Tango Argentino > "Figures of Argentine Tango" page

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Dave Bailey, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. chanchan

    chanchan Member

    You are right: the term "salon" can mean not only Villa Urquiza, but almost any kind of social tango, including personal styles where dancers occasionally make use of shared axis.
    In Villa Urquiza, if I'm not wrong, it should always be avoided.
  2. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    So, in other words, you might define it as dancing done to non-traditional music ("Alternative/neo music"), with an open embrace ("large movements"), and with more pivotting than stepping ("no travel or long steps")?

    Hmmmm... seems to me that definition sounds familiar... :D
  3. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Yes, I was playing with the V embrace this weekend. I never really saw the point of it before, but after doing a workshop with Joel and Alina (teachers from Manchester) a couple of weeks back, light dawned - it's ideal for volcadas, crosses, and CCW giros.

    If I were getting finicky, I might even say that the V embrace has some elements of yet another style... but that way lies madness...
  4. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Well, yes?

    I try to dance in the style of the music. If the music style changes, I try to change the way I dance.

    Doesn't everyone? :confused:
  5. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    No. I prefer to dance apilado, so I dance that way to any style of tango music. I don't see any reason to make my dance style adhere "correctly" to the music style. Why should it? It's not that I only know one style. It's that I prefer one much more than any other.

    How would we be able to dance to alternative music if the dance had to be suited to the style?
  6. chanchan

    chanchan Member

    I don't think it's so silly: for example you can define salsa as a specific rhythmic pattern, steps, moves, and then say that you dance "salsa" to cumbia music, as is often done in colombia (with possible offence for the purists, because cumbia is traditionally danced in another way).
    For me the music is the most important factor in the dancing. Please read my answer to Opendoor.
    I just consider this connection something far more complex than saying "ah... it's tango nuevo: so I'll do lots pivots in open embrace".
    You mentioned three factors which are totally independent and unrelated.
    As you consider your definition objective and misurable, I expect you to explain how you deal, for example when a dancer has open embrace and does a lot of pivots on traditional music, or close embrace in non traditional music, or open embrace with many volcadas but almost no pivots, or close embrace with many pivots.
    In other words: what happens when only one or two of the three factors is verified?
    My point not just that pivot are used in traditional. It's that they are very used, and some traditional style is based around that concept.
  7. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

  8. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I tend to think of apilado and nuevo as different ends of the tango spectrum rather than different animals altogether. On the apilado side is subtlety and internal expression. On the nuevo side is complexity and external expression. When I choose a dance style for a song, it depends on my partner, the mood I'm in, as well as the song itself.
  9. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Sounds right to me. I always prefer the subtle and internal expression, regardless of the music.
  10. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    @OpenDoor - I'm not sure what you are saying. I think on one hand you are saying people should be flexible enough to change their style depending on the music.

    OTOH, you seem to support my idea of dancing my preferred way regardless of the music.
  11. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    No, I meant: then you should only dance to music where apilado fits to. It´s a question of education, not of preference!
  12. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't define it any particular way. I've given up on defining anything to do with tango, because someone will quibble with just about any definition or "rule" you can come up with for anything. I was just pointing out what I expect when people around here use the term "nuevo"

    However, that said, large movements can be done without opening the embrace (ie: high boleos and dramatic leg wraps) and pointing out that the movements are either stationary or covering a lot of ground (ie: not small tight steps) does not indicate by itself whether there is more of one than the other.
    But you're right about the music... most of the locals here do expect "alternative" music to do "nuevo".

    I just do whatever I'm led and don't try to call it anything anymore. :rolleyes:
  13. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Oh, good! Another definition to argue about. To which music does apilado fit, or not fit?

    The only way I dance is according to my preference. I don't see that it has anything to do with education.
  14. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Ach - I've been known to dance apilado to Piazzolla's Oblivion and extremely open on things that some would find very traditional (just because it was the third consecutive tanda of '20s tangos, I was getting fed up with it and was giving the DJ a 'subtle' hint). It depends on the music, the mood, the partner, which embrace she decides to settle into, and how much of a contrarian I'm trying to be on a particular day.

    I'd say "whatever floats your boat". As long as it pleases your partner and it plays well with the music I'm fine with anything. I don't like pigeon holes that much; I'd be dancing <mumble mumble> if I wanted a dance for which there was an authoritative Correct Way.
  15. chanchan

    chanchan Member

    And how would they call traditional music danced with an emphasis on larger movements done with either no travel or long steps, utilizing fancy leg work like intertwining wraps, high boleos and suspended ganchos?
  16. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    You probably wouldn't see much of that here. People do tend to a more traditional style when traditional music is on, although there still might be some snappy boleos and ganchos. However, at a certain point, there'll be griping because they want the alternative music.

