Showing posts with label tango argentino. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tango argentino. Show all posts

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Tango Stories: (1) Rooftop in Buenos Aires

This is the first of our stories collected from our original post asking for submissions two years ago. These were made into a book that sold out within a month and wasn't reprinted to keep the project special and unique. After all it wasn't about the money out about making a final creation that could be shared amongst those submitting stories and their families.




Rooftop in Buenos Aires


There were many things that lead to this moment standing with what i could only describe as my first love. I had girl crushes and the idea of loving many times before but not the all consuming feeling of wishing to know someone, wanting to be in contact and sharing more of myself than i ever had done before.

I went to a tango salon with my dancing partner in Canning, a great traditional salon for dancing. My dance partner wanted to dance  with some of the most experienced dancers in the room but because he wasn't known there found that they turned him down more often than danced. While he was not really in the mood for dancing i soon found the eyes and cabaceo of a man sitting two tables over from us. We danced a tanda (4 songs) and then sat down again at our own tables. i found the first dances challenging and not so comfortable. So it sort of surprised me that i said yes again a little later on. In the end we danced 4 tandas which is quite something seeing that my dance partner pretty much sat throughout and more than one tanda in a evening tends to imply a closer relation or leading that way.

We exchanged numbers and emails. Leaving the milonga with my dance partner i found a cheeky email waiting for me when i got home in the early hours of the night. He invited me to come to a milonga the next evening and meet him. So this time going alone i found myself dancing the whole evening. This guy introduced me to various people at the salon and we tried our very bad English and Spanish on each other. He got me to try an empanada for the first time and introduced them as some of his favourite food. He asked more about me and also if i would be interested to practice with him. i was in Buenos Aires to learn and so i thought why not. i invited him to the tango house where i was staying which also conveniently has a dance floor that can be used.

We met and practiced for 3 hours solid, he drilled me at every turn and i had the feeling afterwards of not being able to dance anymore. in the end he saw this and i think felt a bit bad about it. It was a really hot evening so we went up onto the big open roof that overlooked the skyline of Buenos Aires and gave hints of the neighboring buildings in Barrio Boedo. We sat there for hours sharing stories. He realized i could lead and asked me to lead him. We danced on the rooftop and the lesson continued. Then in one moment he showed how it was to lead a specific movement, then taking one hand and placing it on my waist. Another hand going to my face where he brushed away a piece of hair blown by the hot breeze. He must have seen my softly wild look at these gestures and returned his own, eclipsed only by the kiss that followed.

Anonymous Author, 2016

Monday, 25 January 2016

Make tango history and upload!


 


Introducing 10 tips to find great tango on the web


In this day and age the internet and all things social media are opening up some interesting options for niche groups like Argentine tango lovers to share and bring new information to the surface. Many tango dancers resist all things modernized in the upkeep of the old ways and the charm that comes with them. While i too must confess to being in love with many of the social and practical etiquettes of tango, i am also loving the new information at my fingertips. Like the old black and white videos of people dancing in prehistoric tango times or the up and coming dancers doing their first promotion videos.

Much of tango history has gone uncatalogued making it harder for those who would like to spread informed and widely respected information about Argentine tango. Whether about how tango was danced in the early days with the stories of that time, or indeed techniques every student should learn to become a good dancer. We each have our ideas on this, but with time some of the best resources have diminished with the ageing of orchestra leaders and notable dancers who were around in the good old days when Argentine tango was forming and being shaped. With the natural cycle of life and ageing come the deaths of some of our most renowned maestros and the generations that have witnessed a lifetime of tango and its evolution. Prompting a wish amongst the many Tangueros out there to preserve some of this knowledge in the shape of video interviews, documentaries, articles, and online resources making this information available to the world.

We can actively take part in our Tangos history by becoming active in uploading old footage and publicizing the new dances being created. Below is a short list of some of these new fountains of knowledge, in no particular order.


