Tango Argentino > following or 'dancing the woman's role'?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by jfm, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    I haven't weighed in here in some time and haven't read through the whole thread yet so don't yet know how much it's been discussed but have to say I am heartily in agreement with this.

    I tend to have the best and most creative dances with leaders who are really hearing the music (and I don't just mean feeling emotional about it. Feeling emotional about the music does not equate to musicality) and also that I am understanding their interpretation in a way encourages my own participation and where my own participation also heightens the dance.
  2. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    This was actually the post I was trying to quote. Who knows what happened.

    I agree strongly, most leads in my experience aren't doing a really good job of dancing to the music and though there are teachers who can teach it, until it becomes a "normal" thing to teach and teachers themselves develop some sort of ability past "feel the music" to teach with, it probably won't happen. As I said, feeling an emotion to the music does not equate to musicality. However, I see quite a few people that feel like because they've just emoted heavily in a dance, they must have also been musical...

    I'm not sure I ever did see a clarification from the OP about whether embellishment means add some direction to a dance, or find space within the lead to add some of yourself so I will take the conservative approach and assume she meant how to add in meaningfully without disrupting the flow of the shared dance.

    I can say from experience that unless a leader has learned at least a little of the above (actually hearing the music and learning how to express it in ways that make sense to his follower), it's actually quite a difficult thing to find ways to express oneself without disrupting the "flow" of the dance. After all, if you are the only one who is understanding your musical interpretation (leader or follower) are you really being musical?
  3. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    Also, I'm one of the people who doesn't think embellishment is evil. I understand what Melina was saying about the confusion of the words "active follower" versus "someone who is just doing what they want" or throwing in embellishments everywhere. I think this difference between these two things is perhaps relevant to the OP's inital question. When you have learned how to follow actively, and thereby take the initial impulse of a lead and take it to it's conclusion without having to be "carried" there or also getting away from your partner, a lot for time and space can open up for you, if you are dancing with a leader who is actually hearing the music and interpreting it in a comprehensible way.
  4. If not emotion, then what do you mean? Dancing to rhythms and melodies in the music is what most leads do isn't it? I am not sure what you mean by hearing the music and dancing with musicality. Could you explain?
  5. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I understood Bastet to mean that one could feel some emotion while listening to the music, but that this does not necessarily equate to dancing with musicality.
  6. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Re: The Styles of Tango

    Indeed, I find it spirit of the last century, too. Today no one actually will remembers that nuevo and neo times.
  7. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Is there anything specific you could quote, to help me follow what you feel he said that doesn't apply to today?

    Basically, I'm wondering if the Europeans have a different take on some of this, from some of us in the US.
  8. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    "People who are feeling-oriented incline to personal experience and inward feelings. People who are movement-oriented incline to steps and outward look. The feeling-oriented dancers, of whom many are milongueros, have developed the milonguero style, which is danced in a close embrace with slight leaning "

    I have a problem with the inference here..that feeling-orientated equates to milonguero.

    My understanding - from a youtube post of Horacio Garcia, which has sadly been removed,- that the styles evolved from space constrictions. ie movement. I see no reason why either type of person could dance either kind of style, or simply adapt to the space available.

    It would seem to be a logical fallacy; Presuming that a real or perceived relationship between things means that one is the cause of the other.

    My conclusion is that; the assertion "The fundamental cause of stylistic differences lies in human psychologies." is bunkum
  9. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Labels again, sadly. Better to say apilado (not the exaggeration of Gavito)
    or the geographical term tango del centro, as we only have words.
    Yes there are people who can adapt to an extent but you really can see
    the difference between those who have adapted from what we are tending
    to call VU and those who only dance apilado. Those who dance apilado
    by leading from the chest rather than with toned arms rarely want to dance
    anything else since that truly is the dance of feeling and the senses.
    That sweeping generalisation is probably just as flawed as the one you
    are dismissing.

    There is little doubt that the space constraints influenced the dance to become
    tango del centro, whereas the social climate had a part to play in the looser tango
    of the barrio social clubs. del barrio However it is by no means universal even at
    Lo de Celia and I can think of people who whirl about with stuck out strong arms.
    Even if they may stay in the ronda their behaviour can be quite disturbing.

