Tango Argentino > Show tango is not REAL tango?!

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by larrynla, May 6, 2009.

  1. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    well perhaps- though I haven't yet been to any town where someone of advanced level would come up and dance with an unknown...strike that...Robert Hauk of Portland is very good about coming up and dancing with people he doesn't know. He's just a great guy.

    But the "snazzy" guy's I've either seen when traveling, or who come to town to teach...no way. Almost without exception- you'd have to be on their "A-list". Most newcomer's in AT seem to get asked to dance by beginners first, then, maybe you know someone there and get a "lucky break" and they dance with you, other people see you aren't stumbling all over the place and you get other dances...the hard facts, but I think closer to the norm than not, sad though it is for the followers who are "new" to a scene.

    The micro-movements I am talking about though, aren't necessarily adornments, but actual steps that are lead to the follower that occur pretty much fully on the body and are very subtle and cause very tiny micro movements in the follow- rhythm changes, upper body only movements, lower body only movements, tiny steps that you quite literally can't see the lead for standing 2 feet away.
  2. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    it's ok Steve- it wasn't directed to you- but I have noticed that many people in my own area do consider simpler looking steps as "easy" and uninteresting and they do "plod" around a crowded floor because they haven't learned how to make variations on simpler or smaller steps interesting and they have dreadful connection, the dreaded "no embrace- embrace" that one teacher here (Argentine) teaches her students maybe because she thinks they can't handle anything else, though she uses the usual type of close embrace I am used to in her own social dancing. You'd think her students would notice....
  3. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    bastet, I totally beleive that. There are also other issues. My daughter is probably destined to be a A.T. show dancer, therefore, only a few of the A-listers would want to dance with her anyway. (...and vice versa).

    I know I have been a pain with my posts, but this thread and all your posts made me realize things that are very important for my daughter and I, to recognize, if she is to enter the world of A.T. dance.

    It is the reason I get myself involved in such controversial topics....I love my daughter and give her my total support. If I get a little bruised in my search for understanding,...it's well worth it.

    Thankyou all.
  4. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    well- I don't think the intent is too bruise, but social dancing is a skill, and one that people who study tango spend years acquiring. It is certainly one thing to be able to take lessons with teacher "X" or pro "X" who can give near perfection in a lead or follow than to be out in the thick of things on the social floor having to "make do" with your average person, whose lead or follow may not be perfect, and still find a way to connect and enjoy each other through the dance and develop enough skill to adjust to the partner- that is a real skill there's no doubt about it and one thing that makes a lot of social dancers "popular". I give this warning to leads or follows I know who don't go to group classes, and only go to privates instead, becasuse reality will set in the first time they go to a milonga and don't have a good time. So I'm not directing it at you or your daughter, but perhaps it is a facet of tango you may not be thinking about at the moment.
  5. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    You are most welcome!

    BTW, if you ever end up in Seattle... :D
  6. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    Well, perhaps I can take this lemon and make lemonade out of it.

    It doesn't look like Missy will be cut out for Milonga dancing,...so, that will give her more time to work on her latin, and her A.T. privates.
    Perhaps she will be an A.T. performance dancer and perform one day, for some of DF's members to see. I will let you all know if and when she is ready and perhaps some of you can help find a venue for her and her partner to perform at.
  7. Tango Bellingham

    Tango Bellingham New Member

    [sigh] We really don't need any more "performance" dancers - there's quite enough of them on "Dancing With The Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance", etc., people who are supposedly dancing Argentine tango but never set foot inside a milonga. And if all she is doing is "taking privates" (stage tango or social?) but never dancing socially, she's not going to have a clue what the dance is about. Sorry, but that's reality.

    I have a better idea - why don't you learn social Argentine tango? That way your daughter can learn the dance the old-school way, from one of her relatives.
  8. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    I don't know how to interpret this - I don't know what "show tango" and "A-lister" have to do with each other. The people who would want to dance with your daughter would be, I assume, simply other people who share her interest in show tango. They would be A-listers only in the sense of having sufficient technical dance training to execute all the needed moves. Presumably an A-lister who prefers social-style AT would not be interested.

    Also I don't think the comparison between AT & flamenco makes sense. I studied flamenco and it is inherently a socially interactive dance. The dancers are expected to interact and play off of each other, the musicians, and the audience. To my knowledge, AT doesn't have that, at least not on a social floor. Obviously if you're doing a paid stage AT performance, then of course you are dancing for the audience. In a social setting, you're not. If anything, flamenco would more closely compare to today's hip-hop dance battles.
  9. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    Originally Posted by Steve Pastor
    In tango I simply refuse to sleep walk around the room taking tiny steps, when there is energy in the music, room to dance bigger, and my partner will dance with me.