Tip 1: TENGO UNA PREGUNTA PARA VOS por Pepa Palazon,


A video series where Pepa interviews many of the worlds best known tango dancers. Getting their take on all things tango. Search the above title in youtube to find a huge number of video interviews. Including Julio Balmaceda, Gloria y Rodolfo Dinzel, Milena Plebs. (spanish)
http://www.youtube.com


Tips 2: The Youtube search


Type any of the following words in together and you will find a whole wealth of old videos of everything from D’arienzos dramatic leading of his orchestra in the 1940s to black and white movies of some of the first tangos ever recorded on film. search terms to try: tango orquesta, 1920 tango, 1930 tango, 1940 tango, golden age tango. (various languages) http://www.youtube.com


Tip 3: Todo tango website


Probably one of the best known tango website resources out there, giving deep and informative information about dancers, musicians and all things tango. If you understand spanish then its well worth checking the spanish pages and each language has a different amount of information available. I found the rap sheets on the orchestras useful in getting a feel for how all the different musicians interrelated and through this how the end result we hear today came to be. (Spanish, English, German, Portugese) http://todotango.com/


Tip 4: Tango.info site


This is very basic in the way it looks but if you are interested in no fuss information it provides a great source of information laid out in a utilitarian but easy to understand way. (various languages due to user content submission). https://tango.info/

Tip 5: To tango net


This site has some great articles about everything included in the tango genre http://www.totango.net./


Tip 6: Cyber tango site by Cristian mensing


An incredibly useful site with listings such as links for journals around the world, articles, books, websites and blogs for more information about tango. Its a great resource. (english) http://www.cyber-tango.com/e/art_e.html


Tip 7: Articles and book by Christine Denniston


i found her articles and website when i first started dancing and in want of more knowledge. With easy to understand and informative writing style, this is a great place to start reading about tango history. (english) http://www.history-of-tango.com/


Tip 8: Tejas tango dictionary


A great regularly updated tango glossery of terms explained. (english) www.tejastango.com/terminology.html


Tip 9: Argentine tango videos net


This is a website dedicated to videos old and new, http://www.argentinetangovideos.net/

Tip 10: Tango and Chaos


Read stories of recent times in Buenos aires with Tango and chaos website - (english) http://www.tangoandchaos.org


With the new information coming to the surface all the time it enables us to further research argentine tangos murky beginnings and hopefully write with a more informed approach than the regurgitation of tango histories out there. Many containing the same play on words, vocabulary and factual information. Wanting to offer my students a history of tango on my website at one time or other, i was also culprit of this. With the continual new information we have a very natural record being created like never before. There are many ways to be an active part in the history of tango, come and join in the fun.


Other articles in the dance genre:

'A Vision of Tango'

'Abundant obsession', Argentine tango

Why we love Pilates (and you should too)

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

5 fantastic dances to improve your fitness, which fits your personality type?

Ever wondered why some people tango and others do rock and roll? With a few exceptions that like to mix it up, many people get attracted to different dances. What brings people to a dance in the binning and what keeps people training once they have started? Well I am not sure i have the answers to this but to have a little fun, I have listed 9 dances below and their personality types.


Bohemian thinker / artist

Argentine tango is a mixture of introvert and extrovert. Both for show and social, in full view and danced for the couple alone. Scientists and artists looking for a way to communicate, usually finding hard to do this in every day life. It appeals to the masculine mind with its geometric concepts of lanes and line of dance, circles and angles for turning and much more. Sophistication and trampery in one foul swoop, not to mention the more commonly seen variations in dance couples, men leading men, women leading women gives tango the title Bohemian dance of the group.

Party animal

Salsa - generally extraverted unless you see the natives dance (people dancing a long time to a high level), then it can be slow and sensual. Salsa tends to attract the younger generations who like to party but want something more than simply bouncing around. Full and curvacious, even men will discover hips in this dance. Culture and modern music mixed in a party atmosphere with bright colours and vivacious music filling the whole room,  think carnaval. This dance is queen of the party.

 Sorceress / magician

Flamenco - dramatic outward appearance and a lot more going on inside, strong rhythmic movements. Masculine and feminine mixed together with energy and purpose. Traditional feel and dress exuding the best of old times in performances that make your hair stand up on end. The duality of the masculine and feminine found in this dance rarely seen so equally standing side by side make this the dance of those who want to explore their inner power and expression enabled by the play with live musicians. Making this dance the one divine connection of all things.

