Tango Argentino > "Figures of Argentine Tango" page

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

  1. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    That's how I use these, but that's certainly not nomenclature shared by all on the list (the only difference is that I have an "estilo del centro" instead of "apilado", because there are also dancers in that style who have the appearance of lean but don't really lean; dancers dancing "apilado" are for a large part a subclass).

    "Nuevo" certainly doesn't elicit many references to *just* the Naveiro/Salas systematic approach (which I like) to analysing what's possible and what's not from position X (from here if I'm close to the follower I can dance an alteracion or a molinete, if I'm not blocking her I can lead an ocho, overturned ocho with back sacada, overturned ocho with gancho, etc.; if I choose to pick the alteracion depending on what I lead I can follow with walking (with different rhythmic patterns), a front boleo, back boleo plus front sacada for the follower, volcada, etc.; if I pick any of these I can follow with...etc.).

    As I said it often refers to anything perceived as non-traditional which someone doesn't like, anything danced on a social dance floor that shouldn't be danced there, any dancing that's navigationally challenged on a social dance floor, for some anything in open embrace, etc. Quite the scapegoat.

    But of course it's only *a* point of view. It is pretty close to what I know some Argentines use, but good luck using that nomenclature in the US (where "de salon" has taken a completely different meaning in some circles, becoming the shorthand for Miller-style "tango de salon estilo milonguero").

    That's always going to happen. Tango is by and large a dialect continuum; from Wikipedia:

    Pick your features and start labelling the isoglosses. The probability that your map and labels will be the same as someone else's are slim, even though the underlying reality is the same.
  2. chanchan

    chanchan Member

    I thought about it before writing the definitions, and I concluded that if they have the appearance of lean but they don't really lean we can say they are dancing tango salon: tango salon can successfully be danced in full respect of codigos and traditions, also in crowded milongas.
  3. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    It's still different from your definition of tango salon. Some people have no lean but will not have a flexible embrace and dance with less pivoting (even the "ocho milonguero" vs. "dissociated ocho" space is a continuum!) and an "estilo del centro" ear for the rhythm, and not a trace of V-embrace - in other words, they will be exactly like the "apilado" dancers you described except for the apilado itself. It's even a fairly large class, and even Tete would dance like that with some partners.

    As I said, it all depends on which feature you pick to delineate your isoglosses. You do have clusters that share many traits rather than one but there are always hybrids at the edge...
  4. gyb

    gyb Member

    There is an interesting recent discussion on Tangovoice's blog about differences between 'apilado' and 'tango milonguero / del centro'. Unfortunately I still can't post links.
  5. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    do you mean this one ? http://tangovoice.wordpress.com

    Some statements I would support:

  6. chanchan

    chanchan Member

    According to the comments that I received, I slightly correct my definitions. Note that none of these groups can be considered a "style"

    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 escenario is a form of show, theatre. It is "fiction" by definition. No actor would be offended if we say that theatre is not real life. No dancer shoud be offended if we say that tango escenario is not real tango.

    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, but not excluding the possibility to remain in a given position for the whole song, so any discussion about how many cm or about chest contact is meaningless) and may allow large movements, ganchos and high boleos if the milonga is not too crowded.
    There are two main styles of tango salon:
    Villa Urquiza: 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". It is especially good for large spaces, like milongas in the outskirt of BsAs.
    Apilado: characterized by the fact to be "apilado" (leaning). The embrace is strictly close, with weight sharing, so pivots are difficult or impossible, movements are little and it is especially good for crowded milongas, like those of the center of BsAs.

    These two styles are only the extremes of a continuum of personal styles which combines elements of both of them. So it is perfectly normal the possibility to alternate weight sharing and non-weight sharing, as well as open, close, V embrace. There is no need to "switch" between different techniques, because the technique is the same: in no case the follower has to relay on her sight, and in no case there is need for choreography. The lead is transmitted through physical contact.
    This is often considered the "real" tango, meaning that is it not a show.
    Anyway you can perform a show based on tango salon: in this case it will be more "realistic" than classical tango escenario, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it will be a better show.
    Tango salon was often associated to a traditional teaching method which is very linked to the use of figures, patterns and sequences, and in general strict rules regarding posture and movements. This is basically the only feature that makes it different from nuevo.

