Tango Argentino > Tango Trance - Boom and Bust

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by aaah, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Oh but it's completely different, my best dances have almost the opposite requirements: stamina, music with a lot of rythm variation, open embrace and a partner in a playful mood, not one who has come here to sleep on my shoulder. But for the sake of a possible trance I was ready to put together all the elements which otherwise will mean a bad dance.
    And again one more thing, I think you have to be on a ship. I remember a Tango-L post by someone who was back from a tango cruise and wrote that he had a tango trance 100% of the time with a certain other passenger.
  2. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Oh you are in completely the wrong mindset.
    But it's your choice of what you think is good and bad.
    It's just not mine.

    BTW, the embrace doesn't have to be not playful.
    And it's more physically challenging than you seem to think.

  3. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    not an octopus by any chance?? :lol:
  4. chanchan

    chanchan Member

    This explains almost everything, but a question still remains: do you really think that "a partner your're very comfortable with" means a bad dance and "out-of-comfort-zone moves" means good dance?
  5. mkjohnson

    mkjohnson Member

    I'm with JohnEm in prefering "tango bliss" to "tango trance" - sometimes people equate 'trance' with a sort of passive, solitary experience and tango bliss has always felt just the opposite to me. It's being very present, in the moment, deeply connected to my partner (as other people have already stated).

    Another thing that can make or break that experience is the floor condition. If the leader is constantly having to do some "defensive driving" because the floor is chaotic, or if the follower is constantly afraid of being run into, reaching that state of attentiveness is very difficult, often impossible.

    Every time I have had that wonderful experience it's started with my leader being very moved by the music - regardless of the type of music. I've had it only once in open embrace, but it is possible and it took a great deal of concentration to stay connected at that level. It helped that the floor was almost empty and again, my leader was completely immersed in the music. All I had to do was hear the music through him to be there too. It's happened during fast milongas and slow tangos, so I don't think the tempo makes too much of a difference for me anyway. However, if the tempo is very fast, open embrace hinders the experience (again, speaking only from my own experience).

    Being tired makes it very hard to be as present and attentive as I need to be. Instead I need to be very comfortable (in myself - not necessarily familiar with my partner), feel safe, and be able to really connect with the music.
  6. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    A trance dance is an experience, not an achievement. Trying to achieve a trance is like striking a match to better see the dark.
  7. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    For me, what keeps me from trying "out of comfort zone moves" as you put it (I would put it as breaking the connection), is either the type of music, or the follower's embrace. Being tired has no relevance. It's more about having no stress or anxiety.

    The right type of music would be something that keeps me from doing a bunch of rhythmic moves. However, if the first song in the tanda is boring to me, I'm not going to ask someone to dance. I guess to me, slow does not in any way equate to boring (with respect to music).

    Granted, different people will get different feels from songs. Here is a song, "Yo No Se Porque Razon" by Rodriguez, that I would describe as a "connection" song.

    [yt]<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/3mAgTFX1qS0&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/3mAgTFX1qS0&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>[/yt]


    BTW, this couple (and particularly the follower), is feeling something different from me, especially in the first part of the song. By the second verse, I warmed up to what they were doing.
  8. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I understand this type of dancing, "for the steps", as I call it. There's nothing at all wrong with that, and some songs inspire me to do this. It's fun. It's just a different direction, emotional response, or whatever, from dancing "for the connection", or bliss state.

    I'm guessing the ship comment was supposed to be a joke.


    I will say that having the right partner (more specifically, her embrace) seems (to me) to be every bit as important, as how you approach the dance, along with how the music makes you feel.
  9. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    DChester is right. We might have different ideas of what we mean by "tango trance".

    Newbie, you might be thinking of more of a mental trance, whereas I'm thinking more of a physical trance. For me, being tired is counter productive, and I need to be very much in my comfort zone.
  10. Madahlia

    Madahlia Member

    On first hearing I didn't get that feeling. What is it that makes it a "connection" song for you?

    On a different thread, is that the "pressing on the lungs, banana hand" that people were mentioning elsewhere?
  11. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Nor did I, though it's a perfectly good rhythmic and melodic tango song.
    I'd hoped before viewing that I was going to be looking at
    and hearing a dance I could "see into". Not so.
    The song is almost as restless as their dance
    with its ever changing embrace which is certainly not apilado.

    Oh yes, that as well.
    Actually more like its close cousin, the right kidney hold.
    Still with the bananas though.

    dchester has now started this visual thing. As has been mentioned
    by me ad nauseum now, performances are something different.
    You're not likely to see entraga there. So I've wracked my brain
    for something that might be appropriate to view and
    come to the conclusion that it's a video I used to watch repeatedly
    earlier on when I was trying to work out what makes Tango a dance
    as opposed to a walk down the floor.

    So pop over to Tango and Chaos and look at Ismael El Jalil (or Heljalil)
    with an unnamed partner. I read later that Janis thinks he is sublime
    to dance with - that will do for me.