    So Steve.... what are you saying? That the size of your step is indicative of the quality of your tango? I believe the quality of the step is more important then it's size.
  10. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    If you believe that good dancing is a reflection of the music, and you always dance small steps, what are you "saying"?
    When the amount of energy in the music changes, and you put the same amount of energy into your steps, what are you "saying"?
    When the music surges dramatically after a pause, and you dance the same small steps, what are you "saying"?
    When the bandoneon whips off a long run of rapid fire notes, and you dance the same small steps in a straight line, what are you saying?
    When a musician drags out a note for, lets say, an entire bar, and you dance the same small step(s), what are you saying?
  11. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    Steve what I'm saying is I see too many clowns dancing very long steps and racing around the floor like the horse that just won the Kentucky Derby. Do you think on a crowded floor one can't execute a simple molinete or an ocho cortado?When have you ever seen one of the old milongueros race around the floor even if he's the only one dancing. The size of the step does not generate the energy it's the execution. I didn't say every step has to be equal in size and dull without energy.I understand there are those that walk like zombies very slowly and without feeling or musicality and I would hope those are the ones you speak of. On the other hand when it's late and the floor becomes less crowded that seems to be the time the clowns who like to perform show up.Keep in mind I paid my 5 pesos to social dance all night.
  12. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    I do second this suggestion. Why? because the performers who do AT, but don't dance it socially (just like the kids in So You Think You Can Dance), are laughable when they perform to the trained AT eye. They are simply doing the "Monkey see monkey do thing." Everything is so contrived.
  13. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Well, now, I'm not sure I'd go quite that far.

    I think it's perfectly reasonable that AT performers--who generally have outstanding technique and are outstanding AT dancers in general...and I mean know how to lead and follow instead of doing routines by rote--don't necessarily social dance. I don't care for stage-type AT, but I can respect it as a valid form of led-and-followed AT. And I can see where, if they so desired, those dancers could probably social dance with nary a hitch.

    Or perhaps I've misunderstood what you meant...

    (Although I completely agree that a lot of "AT" performances are pure monkey-see-monkey-so. I just think that's a factor of having people learn a routine for a TV show, or a case of dancers from other styles thinking they can wing it.)
  14. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    I am confused. How could any A.T. dancer not love this.

    Also, if an A.T. dancer that has "outstanding technique", and would be the best a social tango, but doesn't enjoy it because they perfer show tango, should that be held against them?

    Thanks Peaches,....that's the way I see it as well.
  15. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    Mariam & Leo

    Mariam and Leo are amazing and who wouldn't enjoy watching them perform but I think everyone is missing the point. When they dance at social dances they dance social tango like everyone else (well a little better than everyone else) but they don't do show tango. The problem with the novis wannabe show tango enthusiast is they want to show off at social dances and that makes it hard for everyone else to enjoy themselves. Like someone said earlier
    "if you want to dance stage tango...get on a stage"
  16. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    What he said!

    Although personally, although I cannot find fault with their execution, I thought that performance was boring as hell. To me, stage tango just looks so fake. (Or designed to look impressive to people who wouldn't know good tango if it bit them in the rear.) *Oooh, look at me! I'm being dramatic!!! What, you missed it?!?! Here, let me do it again... Behold, DRAMA!! Look at how sensual I'm being! Look at how dramatic I'm being! I'm so dramatic, I can't stop expressing myself without exclamation marks!* Acted drama and emotion is so much less interesting to me than watching two dancers who are dancing well, for each other and for the joy of expressing the music. No drama faces required.

    Here's my preference for performance tango...by far: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmHNqe23P0k
    Or another example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiR5ZDm5phc&feature=channel_page
  17. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    Of course, how can you not love this? That is Miriam Larici. She is an outstanding AT performer. Former headliner for Forever Tango. She dances social Argentine Tango very well. I've danced with her many times, and she's a friend.

    Yup, That's what I was alluding to.
  18. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    Although personally, although I cannot find fault with their execution, I thought that performance was boring as hell. To me, stage tango just looks so fake. (Or designed to look impressive to people who wouldn't know good tango if it bit them in the rear.)

    Peaches It's not who the professional is the point is they don't dance stage tango at a social dance (unless they are asked to preform) like your two examples they were the only ones dancing which is a SHOW. And when the show was over all of the wannabes jumped up and started doing their show moves on the crowded social dance floor. I've been to many milongas as I'm sure you have and be honest how many times have you noticed someone doing dangerous kicks or show moves causing the entire floor of leaders to stay away in order to keep you from being injured. I enjoy watching all different styles of tango but lets keep the social floor safe and enjoyable.
  19. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    Hmm ... I think there is another difference though - between what I'd call "TV Tango" and "Show" Tango. "TV Tango" seems to be all about showing off tango to the casual viewer. They couldnt care less what "authentic" tango looks like. They just have this vague idea that it's "passionate" and "sexy as hell". So what they want is what they get. I'm sure Miriam Larici wouldnt be hamming it up in a normal show quite as much as she does in her TV performances. And Im sure we wouldnt be saying "get a trapeze!" if we saw her performing outside the TV Studio.

    As with others, TV Tango just tends to leave me cold. But at the same time I know that Im not in its target audience.

    Otherwise "show tango" spans from "tango for the informed" (festivals, exhibitions) to "tango for the tourist" (supper and show dancing etc). Some of that is close to "social" tango and some isnt. But you are more likely to find something at those events you can enjoy. And that therefore feels "real" to you.
  20. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Same here in London although it tends to be the non-teachers/non-performers that tend to only want to dance with (who they view as...??) the A-listers. Teachers here (both home grown or tourists) are quite good when it comes to giving everybody a shout - no matter their level. Also, London ladies tend not to be shy when coming forward and are ballsy when it comes to approaching a guy for a dance.

    Not the same here. Even if the follower is an absolute beginner (in some cases merely a watcher and not a dancer) she'll get asked to dance. Proviso: (1) she's young enough to be his daughter; or (2) pretty enough to be on the front of Vogue.

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