Ballroom Dance > American and International tango

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by piimapoika, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. piimapoika

    piimapoika Member

    Can anyone explain the difference between American and International tango? I have looked at various YouTube clips described as American tango, and the only difference I noticed was the absence of head snaps. And these would only go in if the music demanded it.
  2. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Like most dances with the same root, there are always going to be some similarities .

    From T/Arg. to Amer. and Intern. there are some variations that are identical.
    What typically tends to change, are the musical interpretations and the "style " of how we dance .

    One of the most common crossovers from Intern. style, is the way that most now dance a prom., it frequently is danced exactly the same .
  3. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Different aspects of dance are introduced in different order in the two traditions (which are really each a collection of different traditions anyway). In the end, the only absolute difference is that the American tango is not constrained by competition rules to remain in hold. Of course international showdance isn't constrained to always do so either.
  4. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    I have to say that as much as I admire most of the standard dances, I find watching an international tango to be drudgery. There just doesn't seem to be much that can actually be done while remaining in that hold. Maybe I'm not looking at it the right way.
  5. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    To me, that's like saying there's not much that can be done with music unless it has words...
  6. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Interesting. I don't find it drudgery, and I don't have the same feeling of people being constrained...I just think it's kind of silly and pompous. But that's coming at it from the AT background.

    And then there's the music... They did WHAT to that piece of music?!?! OMG.
  7. Dancebug

    Dancebug Well-Known Member

    I think it depends on people's taste. To me, American tango is too gimmicky,...not much dancing, too much acting.
  8. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    They're like the different stages of a relationship.

    American tango is when you first meet someone. You want to impress them and excite them but not come on too strong.

    Argentine tang is when things are going really well. You can't be close enough to each other and everything is hot and heavy.

    International is when you're just keeping it together for the sake of the kids.
  9. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    I can see your point there. Some people do get pretty silly with American tango.
  10. Easy

    Easy Active Member

    I don't know much of it, but to me the Argentine Tango is the most real and passionate of the tangos.
  11. Easy

    Easy Active Member

    Ha Ha Ha I like this analogy :)
  12. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    havent heard this one in a while
  13. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    To me, the analogy is more like, "Here's one drum. This is all you get. How many different songs can you make with it?" Even the best drummer, armed with all kinds of rhythms and time signatures and using sticks and mallets and brushes and his hands, is going to run out of ideas eventually.
  14. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

  15. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Hardly a limitation. Especially compared to some 12 year old going wild on his new drumset... all noise, no music.
  16. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    When I do a youtube search of American Tango mostly what comes up is syllabus level dancing, bronze especially. So at that point in time there is not a whole lot of difference between the styles. Most everything in lower syllabus American is still in closed hold. Which is exactly the same as International style. (And there are no head snaps because that "trick" hasn't been learned yet.)

    As the dancers progress in proficiency the differences between the two styles become more apparent. The American style opens up more and choreography between the two becomes dramatically different.
  17. vcolfari

    vcolfari Member

    Silly and pompous? What are the characteristics of AT that make it such a superior dance?
  18. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Apparently, I've offended you. 'T'was not my intention.

    Ballroom tango, to me, just looks...melodramatic. Dramatic for the sake of looking dramatic. To me, it looks like all show and no feeling. I think it looks silly. And, well, pompous. It's just my opinion--it's not a judgement of you or anyone else--just how the dance looks to me.

    As for AT being superior...I didn't say that and I don't think that. Sure, I may joke around and give ballroom dancers a hard time and say that AT is superior, but that's not how I feel. A dance is a dance is a dance...kind of hard to say one thing is superior to another--it's all in how a dance appeals to us as an individual.

    I just meant that my opnions wrt Standard tango are biased, in that I'm coming at it from the standpoint of knowing and loving AT. That's my yardstick. It's no different than if a ballroom dancer were to look at AT and conclude that it's about as interesting and dramatic as watching cement set. I've heard it. Whatever. Different things appeal to different people, is all.

    Now...if you're wondering why I find AT more appealing...that would take too long for me to get into here. There are plenty of posts on the AT forum, though, on that.
  19. reb

    reb Active Member

    I'm glad you posted those youtube videos, Larinda, and explained your youtube search results - when I read the OP, I was wondering what could have conveyed that impression . . .
  20. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I think what you are mostly seeing is that the aspects that are easier to explain and demonstrate - the outer framework - get developed and exhibited first. While the interpersonal connection and intensity tend to develop later, within that shell... and yes, many efforts will not reach that level of sophistication.

    But I don't see that as being charactersitic of the dance, so much as of the circumstances where it's traditionally danced: classes using a cheesy routine, competition efforts meant to be impressive, etc.

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