    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 enough 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. The concepts of tango nuevo can be applied both to shows and to social dance: in this case, there is no reason to consider it less "real" than tango salon, or less suitable for a crowded milonga. On the contrary, the great emphasis on the improvisation can help people to manage better the critical situations of crowded milongas if compared to traditional methods.
  7. chanchan

    chanchan Member

    Yes, but there are also some facts: open embrace, close embrace, pivot based movements, walk based movements, weight sharing, non weight sharing... all of that is part of the tradition.
    I could add that even fancy moves, and dancing to non-tango music is a very old fashion.

    The only novelty is the role of the improvisation, so identifying "tango nuevo" as the lack of improvisation is a paradox.
  8. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    who did that?
  9. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I don't even get how or what connection can be made between nuevo/"nuevo" and lack of improvisation.
  10. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    I think nuevo includes very much improvisation but not improvisando. I think the meditative state of improvisando is possibly only when leting body and music find together without the brains involved. Dancing small and following the speed of pista facilitates that.
  11. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    I think you're assuming too much (first of all, you haven't defined nuevo).

    You can be "improvisando" in pretty much any style and with any length of steps (last monday I danced two tandas with the same woman, one in close embrace and rhythmical and one more lyrical in open embrace, and both were wacky enough for me to wonder exactly what I did afterwards).

    And following the pista actually makes it harder to improvise to the music; it only makes improvisation --to the music and the flow of the ronda-- more necessary.

    Yeah, I know many nuevo leaders can't improvise and that many haven't been taught how to flow in a ronda.

    The same can be said for people in other styles too --it all depends on the teachers, and there are many kettles of fish (including strict small-step-close-embrace teachers who can't teach a lead and/or look like they've had concrete poured in the ears).

    I will concede there's a correlation (many 'nuevo' teachers find teaching about constraints like the music or the ronda 'constricting'; almost as if a guitar teacher would start fretting about the fact there are divisions on a fretboard and only six strings). That doesn't mean there's a causation.
  12. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    so the word improvise means something else in a different language....?

    without the brains involvement?? do you think you could move at all? or hear the music?

    you havnt seen Homer and Christina dance in person then, for you know what you say isnt

    I would say dancing fast is easier to create a "flow" state because you start to bypass higher though functions in order to move..movement becomes reflexive rather than reactive.
  13. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    What the...??? What the heck is "improvisando"...particularly if it's not improvisation? And maybe dancing small facilitates whatever that is for you, but that certainly doesn't mean it's a universal guideline.
  14. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    This whole debate requires too much brain involvement for me.

    Getting.. dizzy... can't.. think... round... and round... vertigo.... help... must... go danc...
    (collapses in confusion)
  15. chanchan

    chanchan Member

    A lot of people.
    Doing figures, repeating pre-defined sequences (together with "dancing to non traditional music", "open embrace", "large movements") is one of the feautures that most of people attribute to "nuevo", basing on what I hear and what I read in forums. Confusion with tango escenario, which uses choreography, is also very common.
  16. chanchan

    chanchan Member

  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Seems to me have a lot of people have no bloody clue, then. Nuevo is just as improvisational as everything else, depending on the skill and creativity of the leader. Those who say differently betray their ignorance.
  18. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Could you translate this into English, please?

  19. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    never mind
  20. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member


    Ignoring the fact that we don't even have an agreement on what "nuevo" actually is... I think there are some physical constraints on some movements. And these constraints do lend themselves to a slightly greater emphasis on "moves" rather than "steps".

    For example, it's physically impossible to change your mind when half-way through doing a volcada, without falling over. Whereas if you're simply doing steps, you can modify them on a step-by-step basis.

    That doesn't mean improvisation is impossible in "nuevo", but it makes it harder. And I think it explains why a lot of (for want of a better word) "nuevo" movements are taught and practiced as sequences.

Share This Page