    The dance looks deceptively simple but there's a lot going
    than first meets the eye. This spurred me to try and master
    cross basic walking, which Ismael traspies into for nearly
    every forward step and out of for every sideways movement.
    She, meanwhile, looks to be oblivious which is as it should be.

    It's also directly on YouTube now here:
    But still preferably get into the song first by going to tangoandchaos and
    reading Rick McGarrey's introduction and translation of Ne Me Extrana,
    which I also didn't know what to make of at the time. Hopefully I do now!
  12. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I doubt that I can give a direct answer to your question. I've never actually taken the time to analyze what the objective things are (like major vs minor key, tempo, etc.). I guess it's related to the emotions that it invokes (which clearly isn't the same for everyone, but I know it when I feel it). It has sort of a melancholy feel for me, which makes me want to, move slowly and pause a lot. Around 1:00 into the song, was where I felt the dancers came much closer to what I was feeling from the song (and stopped trying to dance on every beat they heard).

    Some songs give me quite different responses. They might energize me (make me want to dance more lively, or do more steps).

    Here are some more examples of songs that give me the "connection" feel, in case this helps to better explain it.

    Derrotado, by DiSarli

    [yt]<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/HuM0qLEnC7E&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/HuM0qLEnC7E&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>[/yt]



    Mirame de frente, by Rodriguez

    [yt]<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Bm_pFVzZq8Y&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Bm_pFVzZq8Y&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>[/yt]



    El Yacare, by D'Agostino (unfortunately, only a portion of the song)

    [yt]<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/WfxWIhAQFts&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/WfxWIhAQFts&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>[/yt]

  13. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Mirame de frente, by Rodriguez

    [yt]<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Bm_pFVzZq8Y&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Bm_pFVzZq8Y&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>[/yt]


    My favourite as the dance follows the music.
    It's for watching so little if any interpretation of the melody
    which means no pauses of almost any length, no calmness.

    And of course the lung hold yet again from Melina.

    Yewk! My lips are sealed!
  14. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    My goal when I go out for tango is to leave the event feeling at least as good, if not better than I did when I got there.

    Aiming for something more specific or special is setting myself up for disappointment. I don't need any more of THAT in my life!

    It also leaves me more open to appreciation of what "is", which gives me a greater chance of feeling good about the evening instead of frustrated.
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I was going to say that I'm surprised by how little people seem to experience this trance/bliss in open embrace. I have felt it in open (or a combination of open and closed) many, many times. But, admittedly, this was mostly with my teacher, so perhaps it has more to do with dancing with a partner I was very comfortable with. In milongas, with different partners, it has happened much more rarely.

    For me, though, the trance/bliss of an open embrace tends to feel entirely different than that of a close embrace. More intense, less meditative. Perhaps music (which has often been "alternative" if we were dancing in open) plays a part. But despite the difference in how that bliss/trance felt, it was very real nonetheless...that same feeling of "surfacing" or "coming back to reality" when the song is over.

    Perhaps another reason why bliss/trance in a milonga in close embrace seems so rare is because so often the technique, musicality and embrace are so lacking. This isn't railing against simplicity. Simple is good...if done well, and with feeling and creativity. Unfortunately, so many leaders seem to get the "simple is good" idea stuck in their head and use it as an excuse to shuffle around the room, the same way every time, regardless of music. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, pause...shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, pause...shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, pause. By the end of the first song, much less the tanda, I could lead myself because there is so little variation. No variation in step length, on variation in speed, or feel of the embrace or his body. Boring. Boring is not conducive to trance/bliss.

    I remember one workshop thingy (for lack of a better term), when some of the visiting teachers were talking about just what it is that makes "simple is good" so powerful. There was a lot of agreement that the reason came down to there being so much nuance in the embrace to feel and experience and enjoy...but this is something that can take years to achieve. Simply put, most guys have absolutely no nuance whatsoever in their embrace or dancing.
  16. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

  17. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    It's boring to watch, to boot. I can't say that the women who were dancing with the men who dance this way were feeling "bliss" or not, but I was kinda feeling that that was what was expected. That they felt that they were "challenged" by things that were more energetic or "creative".
    Sort of like a safe place to hang out.

    For me the "bliss" is being totally in the music, knowing that my partner is there with me, and is comfortable with the way we are moving.
    Big smiles after a dance...
    Um, but that's not "Tango Bliss". Is it?
  18. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Oh yes it is! And it's a very good start for
    anything deeper which depends on the other
    things outside your personal influence.
  19. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Very true. If the two of you are not in sync with the music (and of course each other), it's not happening.
  20. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    IMO, there is nothing "simple" about doing basic steps really well. It takes a lot of practice and understanding, and it doesn't come naturally, at least not for me. I'm almost always experimenting with my walk (among other things).

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