Tango Argentino > Music and Candencia

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Mario7, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Typically, it is for followers. I had one teacher explain that "surrender" means the lack of intention. Another said something like, she allows the man to lead, without a lot of extra "noise".

    Now I'm not one of these who claim there is only one way (or philosophy) for people to dance tango, but that's what I believe some people mean by that term. For people who are dancing primarily for the embrace (as opposed to for the steps), it's a good philosophy, IMO.
  2. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    Both teachers missed the definition entirely. I know that my partners feel I surrender to the music with them. I show my intention to become one with my embrace. The first rule of all partner dancing is the man leads. Two taking turns is crazy, but some find it more interesting.
  3. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    What I find interesting about your post is that other than the first sentence of it, your post is perfectly in sync with what I am saying. The Argentine teachers that I've taken classes with (who used the term intention), are talking exactly about the man indicating his intention (where he would like for them to go, i.e. the lead), and then the woman willingly goes with his intention, rather than trying to indicate a different intention. This is the surrender.

    Like you said, there are other opinions / preferences on how this should work, partially I suspect because the word "surrender" seems to have a strong negative connotation to some.
  4. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    I think the important part of jans description is the "surrender to the music with them ".

    When we use the description that "the follower surrenders to the leader" one of the unspoken assumptions is that the leader is actually free. From my perspective i would say he isn't - he is equally "surrendered". The leader is surrendered to the music and the flow of the dancefloor and the followers movement. The follower is surrenderd to the music and the leaders marks. The magic "telepathy" of a great dance does not happen because the follower is so sensitive that she actually is able to read the leaders mind, but because the leader follows the music, and because she listens to the music too the leaders marks are transparent and predictable for the follower. (modulo some surprises that the leader throws in - but those have to be rare enough to be a surprise, just the same way that the orchestras throw in surprises). (one of my pet ideas is that the reason beginning followers don't follow/go on "independent escapades" is that leaders are bad at making clear (or even understanding) the relation of their marks to the music - the dreaded "unlead ocho" is usually not "the follower decided to do 3 ochos in a row instead of one on a whim", but "the leader started an ocho on the beginning of a phrase that lasts for 3 ochos, and then broke it before the music had fulfilled itself" or "the leader has established the last three times that when the 16 start he does a 3 ocho flourish, and if he wantes to surprise the follower by breaking it he needs to activly creating an alternative to the pattern he has set up". It is not possible to surrender to the music with somebody if that person is not surrendering to the music, and the follower surrendering to the leader, and the leader not surrendering to anything is in my opinion besides the point - that would be creating a situation where only the leader dances. )

  5. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    I don't subscribe to your 'unlead ocho' theory.
    bordertangoman likes this.
  6. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    What part? I think from the leaders perspective there are essentially 3 variations of lead/following breaking down:

    1) Sometimes a follower does something with neither mark nor a (to the leader discrenible) relation to the music
    2) Sometimes a follower does something with a mark, but no (to her) discernible relation to the music
    3) Sometimes a follower does something without a mark, but a (to the leader) discernible relation to the music.

    (and 1 way it should work: 4) the follower does something with a mark, and a relationship to the music that both the leader and the follower see)

    We can't really debug 1), but in the 2) case she is not actually dancing, she is doing some sort of leader-led gymnastics, and in the 3) case it is the leaders fault because if the musical structure sets something up he has to be aware of it, and he should have marked something that works with it, or if he marks against that structure he has to be aware that he is making a statement.

    So, as a leader i consider 3) something i can debug on my end, and i also have the experience that 1) is at least sometimes a 3), and i have gotten some idea what she is hearing in the music we can work things out. Now i agree that there are some people who just throw in stuff because they (often mistakenly) see an opening, or (even worse) because they feel that now it is their turn, but as i said, that is something that is not debuggable on the dancefloor, and there is not much i can do there besides trying to survive the tanda more or less gracefully

  7. NZ_Guy

    NZ_Guy Member

    Yes, I like this.
  8. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    The whole 'one of my pet ideas is that the reason beginning followers don't follow/go on "independent escapades" is that leaders are bad at making clear (or even understanding) the relation of their marks to the music' thing is something I disagree with.

    Auto-ocho machines and "independent escapadists" are very often followers who are _not yet_ listening to the music, very often assuming what should not be assumed (that ochos come in pairs, that two back steps are always followed by a cross, that some step sequences are always on every consecutive strong beat, etc.).

    Listening to the music will let a follower vary the timing of her steps or will let her adorn to mark the music if the leader isn't intending to move her, and not going to lead her to take _moving_ steps, especially not steps that break the abrazo. The music may be sacred, but the abrazo is even more sacred.

