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11/27/2015 at 09:31 PM in blog folder icon Tango Classes
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). 

 

 

04/28/2015 at 09:01 PM in blog folder icon General Blogs
Thanks to TangoAirO from London for blogging about my History of Argentine Tango page and my Tango Radio Station from their site Learning2Tango.

 

04/21/2015 at 04:00 PM in blog folder icon History
Gambling on Tango: Casinos once again becoming the center for the Argentinian dance

In the late 1800s, Argentina had become a place of cultural diversity with major influences from the Africans, one of which was their rhythmic drum beats that later developed into the most sensual dance that's known to man - the Argentine Tango. Because it was a dance deemed unacceptable among the upper white class, many young men that belonged to the upper class still scoured the corners of Buenos Aires to learn the forbidden moves. These men eventually traveled to Paris, bringing the seductive dance to theatrical venues, creating a hyperbole that surrounded the dance and thus becoming more widely accepted as an art form.

Fast-forward more than two centuries later, the dance still holds a certain appeal that has got people wishing they could move as smoothly as a dancer executing this wonderful art form. To bring the tango to a wider audience, casinos are now inviting people to their establishments so that they can join them in reveling in the culturally significant dance.

Perhaps it's the long history between casinos and the Argentine tango that has had casino providers reminiscing. For a time, the tango was only performed by the lower class in what was referred to as low-life establishments, such as dance halls, bars, and gambling houses. Casinos are now tracing back to their old Argentinian roots and celebrating the dance in leading entertainment hubs. Although the major incentive for hosting tango events could stem from the popularity of online casinos, a trend that started when InterCasino launched in 1996. Since then, operators of land-based casinos have had to diversify and look more appealing for people with different interests. Whether it is actually a strategy to increase both gaming and non-gaming income or not, a tango night in a casino aims to give participants a glimpse into the heritage of a once forbidden art form.

From the weekly tango lessons in the Gulfport Casino Ballroom to the tango-themed charity event in Casino Shangri La, casino goers now have the chance to witness articulate and intimate moves of professional dancers, as well as have the opportunity to learn the steps of this beautiful Latin art.

 

12/16/2014 at 12:17 AM in blog folder icon Vals Classes

 

12/10/2014 at 10:57 PM in blog folder icon Traditional Tandas
This week's tanda is calm, rhythmic tanda by Francisco Canaro with Roberto Maida singing. It starts with the very popular "Invierno." It is such a sweet and smooth song. Click here for a great translation of the lyrics from the Poesía de Gotán blog.

You might notice that there are 5 songs here. No, this is not a 5 song tanda... but rather, I could not decide which song to end the tanda with. I think "Viejo Tiempo" is probably the best fit, but I also love "Paciencia." So, I put both on here so that you could listen and decide. "Viejo Tiempo / Old Time" makes sense because all of these songs have more in common with the "Guardia Viejo / Old Guard" period (1910 to 1925) than the Guardia Nueva or Golden Age period. To give a super brief and over-simplified explanation, the songs of the Guardia Viejo period would have focused more on the underlying rhythm while the music of the Guaria Nueva would have focused more on melody and harmony. Canaro is working with both here. 

 

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Here is one of my favorite all-time favorite performances by Pablo Rodriguez and Noelia Hurtado. It is such a sweet and tender performance. To me, nothing says tango quite like this performance. It also demonstrates the statement that "Tango is a sad thought that can be danced." You might notice how emotional they are after the performance. I do not know the details, but it is my understanding that this was their last performance together after many years of teaching and dancing with one another.

 

12/10/2014 at 10:12 PM in blog folder icon Vals Classes

 

12/10/2014 at 10:09 PM in blog folder icon Tango Classes

 

12/04/2014 at 01:07 AM in blog folder icon Tango Performances
Columbia, SC Regional Tango Festival Performance
November 2014

We had planned on dancing to something very slow, but then we were asked to perform live with the Alejandro Ziegler Orchestra. So, we decided to be bold and dance to their arrangement of Astor Piazzolla's "Michelangelo '70." This is completely improvised and we have never danced to this song before, much less their live version. I do wish we had been able to practice to it a few times, because i feel like it started coming together about half-way through. Thanks to Martin Ahrens for the video.

 

DubStep Tango Performance for Daza Dance Showcase
June 2014
This is our performance from the Daza showcase. This was part of a showcase put on by Daza Dance to showcase the students and teachers of the studio. This was an improvised performance, except for the lift at the very beginning.
 

 

History of Argentine Tango Performance
May 2014

The concept of this performance is to show a progression of Argentine Tango from its early days up to today, demonstrating different rhythms, embraces and styles.
 

 

Vals Performance from Charleston, SC Spoleto Tango Festival
May 2014

 

Leg Wraps Class Demo from Charleston, SC Spoleto Tango Festival
May 2014

 

12/04/2014 at 01:00 AM in blog folder icon Tango Classes
In this week's class, we focused on milonga con traspié. We had several people stay after class, because they were so excited about milonga... so we ended up running out of time to do the instructional part of the video... we will try to do one next week for this class.. but here are some highlights in text:

 

We started with more milonga basics of keeping the simple, regular time rhythm of 1, 2, 1, 2 by changing weight.

With all of these steps, we focus on:

* keeping the rhythm. Both the man and woman are responsible for holding the rhythm.

* staying relaxed and trying to release any tension in the embrace and especially in our hips and legs. This will help with quickly switching weight.

* precision footwork by bringing our feet completely together when we can.

* mixing dancing to the single, regular time rhythm and dancing double time. In my opinion, lots of people look like they are just running around the dance floor during milonga, because they are trying to dance double time the whole time. I prefer dancing in regular time and using double time more sparringly.

:07 to :16
Then we step outside partner, bringing out feet together and changing weight to the rhythm. Then we step back and change weight to the rhythm and repeat.

:17 to :21
Then we step outside partner, bring our feet together, change weight and immediately step back, change weight and back forward outside partner and repeat.


:25 - Traspié to the Side
There is a lot of confusion over the term traspie. Some think of it as a stumble step or as dancing in double time (quick-quick). While these are partly true, I think a more accurate definition is using the same leg twice. Some say it comes from the term "pie detras" which means "foot behind." I think this is a very accurate description of what happens.

We start the side traspié by stepping outside partner with our right, then we take a step to the side with our left and then forward AGAIN with the our left, leaving the right foot behind. So, we use our left to step to the side and then re-use it again to step forward.

We can also think of traspié as rebotes (rebounds) or arrepentidas (repents). We often do traspiés in double time or as syncopated steps, but that is not what defines a traspié. But do keep in mind that when some teachers talk about traspié they are using it as a synonym for double time or syncopation.

:44 - Here I step back and then perform a side traspie and back to collection. Then I take a forward step and another side traspie and back to collection. Then immediately to a back traspie and continue back.

1:36 - Mix n' Match Traspiés
Here we do a string of traspiés forward, side and back for both the leader and the follower. You can see here that we can mix and match the traspiés. I can do forward while she does back or we can both go forward or both go back etc.

 

 

12/04/2014 at 12:54 AM in blog folder icon Tango Classes

 

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