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La Pista y La Ronda

Very nice and simple graphic illustrating some of the key elements of good floorcraft for dancing Argentine Tango. There are more complex illustrations out there and feel free to post them below, but I do like the simplicity of this one.

La Pista translates loosely to "the dance floor." Another commonly used term is La Ronda (The Round) which is more closely related to "the line of dance." In other words, we dance in the line of dance (La Ronda) on the dance floor (La Pista). But these terms can be used interchangeably.

For newer (and not so new) dancers, the main things to notice in this illustration are:

  1. There is an outer lane, an inner lane, and the center of the dance floor. Generally, better dancers dance in the outer lane, but may sometimes use the inner lane as well, but rarely the center of the floor. It should be noted, that not all dance floors are large enough for these 3 areas. For example, at our milongas (Plaka and 57th), there is really only room enough for an outer lane and a center of the dance floor.
  2. The outer lane should be wider than what is represented in the illustration. My opinion is that it should be approximately two body widths. You do need room to move a little sideways to execute ochos and basic turns. So, the inner lane or those dancing in the center, should not crowd the outer lane. Too often, dancers straddle the outer and inner lanes.
  3. Dancers should stay in their lane during an entire song. If you are forced from the outer lane into the middle lane, you should stay there until the song ends and only then move back to the outer lane. It is considered very bad manners to constantly switch lanes during a song.
  4. Dancers should generally enter the dance floor at the corner's, unless it is an oddly shaped dance floor. Leader's entering the floor should attempt to make eye contact with the leader that they are entering the floor in front of. That leader should then nod or indicate approval for the couple to enter the floor in front of them. You do not have to do this if there is plenty of room for you to enter the dance floor without getting in anyone's way, but this is rarely the case on a crowded dance floor. This also means that leader's need to have their heads up when dancing and paying attention, especially when near a corner, so that they can acknowledge couples wanting to enter La Ronda. (Organizers: Do not put tables in the corner, that is where people need to cue up to enter the dance floor.)
  5. Avoid going backwards against the line of dance. A small back step is generally acceptable, but it should be small and preferably after you have first moved forward. What is unacceptable is taking large or multiple back steps against the line of dance. It is especially unacceptable for leaders to be facing against the line of dance and moving forward. I often say that the leader behind me should never be able to focus on my face. The only time he sees my face should be as it is in motion turning. It should never stop and move towards him.
  6. This is not in the illustration, but is one that I see more and more. Do not walk across the dance floor if people have already started dancing. Organizers can help with this by making sure that there is space behind the tables for walking, if at all possible.

Click here for more about Floorcraft and General Milonga Etiquette.

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Apres Diem Milonga

Apres Diem is a relaxed yet sophisticated take on the european style of dining. Apres Diem is an international bistro serving great food, espresso drinks, coffee/rotating desserts, full bar serving variety of cocktails.

3rd Sundays in April, May, and June 2019

7pm - 10pm - Traditional Music
10pm to 11pm - Mix of Alternative and Traditional

DJ: Clint Rauscher
Hosts: Shelley Brooks & Clint Rauscher

$10 Admission

Apres Diem Lounge 
931 Monroe Drive
Suite C-103
Atlanta, Georgia 30308

https://apresdiem.com/

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Translation of El Ultimo Cafe

The Last Coffee
lyrics by Cátulo Castillo
?music by Héctor Stamponi

Your memory touches down like a tornado,
the autumn sun begins to set again
I watch the drizzle, and as I watch
the spoon stirs in the coffee…

In the last coffee
that your lips coldly
ordered that time
in a sighing voice. 

Visit Poesía de Gotán: The Poetry of Tango to see the rest of the lyrics.

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Juan D'Arienzo: A Biography

Juan D’Arienzo (December 14, 1900-January 14, 1976) was a violinist, pianist, band leader and composer. His nickname was “El Rey del Compás” (The King of the Beat). D’Arienzo was born on December 14th, 1900 in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Balvanera. His orchestra is considered one of the "Big Four" orchestras of Argentine tango. 

Part 1: Introduction and Early Career (1900 to 1934)

Part 2: Tango Cancíon and The Guardia Nueva: The Lead Up to D'Arienzo

Part 3: The D'Arienzo Revolution (1935 to 1939)

Part 4: Re-Invention and the Final Years (1940 to 1975)

Part 5: References and Resources

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Tanda 63: Pugliese Instrumental Tango from 1944

This week's tanda is a beautiful, dramatic instrumental set by Osvaldo Pugliese.

The first song of this set, "Recuerdo" is considered by many a turning point in the composition of Argentine Tango music. It was composed in 1924 and has a complexity that had not been seen before. There is some debate over who the composer was. It was originally registered by Adolfo Pugliese, Osvaldo Pugliese's father, but Osvaldo said that he gave it to his father to register because his father was having a hard time financially. Apparently, it was later re-registered under Osvaldo's name. Some also say that it belongs to Osvaldo's brother, who left the composition behind after moving away. I would go with Osvaldo's story, since the music sounds so similar to his other compositions. If it was Osvaldo's composition, then he wrote it at the age of 19.

The title means "memory" and the original title was "Recuerdo para mis amigos (Memory of my friends)." Pugliese said that he wrote it in honor of his friends who used to meet at a café called La Cueva del Chancho (The Pig's Cave).

And the other songs in this tanda are just as strong with Pugliese's characteristic flow of melodic tenderness marked with strong punctuations of rhythm.

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Creative Weight Change Part 1 with Cruzada and Parada

Teachers: Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks
Song: Solamente Ella by Carlos di Sarli with Jorge Durán 1945
More at: Tangology101.com

The main focus of this class is the idea of having the follower change weight in order to enter into cross system rather than the leader and dancing slowly and elegantly with women taking an active role. Then we added a short figure including a cruzada (cross), with a parada (stop) mordida (bite).