Tango Argentino > Contra body movement whilst walking

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by ant, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    I think it boils down to what works best for each individual.

    I dance the way I do because it is, I believe, best way I can deliver a good AT experience for my partner.

    If using CBM in AT works for you and your partner, then so it shall be.
  2. Mosca Negra

    Mosca Negra New Member

    But for your use of acronyms, I wholeheartedly agree with you Amptser. Strict conformance to convention on the Argentine Tango dance floor is for cowards. How blase it would be were we all to dance with such uniformity of imposed style.
  3. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

  4. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Would it be a 'good thing' if it really was open season on 'anything goes'?

    Uniformity need not be either imposed or a constraint, surely? Goodness, the tango community is scornful of all sorts and manners of dancing, and while there is no established technique, there seems to be an unwritten code, and woe betide anyone who steps outside its limits. Is this healthy, or actually bourne of a deep insecurity?

    I'm not looking for an argument, but I'm intereted in the dynamic tensions between conformity and freedom in what is supposedly an entirely improvised dance form, but seems actually to be anything but (at least sometimes...).
  5. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    For a thing to be considered x, it must have a recognisable x-form: it is impossible for 'anything goes' to have any form, by definition; let alone an x-form.

    For an artform to be worth anything, it should always be a fuzzy-x-form, in the hands of the artist... but it still needs to retain enough x to be recognisable as x.

    [I'm pretty sure that I need not say this to you, UKDancer - I'm saying it generally.]

    [My Bold]

    Rather than '... deep insecurity', I'd suggest that it's more usually '... the desire to preserve something precious, as it is being eroded from every angle'.

    EDIT: Ant: Thanks for starting this thread (and thanks to everybody who's given answers), as it was one of the questions that I wanted to ask, but didn't want to be thought of as being too analytical, or anything....
  6. Oldgeezer

    Oldgeezer New Member

    In dance should it not be that the dancers are constrained by the music and that alone? Therefore when dancing an argentine tango, should it not be to music in that style and not what we see on the likes of Dancing with the Stars and Strictly C.D. where the music bears no resemblence to the character of the dance being portrayed?
  7. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Thinking about it, Ivan from Negracha's used to (still does, perhaps) teach dissociation as part of the lead.

    I did a class with Amir and Lindy a couple of years back, and Lindy spent some time demonstrating how dissociation could help the follower's movements - the "unwinding" motion helping to pull the trailing leg backwards to the collection point.

    But I don't think any exaggeration of the natural motion is particularly essential for leading.

    (I'm using "dissociation" rather than "contra body movement" as dissociation is the AT terminology)
  8. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    i think this is off topic and there's plenty of discussion of this elsewhere...
  9. ant

    ant Member


    I have always thought of CBM and dissociation as two different types of movement both of which are used in AT.

    I think of CBM as being the natural movement (try running without CBM) of the body, the opposite shoulder, arm and upper chest to the leg that is moving and this does not generally go down as far as the waist.

    Whereas I think of dissociation as coming more from or going down to the waist.
  10. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I was thinking just the same thing, but you beat me to it.
  11. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member


    I am disociating myself from DB's post ;)
  12. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Me too. I also think of CBM as more of a gentle natural movement that can be fairly imperceptible, even to the person walking. I think of disassociation as a deliberate and more emphasized movement to lead a particular thing.

    Natural CBM can vary quite a bit from person to person. For some, there is shoulder movement. For others (like me) the shoulder movement is negligible but there is some arm swinging. Likewise, for some the hips move contra to the shoulders. But for me, my hips do not move forward and back very much when I walk normally, but do move up and down, with some side to side motion.

    Every time I've had a tango teacher tell me to let my hips move more forward and back like is "natural" in walking, I grit my teeth and do it while thinking "this takes effort and concentration for me... it's not at all my natural movement in walking forward. And there's not a whole lot natural about walking backwards in the first place!

    It would seem to me that the only reason to use CBM in tango walking would be because it is a natural level of CBM for that leader and stifling it creates unnatural stiffness and tension. ADDING it to the point where someone has to think about doing it... what's the point?

    Followers just do it or not depending on the leader... we can't really do it if you don't, and can't really NOT do it if you do except by absorbing it in our arms in OE. As I said, there's not much about the tango back walk that's natural to begin with (it's natural if you're walking backwards down an incline, but most people don't do that very often) so it's really about leaders and what works for them. Personally, I've never danced with someone who added much CBM, so I've no idea how it would affect me. If anyone I dance with uses it, it was natural enough that I didn't even register it specifically.

    Disassociation to lead specific things properly (without resorting to arm leads) is a totally different thing.
  13. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I guess I'm still amazed at how many people think that because CBM (or whatever movement) is natural for them, then it must be natural for everyone else. They'll use all kinds of arguments to try to explain why what you do isn't natural. ex:
    T: You do it naturally when running.
    M: Well I'm not normally running in tango.
    T: You do it naturally when swinging your arms while walking.
    M: I'm not normally swinging my arms when dancing tango, as they are occupied.
    T: Well something must have happened to you, because your movement is not natural.
    M: I'll agree it's not natural for you, but I'm a different person from you.
    (and so on)
    I don't even engage in these discussions with teachers any more. I just tell them if there's something you want me to try, I'll try it. However, I'm not interested in discussing what's natural for me, when I've been me a lot longer than they have been me.

    I will admit that for a few people, I've suggested they try CBM, because what was natural for them was the "Frankstein walk". It not only looked horrible, but it caused issues for their follower. Also, it's easier to tell someone what you want them to do, rather than what not to do.
  14. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Mmm, dunno. I just make this stuff up as I go along.

    The teachers I've had describe it to me have called it dissociation, though. And they're clever.

  15. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I think you have to use disassociation (at least a little) when doing CBM. But (of course) disassociation is used with other things as well, so they are not the same thing.
  16. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I would think that CBM requires association between hips and shoulders. In my mind dissociation is what kills CBM and leads to an awkward walk.

    Added: I have always thought "dissociation" was an odd word to use when explaining how people should dance. IMO, most dancers need more association with their whole body. To me it's a bit like saying one should compartmentalize their movements.
  17. ant

    ant Member

    As I understand it CBM is where one part of the body moves against but with reference to another moving part of the body (and from a dancing perspective) in order to counter any instability that the moving part causes.

    Have you used the word disassociation intentionally?

    In either case, whether this is the word intended or dissociation as I understand it this is where one part of the body moves without reference to the rest of of the body.

    I am not sure what you are saying. Are you saying that it does not
    generally exist in a persons natural walk or it does?
  18. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I did intentionally use disassociation. I think people use either term with tango. FWIW, I googled "tango and disassociation" and got more hits than "tango and dissociation". To be honest, I don't know (nor care) which is the "proper" term. When explaining it to beginners, I use the more simple term, twisting (and I've also heard people use the term torsion).

    I am saying that it is natural for some, but not all people. We are not all built the same.
  19. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Yeah, I always assumed it was simply a 'specialty'/'speciality' kind of thing... though never cared enough to find out either... but I like to know stuff, so it's in the queue - will share in the unlikely event that there's actually an answer....

    PS: The T: M: T: M: post made me chuckle - I know exactly what you mean...
  20. Mosca Negra

    Mosca Negra New Member

    I am reminded of a scene in The Tango Lesson. Sally Potter was seated at a table at a milonga while speaking with an Englishman who knew a great deal about Tango, but who appeared rather awkward on the dance floor.

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