, plasticity, softness, liquidity and continuity, uncommon figures and the sequence…
  8. In the dance of SHI-DANCERS not to see show, demonstrativeness, making, overcoming, achievement… They are totaly absorbed in dance, moves freely and easily, as if playing.
  9. In the dance of SHI-DANCERS are visible attentiveness and love for the partner.
  10. Dance does not strain SHI-DANCERS. Their respiration remains inaudible and calm.
dance tango

Is tango really a 50–50 proposition?

Fellow tango dancer Miles just wrote

Tango is a 50⁄50 proposition. If you’re working beyond your 50 percent…that’s 1 percent more than you should be workin’. There is a difference between leading every step and literally doing the step for her.

It is interesting to hear this, again. Last time Ⅰ heard the 50⁄50 division was in ballroom dancing, especially at the competitive level, where the development during the last decades has been from “the leader does all” to that “equal partner dance.” Both partners give 100 % — resulting in those 50⁄50 dance partnerships. And something you only find with very high class couples.

And it seems the same development has happened in tango, even though there is no competitive pressure there. In Ballroom, you could say that the early level was that the couple would perform at 120 % (80 % leader, 40 % follower), which now has, mostly athletically, been upped to 200 %.

What does this mean in tango? What are you measuring? What happens, when you start getting to a point where both partners are equally active in tango?

Just some thoughts, following a “typical” development of a dancer when learning tango. (And note, this is written from my perspective as a leader, now dancing for about 5 years, and still learning. of course…)

When you start out as a leader, in the beginning there is only lead, maybe some follow, because your leading abilities are nowhere yet. If your learning partner also started with you chances are that a) she will learn more quickly, b) she will anticipate very much, thus hindering you in recognizing your limits.

So at that stage we are at lead =/= follow. The stage where lead impulses don’t necessarily result in intended motions. They can, they might, and often they will, depending on the level of the follower. But is still all crude and uncertain.

At some point in your learning your lead will become clearer, lets say we are getting to lead = follow, with some restrictions in sensitivity. It is still a crude lead, clearer, but far from subtleness and minute energy spent.

And then, just think about developing those skills even further, without adding any more to the equation. We arrive at lead == follow. You as a leader move the follower.

This is that point Miles was talking about. No matter how good your lead is, how clear or how advanced it is. If there is not another component coming into the equation you will not get anything else. Just that: Leader moves follower.

Or, in the terms of percentages, an extreme (100 % leader, 0 % follower). Remember, Ⅰ am not talking the usual reality now, just in model terms.

Most leaders develop a concept of listening and following their followers, as well as a bidirectional connection. All of that changes the equation above.

lead = follow = follow

This is where the magic starts. Where the couple really transforms from one leader with 4 legs to a couple with 4 legs. And this can start early on, before (100 % leader) is reached. And of course, since Ⅰ am speaking in strict model terms, it is very unusual for leaders to not develop those skills, require those skills before they reach their high levels.

And having a follower who appears to the dance as a person, a human being, a tanguera, with their own axis, own musicality, own voice. This all enhances the lights showing us leaders the way to a new partner dance. A real partner dance, where both partners contribute.

This is where connection and dialogue start. You cannot talk with someone who does not speak, is not heard and will only do as told.

The same if you have someone who will not listen, cannot listen, or yells all the time.

This is where the balance comes in. It may be most efficient if you have an equal distribution of capabilities, the “perfect” 50⁄50. But that rarely happens. And it seems it is also not necessary for tango bliss, tango moments.

It just means that the more capable partner will need to be more attentive and careful. But which also opens room for the more capable partner to introduce more elements and ideas.

Imagine dancing with a follower much more advanced than you. But you are already listening and not fighting with your own body. She will have many opportunities to introduce her musicality into the dance, without obstructing your voice. A pleasure to dance like that.

But only if she doesn’t forget to listen. A trap many followers fall into, never get out or never know otherwise. You know all those on auto-pilot… you know them all right. And you don’t like it? Well, it might only look like those auto-pilots are introducing musicality into the dance… instead they are dancing alone. Go back to lead =/= follow, Ⅰ am afraid.

Imagine being that advanced leader, dancing with a less capable follower. You can do all those fancy things, you can lead her into things she never knew before, add adornos and variations yourself. It will be beautiful. Even though she might not be adding that much to the dance on her own, if she is open, waiting and dancing — there is still synergy, there is the moment of listening to her reactions, her emotions during the dance. Caring for her, playing with her, around her. It is much like you as the leader lead her, probe her to see what she likes, wants, feels, and then adjust your lead, offer new things, caress her with ideas and musicality.

But don’t fall into the trap of doing her moves. Don’t sop listening to her reactions, don’t just move her like a piece of furniture. But is so easy to do so… so easy to just ignore, just dance yourself, for the others who are watching. Show off, impress the crowd.

Ⅰ am sure you have seen them so often, you have adored their vocabulary, all those flashy moves. But is that the tango we are really looking for? Where is the connection? Is it one-way? Dominance of bodies? The will of the leader moving 4 legs? This is the perfect “Leader with 4 legs” dancing. And it can look like perfect tango.

But is it?

Ⅰ don’t know how you measure your numbers. Ⅰ don’t know if a perfect 50⁄50 can ever be achieved, nor if those 100 % can ever be reached. Even Chicho, Gustavo, Gavito, … each of those is improving, learning, developing. The scale is an open one. The air gets much thinner on the higher levels.

My point is: there is no point in counting. There is no point in comparing levels or numbers.

There is only connection. There is listening, speaking, dancing. Improvisation. Reaction and Action. All in the same moment of time.

That is tango.


“Keeping the men with tango”, or better “keeping the women”, or is it really so easy?

Right at this moment there is a very interesting discussion over at Tango‑Ⅼ (the international tango discussion mailing list), mainly concerning different aspects of men and women and their developments in tango. If one can summarize the thread at all, since every member of Tango‑Ⅼ has at least two different agnedas, or so it seems at most times.

Here are some excerpts, feel free to read the whole thread over here.

Be careful, this post is quite long 😉

read more »

links tango

bajofondo tango club @ são paulo

bajofondo tango club @ são paulo
bajofondo tango club @ são paulo,
originally uploaded by adpt27.