Showing posts with label did you you know. Show all posts
Showing posts with label did you you know. Show all posts

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Styles of tango

What are the different styles of tango and why is it important?


For some time I have been intrigued by the different styles of tango as a topic for both understanding but also for how this understanding then has a huge impact on how I dance and teach. When I set topics based around understanding the styles of tango, people often ask why they would want to have this information when they simply want to dance comfortably with a partner and do all the different tango moves available while dancing with the music. For me it’s one and the same. To dance a comfortable dance with all the vocabulary options available is to be aware that each style offers different ‘natural movements’ and ‘unnatural movements’ in the body due to the choice of embrace, way of communicating/ connecting between leader and follower. But also importantly to understand that tango is a dance and music genre that has evolved and been fused with different influences through the years. So what are the different styles of tango and why is it important? Its important for the comfort and effective communication between leader and follower. Music can dictate the style or the style influences the way we interpret the music. Lastly it is a topic misunderstood and full of obscurity due to the lack of documentation about the earlier styles and that while people think they know what style they dance its usually a mixture. I hope to shed some light and at the very least bring the topic into the open for discussion.

Below I will go through and briefly explain the various styles in chronological order where possible, the music that has influenced them and the history surrounding them.

Canyengue is a dance that preceded tango and has been born, left to history and revived again with what people think was the original style and feel of the dance. Said to have been danced between 1870s- 1920s and contained the original volcada. One big difference between the old canyengue and the revival is that originally canyengue was danced in taverns or the cobble stoned streets of Buenos aires, making smooth elegant movements impossible.  Dancers adopted a more jerky hopping style which has been smoothed out in the revised version due to being danced on better floors and by dancers having a smoother stepping technique in their bodies from dancing tango. Most of my sources agree that music of canyengue was 2/4 time and contained the habanera rhythm that gave the dancers a more lilting feeling while dancing.  Steps by the women were small and contained due to the fashion of long tight dresses at the time. Dancers used a v shape embrace while sharing an axis, allowing a lot of shared upper body movement. Often danced to music from the old guard like early Francisco Canaro, Roberto firpo and Francisco Lomuto.

Roughly in the 1880s Canyengue evolved further into two different recognised styles. Probably more of an evolution than suddenly arriving Orillero (1880’s-today) and Liso (1880’s – 1910’s) styles came to the floor.  Tango Liso or smooth tango is said to be an early term for tango de salon and took on the character of small steps due to there being many dancers on the crowded floors of the inner city. In contrast Orillero developed in the outskirts of the city where there were less dancers and so this style took on a form of bigger steps and vocabulary including a lot of playfulness with Rhythmic syncopated quick steps, cortes, quebradas, sequidillas and even jumps.  In outward appearance Orillero was more staccato than the smooth Liso style.

Tango liso became Tango de salon or tango that’s danced in a ballroom (salon). Not to be confused with ballroom tango that could be said to be yet another style of argentine tango but has become more closely related to the other ballroom dances and their own unique philosophy about dance. Salon tango developed around 1910s and is the root for a lot of the modern styles today. Whatever Salon tango was in the beginning it was social, danced in the centre of Buenos aires and danced by the upper classes where Orillero was danced by the poor. It later lead to distinct styles with their own flavour.

Following the threads salon de tango lead to club style (also known in the 1940s as confiteria style or tango apilado) characterised by the couples appearance of leaning toward each other creating a shared axis, full upper body contact and upper bodies parallel in the embrace. Giving rise to more staccato movements and feet were kept close to the floor. Due to the full body contact dancers couldn’t disassociate in the same way that the contemporary tango de salon dancers could, giving rise to a number of movements that felt more natural for the Club style e.g. cortes, ocho cortado, volcada like movements due to apilado or leaning. Club style later becoming more famously known as milonguero style when people visiting Buenos aires observed the dancers way of moving. Some say it was also an advertising gimmick in the beginning of the 1990s when people used the term to describe the only authentic way to dance tango because this is what the milongueros dance in Buenos aires. The milonguero style has taken on a life of its own with avid followers have even begun to set up special events for those who want to dance with a particular dance floor etiquette including no lifted legs (boleos or ganchos), good line of dance and the use of cortinas and tandas. Which allows for the wonderful phenomenum of the cabaceo, a way of asking someone to dance using eye contact and body language.

