Tango Argentino > Cabeceo promotes better dancing

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by jantango, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Would it be possible that you mixed up the links (the vids)? I only find Murat and the vid also ends before 8:30.

    As far as I know, Christina does not teach folklore, her focus lies on dance technique. I had two workshops with Christina and Homer and I was satisfied.
    bordertangoman likes this.
  2. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    I'm not talking about Chacarera (a folk dance of Argentina), but the cabeceo, a custom in every club de barrio, confiteria, and dance salon in BsAs since the 1940s.

    Anyone teaching tango anywhere in the world should know about and teach the codes and customs of tango.

    Glad you were satisfied with their workshops, but it won't help you one bit if you are a social dancer and want to dance in BsAs.
  3. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    Gssh likes this.
  4. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Americans are known around the world for their deep knowledge of, and respect for, the customs of other countries and cultures. Aren't they?
    LKSO likes this.
  5. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    That's what I've always heard.

    bordertangoman likes this.
  6. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    I asked Carlos Herrera to show me how he invites a woman to dance at a milonga. Notice how he maintains eye contact (assuming the woman is not too far away) and mouthes the word(s) Bailas? or vamos a bailar. Then he does a nod and says he doesn't do it that way, neither tilting the head.

    You guys will find a way that works for you.
    Gssh likes this.
  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Funny how you can "maintain eye contact" without it being a vulture like stare.
    I'm a bit confused about this, though.
    This means he DOESN'T do the nod or head tilt?
  8. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    And thus folklore!
    jan, think you know my posts about the european roots of argentine tango. Think you already know that a great deal of your argentine codigos stem from our european "codes de salon". And what´s left, let´s say the little indigenous portion, why don´t you you want to call it folklore? Your sinking ship isn´t the navel of the world.
    I don´t need Christina´s help to get on in Baires, and never would asked her to.
    ¿¿Crees que soy tonta, eh??​
  9. Cal

    Cal Well-Known Member

    What happens if one or both of the would-be dancers is blind or visually-impaired?
    dchester likes this.
  10. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Traditionally the cabeceo only is used by single dancers, and only at those venues jantango mentioned above. Once you reserved a table near the dance floor, the cabeceo is suspended by default and replaced by the european (acoustic) codes de salon.
  11. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    That would be lovely - people who have not been at in BA do not appreciate how individual and playful this is - and please make sure to include a few of the "the first people are already dancing, and now the sight lines are getting really complicated, and we have to start leaning really far out of our seats" moments. People always talk about the how subtle and serious it is, and never how much fun everybody is having with it. I think this is one of the big things people overlook who want to emulate it- in BA it is about having a good time, and in the end it really does not matter if you spent the evening chatting and drinking and eating, or dancing, and in the US it sometimes seems to be about fulfilling some kind of dance quota where even bad dancing is better than having a glass of wine.

  12. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    I have actually seen a visually impaired leader in BA (don't remeber his name, sorry) - what he does is sitting in the first row, and bringing a little sign that says "i am visually impaired, please ask me to dance" - and the followers take care of him.

    LKSO likes this.
  13. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    That's because the music in many milongas is too loud to carry on a conversation, and the dancing isn't so fabulous that just watching it is worth going out for the evening.

    That just leaves you with the drinking. You can get that anywhere!
    bordertangoman likes this.
  14. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Well, except at the milongas around here. People go to dance. I go/went to dance. If I wanted to hang out with friends I wouldn't be at a milonga. If I wanted to have a conversation I wouldn't be at a milonga. If I wanted to do a damn thing other than dance I would drive a damn hour each way and shell out $20 for the **** privilege. If I wanted to have a drink I would stay home and have a good one...and not have to worry about driving home or paying a $20 cover charge.

    And why is any of that ****** wrong?
    Mario7 and bordertangoman like this.
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Which I to say that I agree with you, Zoo.
  16. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    The look is so brief, so it is not like staring.

    No nod or head tilt for this milonguero.

    Giles, from New Zealand, is totally blind. It is amazing how he manages in BsAs without the language or sight. I saw him one day and helped him get to the subway. He got his residency in Argentina.

  17. LoveTango

    LoveTango Member

    I agree that people who ignore the codes can ruin other people's chance to dance. I had the experience both ways. This is often the case: after I refuse someone that I really don't want to dance with, I may have to refuse someone I do like to dance with and sit out the tanda. Ocassionally, it is the other way. For example a couple weeks ago, a good visitor leader was in town. At the end of the milonga (only a few people left), I tried to cabeceo him. First, I was blocked by some people standing right in front of me carrying a conversation. Just as they moved away, I noticed that the leader was turning my way. Right at that moment, a women stepped in front of him inviting him to dance. Of course he refused. Neither of us, nor that woman, get to dance the last tanda that night.
  18. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    All the postings, stories and videos I have ever came across have been about how to do the cabeceo and that has kept me thinking that it is just an organizational habit, something which gives both parties equal rights to search partner for next tanda. A boring thing until the fun starts.

    Yesterday I was chatting with a follower, who is regularly visiting BsAs, when she suddenly started to talk about the strong emotional excitement cabeceo is creating for her before a new tanda. It starts when she is catching the eyecontact and is rising even more when the leader is walking towards her.

    I can imagine that her mental and emotiomal state is really different when she is embraced in an abrazo compared to a follower who has catched her leader on a more emancipated way. I think that in this way cabeceo has a strong postive impact on her tanda, she gets better dances.

    Two of our monthly milongas has started to organize the seating for cabeceo and cabeceo is supposed to be the way of asking for a dance. It is not working yet well but it is a thrilling experience to get the response from a regular BsAs visitor compared to followers not yet been there.
  19. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    Those who ignore the codes (on and off the dance floor) make a milonga unpleasant for everyone. As in any game or sport, there are rules. If everyone follows them, there are no penalties, and everyone wins.

    The custom in social dancing after refusing a verbal invitation is to sit out the set. That rule does not apply at a milonga IF all invitations are by head movement from the man. No one knows who you refused, if anyone.
    A woman expresses her interest in dancing with a man in her body language and looking his way, but the cabeceo tradition gives the responsibility to the man. Where did women get the idea they can and should initiate it?

    The refusal/rejection goes both ways. Mirada: eye contact from both man and woman. Cabeceo: nod, nodding - initiated by the man to invite a woman, then with a response of acceptance or refusal by the woman.

    Women can look at men to dance, but the men may look away for whatever reason. It goes both ways. The cabeceo spares public rejection and works more efficiently than crossing the floor to make a verbal invitation. The cabeceo ensures there is a mutual agreement between two who want to share ten minutes together in complete surrender. That is what the embrace requires.

    A trip to BsAs is the best way to learn the cabeceo. It is the only way you will dance, unless you break the rules.
  20. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I fully believe in following what ever the local codes are (assuming I know what they are). That being said, I was at a milonga last night where I was asked to dance just about as much as I asked others to dance. Equal rights can be achieved in more than one way.

    If you go to BsAs, you absolutely should expect to follow their codes. Everywhere isn't BsAs, however. There are places where the local codes allow women to ask men to dance (and people who go there should expect to be able to handle those codes).

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