    Hippy fest

    Folkdance or Balfolk - high energy, fun with simple movements compared to other dances. Great for getting everyone up on the dance floor, its the social animal of all the dances listed here to the point of attracting all those who don't want to go mainstream. Cross culture sharing, hippy hugging and live music create lots of great sharing experiences with this dance.

    Chilled out groover

    Swing - with different moves set groovily in the 1920s-1940s jazz scene. Golden oldy or nostalgic young one who likes to get a feel for the richness of a whole range of different dances included in this genre. This dance brings lots of great historic references together with the dance that is still very actively danced today and increasing momentum by all accounts. This dance is king of chilling out and variety.

    Please take this as a little fun, i love dancing and think every dance has its charm. 

    Liked this? then it would be great if you share you dance personality, even if its not the dance you actuality dance at this moment. I often wondered at the personalities of different dances and there are so many that aren't on this list. i made a shortlist this time but maybe another time its nice to broaden it out. i hope you enjoy.


    Other articles in the dance genre:


    10 Quick Surprising Tips About dancing
    http://www.chicloca.com/2016/01/10-quick-tips-about-dancing.html

    'A Vision of Tango'

    'Abundant obsession', Argentine tango

    Why we love Pilates (and you should too)

    Wednesday, 6 January 2016

    How to Solve the Biggest Problems With dance shoes



    Shoe problems for anyone who relies on shoes for a particular purpose will find it annoying to get problems. Whether you are a runner, cyclist or dancer, your shoes and in fact clothes are important to enhance what you are doing and able to bring. Read this article further to find out some of the problems faced by dancers and tips for working around them or avoiding them altogether.

    Top 6 categories for problems dancers have with shoes:


    1. Breaking in new shoes: Especially as there is often a recommendation to start with a smaller size than you actually wear. This is due to the material expanding and as dancers we want an as near perfect fit as possible. The what degree smaller depends on the dance, the shoe and type of material its made from.
    • Tip, I would suggest here with leather and suede shoes is to put them on a heater for 20 minutes before wearing them. Note that the heater shouldn't be hot enough to damage the shoes, just warm them past body temperature so the material expands. When you place them on your foot the material is softer and if this is repeat a number of times it begins to mold the shoes to your feet, fitting them perfectly without the normal process of wearing them in.


    2. Getting used to different heel heights (even for men with cuban heels). Many women aren't used to heels and when they come to dance they find it difficult as suddenly they are asked to don heels in many dances. Dancers are rarely taught how to use their shoes in the movement. Its all very well putting good looking shoes on your feet but if you don't include them in your technique they will trip you up.
    • Tips is to wear new shoes on uneven surfaces, or ones that make your ankles work. Usually when we put on new shoes we forget that we need to accustom our bodies and in particular muscles to the changes created. Ankles are often too weak to offer stability when someone wears high heeled shoes for the first time. The thicker the heel the easier it is on your ankle, the lower the heel the easier too. The other thing is the that a dancer needs to build their technique to include shoes as a tool for the trade or hobbie. Simply sticking shoes on our feet regardless of how beautiful is a common mistake.
    3. Shoes that don't fit correctly can be a pain, quite literally. Either through rubbing, being too small or so big that you are unable to move properly in them. The style of the shoe is also important when working with feet of different proportions.
    • Tip,  Length, width, high arch, flat foot, shape of foot are all factors to consider when buying new dance shoes. Best thing is to ask a dance teacher or a knowledgeable shop assistant. Good ones are often trained in dance shoe fitting. After owning a few pairs of shoes you can also look back and see which shoes where the most comfortable and worked best for you in terms of shape and style.


    4. Dance shoes that break are a problem.
    • Tip: many can be fixed easily and its well worth training a cobbler or shoe repairer in your city to mend dance shoes. Particularly if you are a professional and wear shoes out like no tomorrow.
    5. Our old dance shoes affecting our movement. This can come in the form of wear and tear that simply means you have to work harder to maintain balance and equilibrium in old shoes. The other problem that arises for newer dancers who have drastically changed the technique of how they use their feet, is that the wear of the shoe often reinforces old habits. How does this work? well if you imagine someone moved and danced with all their weight on the outside of the foot and mostly on their heels. You will find that the outside of the heel is worn down and the engineering of the shoe starts to break with wearing the shoe in a way its not built for. Yes there is shoe engineering and design that enhances certain things we want as dancers in our shoes.  Ballet shoes are a great example of this.
    • Tip: Even though old shoes are at their most comfortable and if worn a lot are dear friends, know when their time it up. Comfort is usually a sign that the engineering of the dance shoe is breaking down and past a certain point it doesn't do anyone any good. Get to know a cobbler in your city who can repair some aspects of aged shoes, particularly if the shoe is good but its the heel that has worn down. This is often easy to fix, as are straps that have got loose due to expanding and worn out soles.


