Tango Trance - Boom and Bust

#1
I had some tango trance for the first time a week ago, after dancing for about 5 years on and off. There have been many periods of feeling like I did not want to do this any more. Now I am back to Bust again went to a lesson practica last night and just felt inadequate no connection.

I want that tango trance. But I think it is achievable only with the apilado where there is a strong desire as well to be connected with the person you are dancing with. I have read posts that suggest this desire needs to be deeply felt and manifested with no holding back.

How do you get tango trance? I need this to motivate me otherwise ...
I have a hard time finding the motivation to do this regularly
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#2
I had some tango trance for the first time a week ago, after dancing for about 5 years on and off. There have been many periods of feeling like I did not want to do this any more. Now I am back to Bust again went to a lesson practica last night and just felt inadequate no connection.

I want that tango trance. But I think it is achievable only with the apilado where there is a strong desire as well to be connected with the person you are dancing with. I have read posts that suggest this desire needs to be deeply felt and manifested with no holding back.

How do you get tango trance? I need this to motivate me otherwise ...
I have a hard time finding the motivation to do this regularly
Well it's apilado for me, not the exaggerated apilado of the stage, more
the comfortable apilado of the milonguero/salon BsAs dancer. You need
posture, body tone, balance, stability and projection to make your partner
confident in you and your dance. Find partners who will willingly commit
to the embrace and connect at the chest.

You also need to absorb the music, enough to be moved by and move to it.
Forget the classes of steps, figures and patterns, just improvise.

Read http://www.tangoandchaos.org/ written from a man's perspective
and a huge source of understanding and knowledge. Subscribe to and read
jantango's blog http://jantango.wordpress.com/ and see her videos
of milongas on YouTube.

Then attempt to make the dance your own, it's both more challenging
yet simpler than many people think.
 

Ampster

Active Member
#3
Hello aaah,

That's quite the broad question, and (IMHO) I don't think that there is one set answer to it, apilado, milonguero, salon, etc, etc.

Try reading this as my answer, a bit broad, but it has a lot of things in there that adds up to making up that "Tango Trance" --> CLICK HERE
 

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
#4
I didn't find that tango bliss on a regular basis until I devoted myself to doing the simplest steps, but doing them with the most expression and creativity I could summon. I remember seeing the bliss vanish every time I tried to throw any fanciness into the dance.

Try to become aware of and feel your partners' movement as much as possible.

Dance slowly. Try to enjoy the middle of each and every step, not merely the completion of it. Dance plenty of expressive pauses.

Don't ever do a movement that breaks the connection. Or, if you do, figure out why the connection broke and fix that problem.

When you realize that you've lost that complete mental focus, get it back.

Give your partner a dance that really fits to the music.
 
#6
I don't think that listening to the music closely, dancing slowly, in open embrace or whatever will give you this tango trance. For me, the only answer to your question is : it just happens, dude. And from my experience, the more I dance, the less often it happens. And of course the less often it happens the better it gets when it happens...
 
#7
I didn't find that tango bliss on a regular basis until I devoted myself to doing the simplest steps, but doing them with the most expression and creativity I could summon. I remember seeing the bliss vanish every time I tried to throw any fanciness into the dance.

Try to become aware of and feel your partners' movement as much as possible.

Dance slowly. Try to enjoy the middle of each and every step, not merely the completion of it. Dance plenty of expressive pauses.
Amazing you hit it on the nail for me on a few points especially on doing the simple steps - not getting too fancy, expressive pauses etc. Being in the MOMENT. I had to do this because I have been away from close embrace for a while. at one point the follower told me with a sigh that " I was such a good leader" what a booster!

I admit the follower "turned me on as she was attractive" so the desire was there in close embrace and I fet emboldened to manifest the desire through a snug embrace and some playfulness as I could tell she was enjoying it .. normally I am too afeared of rejection and error to let go so much and just dance open embrace for safety

All about connection - Feeling a strong desire, Getting in the moment, Knowing her, pauses and slowness and expressiveness to music

yes you are right!

Yesterday I danced with same follower at a practica and the magic was gone. She did not seem to want to do close embrace again or I was too timid to suggest it. Also she talked too much during dancing - drives away the connection I think.
 

newbie

Well-Known Member
#8
How do you get tango trance?
Yeah I'd like to know as well. I once tried to engineer a trance, putting together all the elements that I read were necessary (apilado style, being tired, a partner I'm very comfortable with) and nothing happened.
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#9
Yeah I'd like to know as well. I once tried to engineer a trance, putting together all the elements that I read were necessary (apilado style, being tired, a partner I'm very comfortable with) and nothing happened.
Engineer a trance? I don't think so.

Only some of this applies to a follower as I'd guess you're a leader.

As Ricardo Vidort apparently said, if you can't put your all into the dance,
don't dance (or something similar). For apilado you have to be very much
present so being tired won't help. You have to give of yourself. Sounds very
much to me as if you were having a different sort of tango and nothing
wrong with that. Potentially trance like it probably wasn't.