    As far as psychology is concerned different styles once established do tend
    to attract different personalities. The flamboyant tango exported from
    Buenos Aires by means of shows tends to attract the extrovert. Others
    who just want to dance are repelled by the flash but there are so few dancing
    tango del centro abroad that it is virtually unknown and existing dancers
    stay dancing something else. It's a sort of dancer self-selection.
  10. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    I dont know who Horacio Garcia was, but I´m sure I was the first and only to claim this idea in this forum. And I was beaten therefor :cool:

    There is a second point: different spaces require different music styles. Thus different dancing styles evolved. And please don´t pass it on Señior Garcia again.
  11. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    i don't think so..if one asserted that those who were personality type A danced style X because they judged it to meet their needs better, I would accept that..but cause simply isn't true;

    Can you substantiate that? my experience is that tango dancers are quite varied as people, even if the things they enjoy in tango are the same, or have some commonality, and my perception of VU dancers has been that they dance with as much feeling, as any other style.
  12. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    In my hometown the styles are more or less separated.

    Students of the neo/nuevo/con scene do not attend traditional milongas, at all. (Vice versa of course: for the young girls)

    The milonguero/apilado scene is rather cliquey and got it´s own club and a lot of dancers feel cut out there.

    The stage stylists feel rather something special and do not mix, too.

    And then there is a broad spectrum of ordinary multi-stylists that do not need special clubs, venues or milongas.
  13. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    and Melina´s 2 cents on it..

  14. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Sorry, don't follow that.
    There are no absolutes in dance choices though we might perceive tendencies.
    I can almost immediately tell whether someone has the personality and/or
    capability to dance apilado, partly because the connection tells all.

    Of course tango dancers are variable, just like the population at large.
    We just cannot pretend that the tango that is learned here is the tango
    of central Buenos Aires, even if being taught by Argentines.

    Here is where our understanding of language needs to distinguish between
    feeling and feel. I cannot comment about VU dancers and your perception
    of their feeling as perception is not the same as actual feeling. What I can
    express is my own experience of dancing fluid, dynamic embraces, open
    hold (which I regard as a practice hold) and close (apilado) embrace.

    You are right that dancers can dance almost any sort of dance with feeling,
    visually displayed for your perception even expressing emotion. But other
    people's perception is of no consequence to apilado dancers, the only thing
    that matters is the physical connnection to dance together. They can feel
    each other through their chests. There may indeed be an intangible,
    invisible, even emotional, feeling by each partner but that is each
    individual's to experience, not any audience and who are of no concern.
  15. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I guess I would fall into the last category. I like dancing apilado but hate cliqueyness, you end up being too much like other people and I'd rather be unique ;)

    (PS; I am also a bit like Groucha Marx...."I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member!!")
  16. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    when you express "what is your own experience," I am inclined to take what you say seriously. And i can understand that being important to some dancers, and less so to others, or not at all.

    I still question the author's assertion that a style arose because of a "feeling-orientated..inward feelings people."
  17. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    FWIW, I find that assertion suspect, too. It would seem to imply that feeling-oriented people tend to live near the town center and movement-oriented people tend to live near the outskirts.

    And what about the people who love the feeling of movement?
  18. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    BTM got it in one.
  19. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Centro; "curse those unfeeling Barrio posers"

    Barrio; "Curse those clumsy Centro bohemians"

  20. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Oh my preference for women who give themselves to the embrace
    has nothing to do with cliqueyness but purely pleasure(!).

    In fact it's the teaching of levels and classes that promotes a natural
    cliqueyness that takes a long time to break down. Class teacher based
    milongas are the worst for that I find.

    I am told by partners that everyone's embrace is unique.
    You might think they all look the same but they feel different.

    Maybe my language was just a bit too "clever".
    I agree, I would question it too but, like many such statements, there's
    some truth that different styles attract different types of people.
    But other forces in play actually influenced the evolution of styles.

    Regrettably tango academia, commercialism & tourist promotion by means
    of competitions are influencing the dance, negatively in my view.

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