    6. The engineering of shoes. Have the shoes been balanced correctly, basic test for this is if they can stand up by themselves without falling over. Other factors include twisted heels, the foot pattern being well proportioned, the orientation of the heel distributing weight to different parts of the foot if not aligned properly. Then you get into things like distance between the heel and the place where the ball of the foot meet the floor. Its rare to find a shoe that is perfect and rarer still to find two. So the suggestion here is to be aware of what you have, don't buy something that is terrible quality and work with how the shoe balance affects you.
    If you find any other problems it would be great if you add them in a comment. I hope this list and tips help. More articles like this will be coming soon. 

    Other articles in the dance genre:


    'A Vision of Tango'

    'Abundant obsession', Argentine tango

    Why we love Pilates (and you should too)
    'Abundant Obsession' Argentine tango dance
    'Abundant Obsession' Argentine tango dance

    Wednesday, 16 December 2015

    Bounderies in tango?

     4/11/10

    Just a thought really from dancing at a milonga. i am wondering what is happening with peoples bounderies as we dance more tango. i see a different ideal of the sort of things that are acceptable in a traditional milonga and a more alternative one. Many sorts of bounderies are possible, important ones? well theres a question. but i do wonder how relationships survive in a milonga where its culture finds it absolutely acceptable that a woman comes and sexually kisses a mans neck from behind, in full view of everyone including the mans wife. i don't mean a peck on an intimate spot but full on kissing, biting, sucking! i know the couple well and didn't want to be part of what went on due to respect to the mans wife.

    so questions arise, why did he act as if this is normal behavior from someone who is a 'friend'? is it for people around to make judgements? if she is indeed a friend does she respect either the man or his wife? aside from a judgement should i have to accept something that breaks down inhibitions that we as a culture slowly come to find 'normal' because of our acceptance? There are a lot of tango events out there that unconsciously or/and deliberately break down peoples bounderies. but where is the social responsibility to putting these people back together or indeed asking permission before you therapise someone. and when people are in an unbounderied state what does this mean for their relationships, friends, husbands, wives, lovers, the group? And importantly respect for each individual as they come, complete.

    i am still in the process of questioning as you can see from what i have written above. Questions hihi. but the reality of this through answers is an interesting one. what happens when you ask yourself some of these questions. from two perspectives: 1. from an acceptance of other individuals to make their own choices in life and 2. how you feel deep down. are good healthy bounderies that protect your individuality and individual specials relationships (friendships, lovers, relations of any personal kind) being broken down?

     

    'Storm Walker' poem written in Buenos aires Argentina

     

    A little of Buenos Aires

    She walks the storm
    Enclosed by skies fallen, no! falling tears around
    Greetings from a friend
    Reaching through skin to bone

    Now she may cry
    For the storm will cover her tears
    As long as she smiles
    No passing stranger will see her wants and fears.

    I walk stricken streets
    Through the deluge of storm
    Here I can cry
    As my tears will go disguised
    As long as I smile
    No one will know the sadness that fills me
    But in reality one has only to look into my eyes to see what is truly within.

    But I am changed by storm as it enters into me
    I am laughing as I walk these soaked streets
    While others run and hide, and watching me precariously
    My eyes twinkle reflecting humour of the lightning lit sky

    Who is this stranger who carries this drenched laughter
    Like a child she stamps her feet
    knowing well that each step means more water
    I smile back at her, for she has touched me to my core
    I see sadness in her eyes, and spirit in her heart
    This beautiful entity, walking freely
    taken by tempest, to some remote land

    she is storm walker…but is surely of this land………………..