Tango Argentino > "Figures of Argentine Tango" page

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

  1. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    you have to check they have a Soil Association tattoo....

    and I had to give rescue remedy to a tanguera suffering from Poison Tongue last night.
  2. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    That may be the nicest thing you've ever said to me.. well except for that supportive PM you sent awhile back when I was having trouble with life, the universe and everything.
  3. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    I attempted to say the reverse in what you did not quote. Categorisation of data isn't pointless, but it is:

    -in essence always jargon (in the neutral sense of "idioms mean something more precise than what you'll find in a dictionary").

    Especially when you start to forget that a classification is just that, and only describes part of reality but doesn't replace it, it is inevitable but slightly dangerous if you're leaving your sceptic hat on the hook. I don't mind labels at all (as signposts when you try to describe a continuum), but I do mind pigeon holes.

    The problem in AT is that we don't have peer-reviewed articles with references to clarify what we mean by the jargon and journals that are authoritative. So we all mean something different with labels, which means it's useful to ask about assumptions before you engage in reasoned debate (or things turn into a deaf men's conversation very fast).

    I'm not attempting to ignore it at all, but I don't get hung up on labels. And as far as this irritating off-topic subsubject is concerned, I think "nuevo" is a bad label because it can (and does) mean nothing and everything (usually just what "traditionalist X" finds bad), whereas "V-embrace", "open embrace", "apilado", "social floor tango", "stage tango" at least convey something in the name of the label.

    What I really don't like about labels as pigeon holes instead of markers is that they frequently fragment the community and foster the "us vs. them" approach if you're not careful. I know you and I probably don't fall into that trap, but many do - people will sometimes cling to a label as a crutch and to make themselves feel better than the Wrong Ones.

    Antagonising people who dance differently by sticking a pejorative label to them is not productive (except if all you want is to feel superior). What did work to transform at least the Flemish community from a clumsy show-tango-as-a-social-dance community into a more true AT community was not exhortations that they were 'dancing wrongly', but people showing by example what AT could actually be about and natural evolutionary pressure.

    In between, parts of the community did go through a phase where 'nuevo' dancers wouldn't learn how to connect, walk or dance to the rhythm (only the "passion" and the melody were to determine how to dance) and where 'traditional' dancers would take a club at anyone leading even a small boleo, and where they thought of the others as Evil Incarnate.

    Guess what? Members of those two extreme subcultures eventually learned how to dance well much slower than the rest (they were only saved by becoming marginalised by new dancers who would immediately learn how to dance social tango without giving a toss about labels).

    Ideology blinds, and ideology needs labels. Hence my healthy distrust for bad labels (which I agree I push too far for the sake of argument).
  4. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, indeed.
  5. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    "The world I'm interested in is the one where things are not named". — Martha Graham

    "Words mean exactly what I want them to mean". — Lewis Carroll
  6. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I could take lessons from the both of you ;).
  7. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    And that, in a nutshell, is exactly why I decided not to care anymore about categories and "right" vs "wrong" tango. By focusing on learning to dance whatever I'm led as well as I possibly can, I've become a much better and more versatile follower and dancer. Do I have preferences? Of course.. Do some things come more easily than others? Absolutely. Have I practically given up on ever feeling comfortable with a couple of things? Just about.

    But my progress sped up when I decided to just take it all in and let it sort itself out over time and usage.
  8. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I think that at some time in the life of a dancer he/she must quit being guided by others and must begin guiding oneself.
  9. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    That's not necessarily mutually exclusive with what Zoopsia59 tried to convey, I think.
  10. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I can see how it wasn't clear, but I intended it to be supportive of what she said.
  11. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    definitely not mutually expclusive.

    By taking it ALL in, i cease to be guided by others as to what I should or shouldn't do or learn. By letting it sort itself out as I dance and practice, I AM being guided by my own experience.

    I think A and I are in perfect agreement, actually.
  12. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    "V-embrace" simply describes a physical position. I was attempting to describe a style of tango dancing, which incorporates far more than just a physical hold.
  13. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Personally, my progress sped up when I recognised the differences in style, and adapted my dancing to those differences; by modifying the steps and embrace I used for trad / nuevo dancing.

    Similarly, I've been trying to play with movements around the V-embrace for a few weeks now; the embrace does affect the movements, and it's silly to pretend that the two are not connected.
  14. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I make less distinction..the feel of the music comes first..adjustments to the embrace depend on my partner, available space..

    IMO a close embrace doesnt require small steps nor do I subscribe to the view that small steps require a close embrace
    but for certain things I will open the embrace, or keep it elastic..
  15. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    In that case I'm not too fond of labels, because many "styles" assemble different bits and pieces. In essence every really advanced couple (even one that exists for only one tanda) makes its own style.

    Sure, you can cluster those styles but in some sense the classification you'll get is a bit arbitrary. It's fine to use in casual conversation with people you know (and who know you), but far more difficult to use them in conversation with strangers (as on this forum).

    My progress definitely sped up when I started to recognise different types of embraces, lengths of steps, ways in which to follow the rhythm, ways in which to lead XYZ (or not to lead them on certain kinds of music or when in a given embrace), but that was adapting to different elements of style individually, not to styles as monolithic entities.
  16. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    congrats, this winged word must find it´s way into a tango lex. :D
  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I'm in full agreement with you.

    As a follower, I feel I've got to be ready and able to dance well with a whole variety of styles. From the most subdued, shared-axies close embrace, to the wildest, biggest open. I've got to know how to use the technique to follow without pivoting, and I've got to know how to do fast, overturned pivots almost entirely on my own. All this because the leader sets the tone and pace of the embrace and the dance (for the most part), and I've got to be able to do it all.

    And I'm glad I took that approach, because i strongly feel that it has made me a better dancer. And furthermore, the more I became comfortable with all of these different "styles", the more I have come to see the similarities in all of them. Makes for an interesting perspective.
  18. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member


  19. chanchan

    chanchan Member

    Here are my definitions, they reflect what I think I've understood, maybe I am wrong: I am open to critics and corrections.

    Tango escenario

    A form of tango intended for the stage (escenario). Mostly rehearsed, including moves that are not part of social tango or taken from other dances. This form of tango is as old as tango shows: about one century.

    Tango salon

    A form of tango intended for salones: large spaces designed for social dance. This form of tango has flexible embrace (flexible means that it can seamlessly go from close to open, so any discussion about how many cm or about chest contact is meaningless) and allows large movements, ganchos and high boleos if the milonga is not too crowded. It is characterized by a great use of pivots, and this feature is linked with the rule to be "always on axis" which means "no weight sharing". Personal styles can include some exceptions, but people dancing "Villa Urquiza" usually apply this rule in a very strict manner.

    Estilo apilado

    Style of tango characterized by the fact to be "apilado" (leaning). It is traditionally danced in the central milongas of BsAs. The embrace is striclty close, with weight sharing, so pivots are difficult or impossible, movements are little and it is especially good for crowded milongas.

    Tango nuevo

    An new approach to tango, a method created by Naveira and Salas. It is not intended for a certain style, or a certain embrace, or a certain music, it is not specifically intended for shows or for social dance: every one is supposed to be smart enaugh to choice how to dance according to his/her personal style, preferences, partner, the music, and the space available. The only peculiarity is the importance given to improvvisation: tango has always been an improvisatory dance, but such kind of deep, academic study of the improvvisation is a novelty or at least it was a novelty 20 years ago.
    Like any other tagno dancer of any time, Naveira created few new steps basing on variations or exaggerations of previously existing steps, without any significant innovation about the technique, which is nothing more and nothing less than Argentine Tango.
  20. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Well, it's a point of view.

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