Another thread from the 1910s-1940s tango de salon is de Villa Urquiza style. Villa urqiza is a barrio or district in the north of Buenos aires and the dance is characterised by a smooth slow elegance and changing distance in the embrace. Some choose for a v-shaped embrace while others remain more or less parallel as the changing distance between the couple allows for a lot of freedom. When danced close it tends to be only the solar plexus contact which allows a lot of torsion which is essential for movements like pivoted giros, sacadas, and a specific range of free leg movements.

The third thread coming from the original tango de salon is caberet and later the show styles of tango fantasia and escenario. Styles in their own right and often the first thing none dancers see of tango. With influences from ballet, other sorts of show dancing and the social styles of tango. Show tango in all its forms is often said to not be the real tango and yet it has a strong identity and image in peoples minds as well as many bigger movements filtering down into the social dancing.

With any evolution there will always be a Nuevo style or new way, whether really a style by itself or a new outlook on what has been before. It depends on the time and how main stream this Nuevo style becomes. Some say that the term was first coined with Petroleo in the 1940s celebrating choreographic advancement through innovation and investigation into whats possible instead of what has been. Others would more commonly recognise tango Nuevo coming from a group of four men who came together with the idea of systemising tango allowing for a more didactic approach to teaching and learning. Gustavo Naveira, Fabian Salas, Chicho fromboli and Mauricio Castro identified more possibilities of what was already danced through this process allowing greater ability to improvise and brought new names for things already danced, one example of this would be volcadas which can be traced back to the axis sharing canyengue style but also a more recent dancer famous for the apilado (lean) style in which he danced many volcadas if not constantly in volcada, Carlos Gavito. The one big thing that did change from the 1990s with this Nuevo style is that teaching has become higher quality, understanding of tango and what we do as dancers has gone deeper than we have ever gone before and in the last few years people have been bringing the things learnt in this new movement back to the close embrace and traditional music that is so rich  and intriguing to dance on. Nuevo usually isn’t lasting in the same way, good traditional music can’t be listened to enough. For many argentines the term doesn’t even exist while many Europeans believe it to be big steps, none traditional tango music inviting open embrace and big extreme vocabulary. So whether you take any one of these three possible explanations of neuvo style I would like to leave you with this last thought. In 1940s Petroleo and his friends created a Nuevo style, in 1960s-1980s piazolla was described as making Nuevo music/neo tango music and in the 1990s Naveira and the others created a new movement with their systemisation of the dance. For me Nuevo style only exists in context with the traditional styles as its more a movement forward from what has been than an actual style of its own. What do you think? Nuevo styles in the future will be different in character but will probably use the same name.

In conclusion, one basic division in styles is those for social dancing and those danced during shows. What people understand as milonguero, tango de salon or any of the other styles seem to be blurring, making the general concensus over what these styles are nowadays move further away from what they were originally. Loosing the old dancers who were around in the times we have been discussing through this article means that now more than ever its important to find more clarity on what has been and document it before it leaves us forever. Or maybe, this loss is part of the evolution of tango and the history is carried in our steps. Food for thought. After some years of searching for the new way we have started to look for authenticity of the traditional tango.


Check out one of my other dance articles.

Make tango history and upload!
http://www.chicloca.com/2016/01/ten-things-you-didnt-know-about-style.html 

'A Vision of Tango'

'Abundant obsession', Argentine tango

Why we love Pilates (and you should too)


Thursday, 18 May 2017

Are you stressed, tired, over worked, have the feeling lots of things...



Are you stressed, tired, over worked, have the feeling lots of things are going strange or wrong and people are taking what they can get when you don't have the energy to be strong?
A little while ago i came by accident on a way to deal with my stress. I am someone who gives a 110% in all things that i do and if i feel its not going as well as it should i can easily feel bad about it. This is definitely the case with people who you try to help and for whatever reason the situation turns around on you. From you helping to getting a back lash that can happen for any number of reasons.

