My way to think about Tango

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Through this page I‘d like to share with you my point of view on some of the themes that concern Tango. I don’t expect to be the owner of Truth, since there are a lot of approaches to this topic.
This is only my way of looking at things.

People choose couple dancing to enjoy the marvel of listening to music and moving to its beat, together with the pleasure of sharing it with a partner. So, the richer and better in quality our dancing is the more we will enjoy it.
Some people enjoy dancing even if they can only perform some simple moves and figures. Others need to learn more and to enrich their capacity of dancing. Tango is a dance that allows for permanent improvement. The essential quality of Tango is maintained even if we add some new ways of “leading” our partner. The best is to learn from those masters that
have something to teach us and then continue our own new ways.

Why dance Tango?

There is no particular reason. Some want to do it because they like the music, others because they enjoy the movements or just because they want to hold each other or socialize to look for a boyfriend/girlfriend, or just as a hobby. Many dance because is a good way of release the mind from the daily worries that stress them. So eliminating the stress is directely good for the health too. Others search for the expression of their own souls thru the body movement and dance. Dancing helps specially because music is helping to let the mind go. Leting the mind go free, makes them feel happy inmediately as the lack of happiness is just because the mind is busy with negative thougts.
Although most combine different motives, we probably agree that Tango is one of the most sensual, and best well- known couple dances in the world.
It permits so many variations in the way it is performed that the most elaborate dancers have their own personality and are distinguished from the rest. Tango gives you an individual identity. Some dancers are fastest or smoothest, others are more careful or more violent. You can mix all these elements depending on your feeling at any given moment. The richness of the dance allows us to perform a lot of movements with different dynamic, rhythm and feeling.
The most important thing, in my opinion, is to have a good time, to enjoy ourselves. To feel good and to share that feeling with your partner.

Music and rhythm

I agree with people who say that you can dance to the beat, the double beat or even mix it up as you please.
I would add that you can dance to the lead of any instrument in the band: the piano, the bass, the violin, the melody or the silences. Tango is so rich as music that following only the “beat” would be a waste.

Are there any laws for Tango? What must or mustn’t be done? How shall we do it?

A movement can be “marked” in different ways. An example would be the way in which you move an object. You can use gravity law or traction or pushing. You can move it with your hand, your foot, or the weight of your body.
With Tango we have something similar. To achieve a certain movement, we have different ways to mark it.
Those who study this point come to different conclusions as to which are the most comfortable “marks” for the couple and the most understandable for the woman. To make a “planeo” or an “enrosque” you can use your couple’s weight, the traction of the two bodies, a push from the free foot or just dissociation.
Each of these forms is an engine of movement. One chooses which is best. But it’s convenient to know them all because then you can choose one depending on the effect or the comfort you want to get. There aren’t any written laws.
I try to teach those forms that, according to the teachers of organic tango are the most comfortable, natural and organic, that use the least effort and are the most clear. But there are no laws. If the embrace should be open or close does not have to be written in stone. .It is convenient to learn from each type of embrace and to combine them according to the movement and effect that you want to achieve.
I think Tango is in permanent evolution. You always obtain better ways of marking and new elements or new movements.
I call elements the sacadas, arrastres, enrosques, pivots, ochos, boleos, ganchos, planeos, saltos, etc.
The newest elements are the volcadas, colgadas, alteraciones among others.
If you close yourself to new ideas you are limiting your performance.
As long as the essence of Tango is kept, why not trying evolution? And if the “essence” were lost why not create new styles? Many people wonder if what Piazzolla created was or wasn’t Tango. I think he was a creator, he knew enough about Tango to be able to innovate. We could call it advanced Tango, or give it a different name. The truth is his music is extraordinary and he gave a lot to art and culture.

What is the meaning of and why dancing in an Organic form?

Let’s say it would be the way in which the man marks the woman and the way they both move so that they can perform the steps in the most natural way. Natural is also with the least effort. Because how can we enjoy dancing if we don’t feel comfortable? If we doubt while we mark? If we push or pull? If the woman cannot understand our mark? If we lose our balance or make such and effort that we can’t continue the rest of the moves?
Through the study of “organicity” these problems tend to disappear.

Ways of transmitting how to dance. How we can learn and improve?

There can be different techniques for teaching and for transmitting the same idea. Each one chooses how to explain acertain topic.
For instance, we could say that the patterns of steps, the directions, the pivots or the dissociation are ways of analysing the dance. Learning sequences without having these elements would bring about complications. I call Improvising the possibility of dancing with any woman and using all the elements without having rehearsed them. We could even reorganize the sequences we have practised before in a new way, bacause we are the masters of the elements of tango dance.

How can you learn how to dance Tango?

First I want to mention the principal teachers with whom I have been learning and then I’ll give you my concept on learning.
Gustavo Naveira y Giselle Anne, Chicho Frumboli, Mauricio Castro, Carla Marano, Gabriel Angió y Natalia Games, Cristina Cortés, Pepito Avellaneda y Susuki, Cristian y Virginia, Damian y Nancy, Francisco Santapa, Luis Solanas, Dina Martinez among others.
As I was not satisfied with only one style, I tried others. Different techniques and different ways of explaining them. Different techniques for teaching. Different concepts on movement. For instance Chicho’s and Angio’s style differ in an obvious way. Each one has his own taste. Both have important information to give us. It is up to the student to decide what to take from each or to choose one or the other.
People used to tell me: You can’t learn modern and traditional style at the same time, you’ll get confused.
But if you take whatever you need or want because of its comfort, convenience, originality or tradition you should never be confused.
The classes were not enough for me. I had to see the shows in videos and analyse them again and again.
You can see organic dances on one side and purely choreographic ones on the other. But, you can also have a choreography based on organic moves.
Knowing the elements of the dance allows us to understand what the dancers are doing and why it’s working. If it is because they have learnt it by heart or because the women are feeling the lead. That’s the way to learn by watching. Then of course, you have to practice. So, the ideal situation would be to watch the tapes in groups or with your partner and then experiment with it yourself.
My central aim is to find a way to dance tango organically, and to teach it in the same way, so that the man can lead the woman and she can feel it as something natural and move easily and with pleasure.
Then, you can achieve excellent moves by improvising with any woman who can relax and get connected. The same can be said about girls, they must open to feel what the man’s body is proposing in order to let go and communicate through the dancing.
It’s also convenient to get together and interchange ideas with friends. These are called investigation groups and are a good weapon for the evolution of Tango dance.

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