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Tag Name: performances

Does humor belong in Tango?

Frank Zappa used to ask, "Does humor belong in music?" They are asking "Does humor belong in Tango?" I think the answer is yes. There are many ways of expressing Tango: elegant, sensual, playful, sexy, fluid, etc.

What they are doing here is very difficult and takes a very high degree of skill to do well.. and they are doing it very very well.

Switching Roles: Women Leading & Men Following?

I think it can be very beneficial for leaders to learn to follow and followers to learn how to lead. Exposure to the other role is good for learning what the other person might expect from you. I think both come away with more of a respect for the other role. I don't think one role is necessarily easier or harder.. they both have unique challenges to them.

When leaders learn to follow, it makes them more aware of the necessity to be clear and decisive (but not pushy or forceful) in their movements as leaders. It also teaches them to be more patient and to give the women time to finish their steps.
I would be interested to hear what women learn about following by learning to lead. I know that some when I have talked to say that they did not realize how much women depend on men for their balance. They also learn that it feels very uncomfortable for leaders if the followers are guessing or fidgeting during the dance.
I am sure there are many more things that could be learned by switching roles.
Of course, there are other reasons for followers to learn to lead, other than becoming better followers. They might just want to learn to lead because they think they might enjoy it and we often have more women than men, so it would be a chance to dance more.

Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Musicality

There are many differences between beginner, intermediate and advanced dancers, but one is musicality.

Beginner's step on the beat and maybe throw in some double times here and there.

Intermediate dancers change their rhythm, cadence, tiempo, energy, etc tanda to tanda depending on the orchestra being played. For example, you would not dance the same way to D'Arienzo that you would dance to Fresedo or Di Sarli. Very few dancers get to this level. I see so many people dancing exactly the same regardless of which orchestra is playing.

Advanced dancers change their rhythm, cadence, tiempo, energy, etc within the same song. There are clear shifts in most Tango songs and to be able to hear them coming and adapt your dance to them is what makes a dancer great to me.

Watch this video of Chicho and watch where he changes in energy... 22sec with the violins he goes from very energetic to much more calm and his steps get smaller and more controlled. You might even see some changes before this, but a big change again at 1.16 his energy really picks up again and he starts doing bigger and bolder moves. Around 1.57 he shifts again. Last major shift at 2.08.

BTW... To me there are two Pure Genius moments in this dance as far as musicality are concerned: The short runs at 1.10 and the foot stomps at 1.43.

Canyengue Performance

Canyengue is one of the earliest forms of Tango and was probably the style that was taken over to Paris at the turn of the century. Here is a good demonstration of this style. It is very rhythmic and danced more into the ground than we dance tango today.