Music? What music?

The trouble with spending all my money on tango is, It means that sometimes I have to make compromises. This is the case with cars, I run an old Triumph herald, which does not see the road this time of year because the salt would eat it in holes in seconds; I have a Suzuki Cappuccino, which at seventeen years old does not show her age, but is not the most practical of cars, so our nine-year old Seat Leon is our main mode of transport.

This can cause problems as it did this week, when the starter motor failed. A visit from the AA man, a tow to the local garage and two hundred pounds lighter we were too late to get to the workshop at Croft.

We arrived towards the end of the workshop and Andrew invited us to join, but as we were late and had not paid, I thought it best to decline. what little I saw of it followed the same sort of pattern we had seen from him before; this is how they move in Villa Irquiza, and navigation techniques for a crowded floor. I like Andrews style because he says the same sort of things I do (only better) and tries to bring a bit of Buenos Aires to our part of the world.

I wonder though if he gets frustrated, as the dancing started, with wonderful music, all golden age, D’Arienzo, DiSarli, Canaro etc, the dancers all seemed to revert to figures. There were a lot of people here that I did not know and perhaps they were just beginning their tango journeys. I wonder though, where they are learning what they do, I saw ganchos by the dozen, boleos and sentadas, non properly led and the music was totally ignored, I even saw one couple carry on past the end of the music in order to finish their move.

Andrew won’t thank me for saying this but I saw his face screw up in agony at the sight of a dozen ganchos mid floor in the midst of a beautiful D’Arienzo track.

I have been accused before of becoming Victor Meldrew, so I temper my observations with a smile, knowing as I do, that most of these people are not only new to tango but have yet to experience the joy of dancing in the capital of Tango. Hopefully they will learn in time and whoever is teaching them just moves will realise the error of their ways.

I’m afraid the trials of the day were taking their toll on me, and when I danced with Carole I was not at my best, and I did a couple of my moans mid dance. I just hope she knows that it is not a reflection on her or her dancing. I am my own sternest critic and would not dream of criticising any woman I danced with. I know though that my moans are often misconstrued, it is just me rethinking what I am doing that sometimes come out as a sign of disapproval, this is not a mistake (see last post) but a look at how I can redirect my energies to lead differently.

So I ask again for forgiveness from all the women out there who belive that I complain on the floor, it is just me being self-critical. (or critical of the guy in front doing ganchos and boleos)

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Music? What music?

  1. The truth is though that until they have had that experience of moving only to the music, feeling what the orquesta is saying, and translating that as dance, then they are still beginners

    Sadly I think most have reached the level of non-beginners. I’ve met no one who from that place begins anything… except class teaching. And that’s the real tragedy. Classes make too few dancers and too many teachers, sustaining this vicious circle of non-beginners.

    I feel grateful to live in Cambridge, the only UK tango scene I know to have broken out of class crippledom. Even though we still have dance schools perpetuating the usual step-based fake tango, most of our milongas are now class-free. So any newcomer is welcome to come along, find a quiet table, sit and enjoy a glass of wine, listen to the music … and watch people who actually dance it. There’s no better introduction for (real) beginners.

  2. tangobob

    Chris
    There is no doubt that many of these moves people belive that they are not new to tango, and that they have spent a lot of money learning steps. The truth is though that until they have had that experience of moving only to the music, feeling what the orquesta is saying, and translating that as dance, then they are still beginners, no matter how many workshops and private lessons they have done.
    As for the long journey back; well I know that road well, we all have to tread our own Caminito and those who have not done so will never understand, they deserve our sympathy. (still gets me mad though)

  3. as the dancing started, with wonderful music, all golden age, D’Arienzo,
    DiSarli, Canaro etc, the dancers all seemed to revert to figures. … I temper my observations with a smile, knowing as I do, that most of these people are not only new to tango but…

    After watching this from the DJ deck for quite a few years, I have to say I think sadly these people are generally NOT new to tango – as they perceive it. They’ve spent much time, effort and money copying steps in so-called tango classes, and that to them “dancing tango” means doing the resulting pattern dance they’ve learned. From there it is a long journey back to to the starting point to discover why, to everyone else, “dancing tango” is actually referring to the music.

  4. Music? What Music? I see people dancing IN SPITE of the music. And I mean tango not salsa. However, I try to blame lack of experience to this. Lack of musicality usually doesn’t bother me as much as floorcraft issues. I once said, “Don’t do that!” in the ear of the poor woman dancing with me as a man squeezed by on the right. I frighted her. I felt so bad. So tango also teaches us the culture of restraint of the most lubricated muscle.

    I was away from home, when I danced at a local milonga. Because of not knowing anyone, a first song of a tanda had me dancing very simply. At the time I thought it was especially funny how I really danced incredibly straight forward, but as a result of what the music led. The tanguera pulled back and said, “That was incredible. No one dances like that here!” This really was a transformational moment in my tango development that a woman would be so astounded at my dancing when it was not only super simple but absolutely “dialed in” musically. The MUSIC is really incredible.

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