You can't plan it, or even work it out - well I cannot. It happens unwittingly,
unexpectedly you find your partner is at another place at the end of the tanda.
If I could bottle it, I would. And if you are looking for a trance as a leader
the same applies. Consciously looking for it means your head is already
in the way. I'm not sure as a leader I could call it a trance, call it bliss.

Anecdote time. I ride a bike and went into London yesterday on it. You have
to be in the zone on a motorbike, especially riding quickly, totally concentrated
on everything around. The consequences of inattention are obvious.

There's a challenging roundabout on the journey, the approach and exit
angles are very strange. On this road all the entry and exit slip roads at the
junctions are peculiar too. I think the whole road was engineered by some
traffic engineering jobsworths intent on slowing people down, read make things
as difficult as possible,

So when I go across this roundabout if it's clear I take up the challenge of
traversing as quickly as possible. It means concentrating, using all the road
available, changing the approach and exit lines and apexing the actual
roundabout late.

So I'm in the zone and a mile down the road after the roundabout I could
not remember going round it. There's no doubt I was concentrating, there's
no doubt I would have worked at going round but there I was in another place
not really knowing consciously how I got there. But now I've got this whole
roundabout sorted so the conscious almost becomes the unconscious.

Tango can be like that. Sometimes.

So forget engineering, think more of providing the right circumstances.
Dance sympathetically yet with the presence to give your partner
confidence in you. Find the music together. And do act on AndaBien's
advice as well as that is part of the presence and concentration needed.

You left out the influence of the music and the dynamics of the floor.
And the influence of you on your partner and your partner on you. She must
be present, engaged, involved to the exclusion of everything else.

It's calmness you need not tiredness. Then it might happen, occasionally.
It's tango, experiment. There isn't a cookbook.
 
#10
It's hard to describe without sounding like a 'New Age-er' but it works - you achieve it the same way you achieve it in any other task/skill that you are proficient in: it's just harder in Tango because there're more 'variables' to become unconscious of (those gorgeous 'variables' being the entire point of choice to Tango, obviously: partner, music and other couples on the floor... please don't take my wording as being dismissive of them... wordz-failure...).

The key is having enough trust in, and comfort with, your own proficiency and environment (and that trust not be misplaced) that you can comfortably 'switch off', becoming unconscious/no-minded - embody 'Entrega', to use Tango's nomenclature (it's all describing the same thing...): if you have a conscious intent to seek it, it will elude you (by its very nature); and the moment you become conscious of experiencing it, it will disappear (by its very nature).

You might find reading some Taoist and Zen philosophy more helpful than anything else, in terms of this - you can easily swap their terms for western and scientific 'equivalents' if you're so minded, whilst retaining most of the meaning.

Or/and examine your own experiences of this phenomenon in other spheres of life and build upon that knowledge.

Think of 'the trance' as being a nervous and stubborn kitten/bird/etc that you want to come to you (and you have no food to offer), and you won't go far wrong....:)

[Disclosure: I am not proficient enough in Tango - yet - to have experienced much more than a few glimmers of this feeling; but am extrapolating from these glimmers, since what I was doing/feeling at the time exactly conformed to all of my previous experiences of 'trance' whilst (non-) doing other things that I am proficient in, where it comes extremely reliably.]
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#13
The key is having enough trust in, and comfort with, your own proficiency and environment (and that trust not be misplaced) that you can comfortably 'switch off', becoming unconscious/no-minded - embody 'Entrega', to use Tango's nomenclature (it's all describing the same thing...): if you have a conscious intent to seek it, it will elude you (by its very nature); and the moment you become conscious of experiencing it, it will disappear (by its very nature).
Absolutely, create the conditions, don't chase the experience itself.

You might find reading some Taoist and Zen philosophy more helpful than anything else, in terms of this - you can easily swap their terms for western and scientific 'equivalents' if you're so minded, whilst retaining most of the meaning.
You won't get me on all that new age stuff!

But you could always read:
Tango Zen,
Walking Dance Meditation
By: Chan Park

Think of 'the trance' as being a nervous and stubborn kitten/bird/etc that you want to come to you (and you have no food to offer), and you won't go far wrong....:)
Not sure about this, trying too hard again perhaps?
Each to their own though.
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
#14
Absolutely, create the conditions, don't chase the experience itself.


You won't get me on all that new age stuff!

But you could always read:
Tango Zen,
Walking Dance Meditation
By: Chan Park


Not sure about this, trying too hard again perhaps?
Each to their own though.
but Zen is just accepting what is; its not trance or not-trance. Zen tango is all
tango; "how can you miss?"
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#15
Yeah I'd like to know as well. I once tried to engineer a trance, putting together all the elements that I read were necessary (apilado style, being tired, a partner I'm very comfortable with) and nothing happened.
For me, being tired doesn't help at all (relaxed, yes; tired, no).

Some type of head or face contact does, however. This is why some people don't like dancing with someone else where there is a big height difference.
 
#16
JohnEm: Yep, we obviously agree fundamentally: I know I pretty much just restated your point with mine, but I'd started typing mine before you posted yours, and thought I might as well finish.

