Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by AndaBien, Jan 14, 2013.
At your service...
I always try to give my partner movements that will adhere to the beat. Sometimes it's pretty easy, sometimes more difficult. If I give my partner a molinete I have an idea which beats she will hit (it's the default, in my opinion). Some partners tend to rush the music a bit on molinetes, and I don't know how I could prevent that. My expectation is that she will always hit some beat, even if it's not the one I anticipated. When they don't seem to be hitting any beat at all, I fond it pretty hard to dance with them.
I'm not being critical of followers only. I see leaders who don't seem to be hitting any beat either. As I mentioned before, I think leaders have much more control over their stepping than followers do, so I tend to fault leaders more if they aren't hitting the beats.
Mmmh, really an interesting question!
Honestly, I´m worried, because I never would allow this: I am controlling every single step of a molinete, the quicks and the slows, or whatever accentuation I will choose in that moment. Am I on the wrong track?
Think it´s my turn to specify her step pattern. But ....
... perhaps I´m leading in a much too decisive way? I do also give room to followers and I always try to facilitate this, but it is more like: "... (f.i. parada) ..and now it´s your turn. Make the best of it. Caution, now it´s over. Follow..."
How you choose to dance is up to you. I think every person dances according to their own personality, and that's how they should dance. If they don't dance their own personality, then they must be dancing someone else's personality. But that's another topic.
I use to dictate the dance more than I do now. I realized that the more I dictate, the more the dance is what I choose it to be, and is less influenced by my partner. I wanted each different partner to present her own personality to a greater extent. I still consider myself the leader, but I also want to allow greater influence from my partner.
I tend to give my partner the movements, but allow her some latitude in how she does them, while I become the follower for a moment. My lead for a molinete is more like, "Go around this direction...stop there". OTOH, I'm not referring to a free-for-all, either. I would say I'm specific in my choreography, but lenient in how she does it, as long as she is hitting beats.
I do respect this! But my way went in a totally different direction: the longer I used to dance, the more I felt that the person in my arms was hindering/hampering (sorry, for my english) me. So I started with modern dance and contact improvisation. I learned to dance rather late in my life and argentine tango was my first dance at all. But since I have experienced this new dimension, tango became just a transitional aspect.
And when I started AT I learned very quickly that I lead the woman's body (or center, if you will), but I don't necessarily lead her steps. This was drilled into me by my longest term teacher with drills where we took turns "leading with our center," and doing whatever with our steps, and then changed roles.
I can see the sense in that. In certain situations I can give very clear leads to my partners feet by leading her axis. There are other situations where I don't have that type of control and while I can lead her axis, but she's still in charge of her feet.
I remember that in early days the instruction was to send the follower first to next step. Today I am quite confused about that. It is ok in sacadas but in caminata - doesn't it create a bouncing movement between the couple?
Where you place / check the leaders beat?
Today the main area for beat and interest are the feet, some videos are almost only on feet
Beat is marked on
- the foot kick just before the heel lands
- the landing/ed heel
- the landing/ed toes
- the rolling forefoot after the heel has landed
Somewhere else on body?
Another aspect is leading the follower into a cross. The default that most followers have that this is a double time weight change into the next step out. But there is no reason why it should be. Last night, for instance, to 'Nada' ; Di Sarli/Podesta, the step into the cross slowed down almost suspeneded, so far far slower.
I dance this way.
I lead with my body and listen how she receives it and when she steps I try to use her kinetic energy for another step.
Follower doesn't have exact place to step, cause we are stepping together following the music.
We are continously dancing every note of the song.
Sometimes we don't see cause we are looking with our eyes only.
When I dance I try to listen follower's musicality and movement so I can adjust and lead the best I can.
Although we don't want to admit, at the beginning we learn standardized AT in some kind of form.
I believe that obvious reason is that we want to dance as soon as possible.
Later we are introduced to various aspects of musicality and dancing technique.
Leading a cross very slow is quite tricky and I don't find that should be at the beginners level.
Continuous awarenes of step that include subtle weight transfer and body rotation is not definitely beginners level.
I think its a case of knowing how your partner dances. With an unkown dancer then you have to keep it straightforward until you know her limits and inclinations. If you've watched her you might make an educated guess. I found that followers were dancing a quick step after the backward ocho in the giro to bring themselves back on the beat.
a Giro in milonga; if its really fast; it is just a case of giving her room to step, and some impetus. Then its down to how well they know the music. I've been lucky at times, i did some fast sideways corridas with a Russian lady to the fast phrases in Milonga de Mis Amores, and she was brilliant....(Afterwards she told me she'd never done anything like that before )
You and me know this, but I wouldn´t bet on the fact that a great number of leaders actually is aware of that certain doubling at all.
Usually it's the most common way of stepping out; the cross in the cross system walking and the double time.
I am especially careful with insecure followers cause some are taught to rotate hips so they don't have time to follow the cross in the double time.
I personally think that neither leaders nor followers have complete control over when and where they step. Both listen to the music, and to what the couple as a whole does, and part of their job is not to be in the way of their partner being in the music, and part of their job is to maintain the geometry and structure of the couple as a whole.
As a leader i often don't step on the beat because i have to allow the follwer to be on the beat. A blatant example are saccadas - the leaders step can't be on the beat because we have to allow the follower time to step on the beat with her other foot and start moving the free leg before we can take that space.
I tend to dance counterbalanced close embrace, so i also only have a very limited space where i can step without taking both of us out of balance, and in some ways the followers choice of how they deal with the opening that i created defines the couples movement as much, or even more than the opening i created. I have to follow the follower once she comitts to a response to my mark, or else we are going to loose our geometry. In general i think that the follower powers all movement of the couple - one of the thing i enjoy least are follower that want to be "carried" the whole dance - if i wanted to do that i would dance with a pair of sticks - even absolute beginners who do mostly completely random stuff are more fun as long as they step decicivly. And with great followers this give-and-take of using the mark and the energy of the couple to step and at the same time re-energizing the couple by moving to a spot that maintains/shapes the geometry and momentum of the couple as a whole is an amazing experience. In some ways the leader and the follower have equal power in shaping the dance when doing this, and i prefer this to taking turns carrying the dance by oneself.
I don't think you can check the leaders beat anywhere - the only person that can judge if the the leader is on the beat/in the music is the follower the leader dances with at that time. And that is often enough a question of where in the music the follower is, too - i personally know followers who immensly disliked dancing with Tete because how he moved in relationship to the beat did not mesh with their perception of the music at all, and others who had the completely opposite reaction.
Agreed, but I only want to make clear that I wrote "I lead every nuance and accentuation in a molinete", I do not force the follower into my patterns. I still respect that leading should be an offer.
I don't understand how you can "lead every nuance and accentuation", while only giving an offer to your partner.
I was actually thinking more about followers in general - i think an important and often neglected part of following is for followers to find their own voice and dance, and the key part is that followers have quite a bit of freedom in where and how they step, but when exercising that freedom they have to support the geometry of the couple, and consider following an offer to the leader for their next mark, too. Leaders have, of course, respect that the lead should be an offer, and develop the sensitivity to follow the follower in her interpretation of the lead.
And both leaders and followers will run into problems when they are not stepping when/where supports the geometry of the couple - which is an important part of the whole thing - depending on what the other partner did there is a whole range of different degrees of freedom on how much room there is in the interpretation of a mark/ where to follow the follower/ what to mark next. Sometimes there is really only one option that will maintain the music and the geometry, sometimes there are universes of choice.
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