    The few who try to do the styling I listed above to traditional music often do so because they never learned anything but stage'y tango and fancy looking steps. They often are no more fun to dance with this way to the alternative music than to the traditional, because they really don't know how to use the music in the first place.. they only know how (sorta) to do their fancy moves and they do them willy nilly with little regard for music.

    I'm not saying that someone CAN"T make a nice dance with the "nuevo" (as defined by my community) styling to very traditional and rhythmic music.. I'm just saying that the leaders who try it here are usually not successful at that combination... (at least to me... it's all subjective anyway, right?).

    I really need to get out more (out of town that is)

    Edited to say: To be fair, there is another nearby community that calls what I'm talking about "Neotango" rather than "Nuevo"
  17. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    And therein lies the whole problem: when you start calling what Copes dances "nuevo" things start to get very blurry...especially if you start calling some of the (to my ears sometimes quite pompous and even jarring) versions of the traditionals he dances to "alternative music". Even if you defined "nuevo" as anything after the 1960s you'd still find earlier ancestors to it.

    I tend to agree with Gustavo Naveira: there's no such thing as "tango nuevo" that is separate from traditional tango, it's just something to tag what happened to it recently (as far as the dance is concerned, because post-1955 Piazzolla is indeed something different from what preceded it).

    There have been lots of styles that coexisted in any one period, there has been a history with many dips and revivals, and the styles all evolved and blended quite organically.

    The major distinction I'd tend to make is "tango appropriate for show/stage" and "social tango" (which can include many things that some would consider nuevo, like "pocket colgada+volcada" assemblies that are almost in place).

    Even then lines cannot be drawn in the sand with ease: in these parts social tango actually started as very show-tango-ish simply because the maestros that were doing the shows were those that lit the candle, despite the fact people immediately *did* grok it as a social and improvised dance (but not immediately as one with a very complex relation to the music). So it all started as show tango on a social dance floor (with all the rather "interesting" side effects).

    Ten years ago were all dancing showy stuff at arms' length, even though some --but not all people-- were starting to connect to the music. None of us even had a beginning of a clue on how to navigate in a milonga, and that was something never taught (one teacher found it a generally good idea for students to gaze at each other 'passionately' continuously while dancing...)

    Ten years ago, I doubt El Pibe Sarandi would've stepped in a local milonga and told the audience he felt like a was 13 years again (the milonga was organised in a genuine '20s dance hall with theatre stage; even the name "El Dorado" is a relic) and that he felt like in a milonga in Buenos Aires.

    That'd be one definition of "nuevo": tango only appropriate for shows danced on a social dance floor. But there isn't anything new in that, actually, and it's quite pejorative (in essence only calling the bad stuff 'nuevo' and assimilating what is fairly recent but works on a social dance floor into "non-nuevo" tango). And where do you draw that line? What is appropriate on di Sarli with only five couples on the dance floor is not appropriate when there are 60.

    Now, with a well deserved emphasis on the "abrazo", people are dancing a lot closer than they were (the dominant embrace seems to be a very close to very slightly open flexible Villa Urquiza embrace sometimes turning into strictly parallel shared axis apilado for walking for some couples) and are a lot more musical, even though the actual repertoire of elements they're using has barely changed (most people will just revert to the other embrace temporarily to do stuff that simply doesn't work with the new dominant embrace).

    What people would undoubtedly now call "nuevo" if they saw it now has silently and slowly morphed into a much more social animal that El Pibe Sarandi had no problem in calling "auténtico tango de Buenos Aires" (and you could see he wasn't just pleasing the audience).

    When did it stop being the one and start being the other? That's like asking when Homo heidelbergiensis became Homo sapiens...
  18. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member


    When people got tired of trying to spell Homo heidelbergensis. ;)
  19. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Agree, and it comes close to my point of view

    I want to correct myself slightly: Fantasia for me is non-traditional stage tango (escenario).

    But then Copes comes in again: Sure, his name actually isn´t connected to what we call TN. But, he danced to music that was considered to be undancable (for what reason ever), he strictly danced in open hold, he choreographed (and he made money with tango). He directed stage tango downstairs onto the floor. So why do not include him?

    By the way, once I wrote "there is nothing more modern like traditional tango". On the other hand all that stuff that is thought to be Nuevo or Neo is already found in Canyengue and early Salón. Watching old footage you find the couples dancing con luz or in V-hold. Apilado isn´t the origin.
  20. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Yeah, I hear you.

    From a dancing perspective, I completely agree.

    The only reason I personally need to create and use some simple definitions is because I need a fairly straightforward model to explain to my students, who ask awkward questions like "What is the difference?" and "When should I use open embrace?" and so on.

    (I generally reply "never" to the last question :) )

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