    Very musical followers may, on the other hand, develop resistance to moving when the leader is moving too fast to their musical taste (and e.g. is trying to stampede through the end of a musical phrase). But that makes them the reverse of the auto-ocho machine.
    bordertangoman likes this.
  9. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    I completely agree there, but what i am trying to think about is where these assumptions come from, and what i (as a leader) can do to work with these assumptions. This is very much not the only genesis of assumptions, but thinking about it this way has helped me on the dancefloor (i used to deliberately break assumptions, up to the point where i went against the phrasing and any common sense to do things like odd numbers of ochos starting in the middle of one phrase and going 3/4 of the next one. It did not make followers become concious of their assumptions, it just made for unpleasant dances that were about me being a self-righteous jerk and on an ego-trip - i hope i have gotten better). I have found that consistently fitting ochos into the music softens these assumptions from "ochos come in pairs" into "ochos end with a phrase". Or for example i have come to grudingly see that the 8CB as something that is well-thought out - when done on a standard phrase the cross is on an accent at the 4, and the weightchange/pause at the end accents the 8/the next 1. Setting the cross consistently on an accent supports the follower, and moves the assumption (hopefully) from "the cross follows two back steps" to "the cross is (usually) an accent".

    I think that listening to the music also lets a follower predict what a leader is going to lead - for example lets assume i see the space to do a fast run in milonga, and then want to stop. This is an easy thing if i start at the begin of a phrase, and end at the end of one, it is very difficult if i do it against the music. The music offers a channel of communcation between the two dancers that can augment our dancing together/synch.

    "The music is sacred, but the embrace is even more sacred" - that is a great statement. I read it, and i keep flip flopping between "This is exactly right" and "The music is more sacred" and i can think of situations where either version would have helped our dance.

    sixela likes this.
  10. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    Nely Fernando talks about the woman's role and then dances with Roberto "Pocho" Carreras in El Beso.

  11. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    And some never seem to get "that close."
    And, just for the record, I was that way, to, but somehow got over it. Feeling the possibilities of shared movement, a few really good teachers, and "personal growth," I think.

    Regarding the embrace... if a woman goes to Buenos Aires to dance with milongueros, you would think that they have invested enough that they would accept the embrace. They are no longer in their own culture.
    When they return home, they usually go back to the norms of the their culture, which probably means the guys don't have their arm all the way across their back, etc.
  12. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I enjoyed the dancing, but was struck at just how often he was moving backwards. Looking at a couple of other clips of them, he does it all the time.
  13. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I totally disagree with this. If anything my experience of followers is that the cross is assumed to be a double time step, and the accented step in the defunct 8CB would fall on the third, long step.
    I often dance the cross slowed down to cover two beats if it works with music. Good dancers get, it auto-crossers don't. Or it might be a way to commence a CCW giro
  14. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I'm not following either of you. If you dance the 8CB, one step per beat over an 8-beat phrase, the cross occurs on 5, with the resolution coming 678, but if you double-time the walks to the cross, it occurs on 4&, with the resolution on 567 and a beat to spare.
  15. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    But all the things you can do with that spare beat...it doesn't need to fall at the end, now, does it?

    An accent on a lady that has crossed and doesn't step can also be quite dramatic and musical (the subtle things that can happen when 'nothing' happens,...). Not to mention you can back-cross and turn her while she does 'nothing' (a good way to separate the autowalkers from the others, BTW. It's not even that mischievous since the 'I'll stick out my leg, oh, oops, we're not moving that way' can be construed as an adorno by the audience if done well).
  16. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Yes and no. You're talking about dancing tango, I was commenting on dancing the 8-count basic. In its normal execution it doesn't have a spare beat.
  17. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    If you start double-timing and get a spare beat, you're not longer doing the dreaded 'one strong beat per step' "normal" variant° anyway (which has the merit of ending at a phrase _when you start on the start of a phrase_, but beginners are usually late in picking up the start of a phrase anyway). So what you then do with the spare beat is yours to pick, I think.

    °which I think that even beginners should learn is only one out of a gazillion possibilities as early as possible, mind you. That's why I put normal in apologetic quotes. It's the simplest form, but not the normal form.
  18. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I thought it was a well established rule that you had to pause at the extra beat.

  19. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Of course. And don't forget, it has to be danced in the exact same way regardless of the music (oops, I've been watching the ATUS2013 competition videos for too long).
  20. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    I know American women who dance tango only once a year for a month in Buenos Aires because their local tango scene doesn't give them what they need. You could say if you take tango out of its culture, it's not really tango. Your local community in Portland confirms it. You can't get there what you felt dancing in Buenos Aires milongas. Dancers love to hug and be hugged.

    Getting close to someone isn't easy for everybody. Some get only as close as their computer screen to connect with others. Body contact in dance is intimidating when it's not part of your culture. Tango is connecting people around the world.

    For a tango community in any city to get the embrace, it needs a teacher who danced in Buenos Aires and understands that tango is an embrace. Even Buenos Aires today has very few who teach tango with body contact in the embrace. I went through the magazines and lists of classes to find those teachers: Marcelo Solis, Jorge Firpo, Francisco Gysel, Nestor La Vitola, Ricardo Viqueira, Jorge Kero, Osvaldo Natucci, Ruben Aybar, Alejandro Gee, Pedro Sanchez, Ricardo Bellozo, Rino Biondi, Jorge Garcia, Ricardo Maceiras, and Pablo Rodriguez. That's a short list of men who teach tango for the milonga. The women are Marta Fama, Monica Paz, Maria Telma Polcon, Celia Blanco, Silvia Dopacio, Alicia Pons, Ana Maria Schapira, Cherie Magnus, Laura Grinbank, Myriam Pincen, Susana Miller, Adela Galeazzi and Eva Garlez.

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