Rather than feel bad about the situations and wollow in self pity or the loss of empowermeant you can do something about it. A small tuning in exercise that enables you to get clear, get active and help yourself into a positive state.

Take a deep breath and write the most comprehensive list of all the things you are feeling, what is stressing you out or making you tired and practical things you feel bad about in some way for whatever reason.

Once you have made the list recognize points that are:
1. Feelings to explore but not be ruled by.
2. Practical things that can be sorted out with planning. Make a plan to get them done with a lot extra time than you actually need.
3. Urgent things that you can sort out quickly and will almost instantly give a feeling of relief.

This is one of the most self empowering things i have done for myself in a long time. I keep forgetting that this works for me so i thought by sharing i might remember better myself.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Introverted, emotional or sensitive?



Introverted, emotional or sensitive is a subject that has come up in many of my conversations recently. I am not an expert on any of these but feel a constant question over emotions and how they affect me individually and others in relation to me. I have seen that to be introverted is the new cool and emotional often portrayed as something negative. Sensitive on the other hand has connotations of good but weak. Or at least this is my take on it. Alongside these 3 words a further question arises, are we all made equal? I am guessing not from the myriad of people out there with their multitude of variations where emotional intelligence is concerned.

I would say I fall under all three categories but at the same time feel strongly that these and their counterparts are simply a tool for helping us understand ourselves, rather than something that is inherently good or bad. Its Like a tool kit full of a small range of tools we are born to use. These tools have a natural purpose like a hammer for hitting things or scissors for cutting. By understanding them you can not only bang a nail into a wall but you can create a a building. For me introversion and extroversion are similar. I was strongly effected by the negative associations that people had with introversion when i was growing up. i would get asked why i am quiet or shy. i learned to hide it in favour of a set of behavior patterns that would be considered extroverted, but little did i realize that to do this took a lot more energy than the natural extroverts used. I got exhausted more quickly and had to hide alone for a while to recuperate my energy. This in term made me feel bad because i wasn't living up to the extroverted ideal. Recently i came across an article on Linked In celebrating the abilities of introverts and it started me on the journey to exploring this personality trait i seem to have and what it means for me. Further letting go of some of these patterns that in actual fact hurt me energetically and leave me drained. I am in a process of becoming more myself and showing it.

I think for myself the idea of being emotional is a matter of opinion and seems to be a lot less clear than the personality traits above. My recent discovery of a book called the highly sensitive person while slow going was intriguing for the idea that someone had put some science behind the idea of being sensitive. i would consider myself someone with deep seated emotions and until about 9 years ago never opened up to anyone. The process of sharing my inner world with others has been difficult and rewarding. But the more i share the more i realize how truly unique all are in our experiences of emotions, their intensity and complexity. Added to this is the part we give them in our lives. Some ive sway to their emotional sub world while others hardly allow them to exist.

Over sensitivity to others is also intriguing me. When i was younger i became really confused when what i sensed of others around me didn't match with what they talked about. With some they later confessed that i saw more quickly than they had what they were feeling and that they needed time to catch up, sometimes resenting me for my sensitivity. While with others, they either weren't wanting to admit to the emotions or i had got it wrong. Making the whole process very hard to learn from. Because its only in hindsight that i can ever tell what the situation was and how i can improve the perception of emotions in people around me in the future.

So in conclusion i dub myself an introvert with extrovert tendencies. Deeply and complexly emotional while being highly sensitive to those around me. The challenge for me through the years has always to avoid my chameleon tendencies of fitting in with the needs and wishes of those around me and find a firm footing for myself to be as I was meant to be. The search is still on.

 

Other articles in the Locura genre:

Consulting your inner dream dictionary

Globe trotter, without the baggage
Lonely planet, Globetrotter without baggage
Lonely planet, globetrotter without the baggage
Lonely planet, Globetrotter without baggage
Lonely planet, Globetrotter without baggage

Cheap tickets to an exotic destination
Cheap tickets to an exotic destination, whats your flight status?



Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Did you know ... fashions trends

I am busy researching ideas and designs for my new collection of clothing for dancers and anyone wanting something a little special for their wardrobe, be it sexy dress for a party or elegant clothing that moves effortless for dancers. Including the important detail of fitting well but not shifting around. Just because we move, the clothing shouldn't have to. The process of designing clothing is interesting unto itself. How does a collection come into being and why, what are the choices that make the final outcome. I hope to share something of this process with you. The final outcome being showcased in february 2016.

For me the first step was to decide why i am designing a collection and to what purpose. The answers to these questions came very quickly as they were the underlying reason for beginning in the first place.

I have always been interested in creating clothes that flatter all shapes and bring out the personality of the person wearing them, and not the other way around. Too often you see clothes wearing the person who is somehow lost in the mass of fabric and whatever else is going on with an outfit. I love the idea of bringing a collection that enables me to educate people that they are beautiful and can wear clothes to bring out their uniqueness, shining like the sun. Secondly as a dancer i have experienced many mishaps with clothing moving around as you are focused in your dance. Mostly you can unceremoniously pull it back into the correct position but sometimes a bit more of you is exposed than intended. I am designing clothing that if specially fitted to the dancer will stay put. Allow extra freedom in not worrying about clothing and simply enjoying the dance. Not only this but elegant clothing that is both sexy and comfortable, with a twist on classic designs adding flavour. There is also a possibility to take an item from our basic range and add all sorts of extras to truly make it your own and unique. Its uncommen to have this much choice at an affordable price. This is the aim for the NEW addition to the Cielita Loca store which until february is offering unique clothing at great prices.

Principal aims are:

  • Elegant clothing that stays put and flatters
  • With Options of elegant of hip chic, something for everyone
  • Clothing that is fitted and accentuates movement, great for dancers
  • Combines well with other designs in the collection or great basics you have in your wardrobe.
  • Influenced by great classic fashions with a twist of modern design. 
  • With attention to detail on the back as well as the front, with dancers the back is all you see when you dance.
  • Fabric with be great to touch offering texture for the outfit.
  • Extra options of choosing fitting and additions to basic range for individual touch.

 

 The research continues...

 

 




I find myself looking back in time when i research.  i love the idea that when i design something it incorporates the best of the old while adding a new twist making contemporary and modern. Probably more important is wearable and making the person feel at home decorating their body with something that makes their personality shine.









The images i have in my head remind me strongly of the 1900s, with their long lines, high waist and use of detail to accentuate a woman's figure creating elegance and sophistication. Buttons and fascinator hats galore. Taking details like buttons, a high waist that ties in with current fashions and the chic use of fabrics to create designs that incorporate a flavour of the 1900s fashion. Combining it with the dress length more commonly found in the 1950s, with shorter options if people want it.

The history of fashion plays such a big part of what is current in vogue today. Fashionistas forget this too easily. Part of the strength of todays fashion is drawn from the greats of yearsterday and beyond. For me they will always be an inspiration and power to include. So many concepts of politics, style and the social factors that were important in shaping an era's style concept give greater significance to the things we wear now. A dress is not simply a dress but a representative of times past, while capturing the modern times.

Stay posted for the new collection or visit Cielito's home for more information on workshops, tango and all new activities happening at our studio in the New year.

Other articles that may be of interest in the style genre are:

Tokyo street fashion, inspired by Manga?
Tokyo street fashion (東京のストリートファッション), inspired Starwars and imitating Manga - See more at: http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/tokyo-street-fashion-inspired-starwars.html#sthash.I5INGx4X.dpuf
Other articles of interest in the style genre:

Other articles of interest in the style genre:

Other articles in the Travel genre:
Little black dress, all its cracked up to be
http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/little-black-dress.html - See more at: http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/tokyo-street-fashion-inspired-starwars.html#sthash.I5INGx4X.dpuf

Other articles of interest in the style genre:

Other articles in the Travel genre:
Little black dress, all its cracked up to be
http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/little-black-dress.html - See more at: http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/tokyo-street-fashion-inspired-starwars.html#sthash.I5INGx4X.dpuf
http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/tokyo-street-fashion-inspired-starwars.html