S'ppose the points you made in reference to my post are more down to my not being totally clear than anything else:-

Yeppers to the inadequacies of New-Age (IMO/E): I was advocating the real deal - 'Ancient Wisdom', not 'Pop-cherry-picking-ancient-wisdom-lite'. Dunno, I've never read anything more 'True' than the Tao Te Ching, especially when thinking about it alongside some western metaphysics, relativity and quantum theory (plus my own experiences of 'trance' in my artforms/tasks and how I got there)... but good luck trying to apply much of that, generally, in UK culture [Nietzsche's very much winning the battle for my 'soul' at the moment...].

Anyyyway... some of it is applicable (and exceedingly relevant) within the tight confines of Tango-'trance'-'seeking'....

And I've been very intrigued by the book you recommended - I shall now buy it, cheers.

Re: 'The kitten', well I suppose we have our own kitten-enticing techniques. I meant pretty much: 'Don't look at it or make any psh-psh-psh noises or gestures - sit still, do something else; but have a nice, available lap and radiate warmth and welcome.'

Totally restating what I'd already written, but it was a more concrete example... and I'm a bit down at the moment - kittens always cheer me up!:D
 

newbie

Well-Known Member
#17
For me, being tired doesn't help at all (relaxed, yes; tired, no).
No, from what I've read you need to be tired. Being relaxed won't prevent you from trying out-of-comfort-zone moves, being tired yes. At least that's what I read, now I won't say that it works, in my case it didn't. I think there was a pre-requisite about the music too, has to be slow and with lots of pauses, borderline boring.
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#18
No, from what I've read you need to be tired. Being relaxed won't prevent you from trying out-of-comfort-zone moves, being tired yes. At least that's what I read, now I won't say that it works, in my case it didn't. I think there was a pre-requisite about the music too, has to be slow and with lots of pauses, borderline boring.
I don't get the point of you keep claiming tiredness when you've already
said that didn't work for you and everyone else here is telling you something
different. Reading isn't the key, only the clue. Tango can be over analysed
and certainly isn't prescriptive.

Tiredness makes it energyless and you need to put in the effort. And actually,
so does she. Partners need to be totally in tune, you need not just to dance
within your comfort zone but your partners too. Do nothing to disturb
the peace of the connection and your partner's confidence in you.
She then can close her eyes and concentrate intently on the movement
knowing she is safe in the embrace and potentially achieve her tango zen
even if you cannot because the floor conditions are just that bit too demanding.

Frankly, you seem to be chasing the wrong thing.
Don't seek the trance, always seek the very best dance.


Here's a little more about Tango Trance:

"The state of being so completely immersed in the music,
and so profoundly connected with your partner,
that movement flows from within the partnership,
uninhibited by conscious thought."
Dan Boccia

And here is jantango from her blog:

Tango requires us to be in the present moment with our partner.
If we are distracted or allow our minds to wander, we aren’t present.
And our partners can feel it. It is a discipline in a way, a different level
of awareness that we can bring to tango that we don’t necessarily have
in the course of busy lives. We can develop our level of presence
when we dance in an embrace.


If we feel disconnected from life in general, tango brings a different perspective.
We can’t avoid connecting in the embrace and being present in the moment.
This isn’t a trance–it’s being in a state of awareness.
We can take that awareness to everything we do.


This is the very opposite of tiredness, full blog post here:
http://jantango.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/tango-trance/

And perhaps that description is why I prefer the term tango bliss.
Completely in the moment to the exclusion of everything else.
 
#19
I think there was a pre-requisite about the music too, has to be slow and with lots of pauses, borderline boring.
Yes, and if one wasn't in a trance, actually boring. I often find that the right state of mind makes dancers perceive music very differently, so that a weirdly tedious track can be magically transformed.

And here is jantango from her blog:

Tango requires us to be in the present moment with our partner.
If we are distracted or allow our minds to wander, we aren’t present.
And our partners can feel it. It is a discipline in a way, a different level
of awareness that we can bring to tango that we don’t necessarily have
in the course of busy lives. We can develop our level of presence
when we dance in an embrace.


If we feel disconnected from life in general, tango brings a different perspective.
We can’t avoid connecting in the embrace and being present in the moment.
This isn’t a trance–it’s being in a state of awareness.
We can take that awareness to everything we do.


I'm delighted to be in total agreement with Jantango over this! Total concentration on my partner and the act of following and trust in him/her is the greatest joy - and challenge - of tango. Sadly, I have found it increasingly difficult to get that sense of being "in the moment" from dancing but it is a discipline that I should work on.
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
#20
Yes, and if one wasn't in a trance, actually boring. I often find that the right state of mind makes dancers perceive music very differently, so that a weirdly tedious track can be magically transformed.

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I'm delighted to be in total agreement with Jantango over this! Total concentration on my partner and the act of following and trust in him/her is the greatest joy - and challenge - of tango. Sadly, I have found it increasingly difficult to get that sense of being "in the moment" from dancing but it is a discipline that I should work on.
I think total concentration is a mistake to aim for. I would suggest that being in a state of relaxed attentiveness, as to being in the moment; its a bit like Alice in wonderland the harder you try to get somewhere the further you are from it.
 

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