Curtains to you

Here in the UK, tango is taught as a series of moves. The music takes second place. There is also the assumption that Nuevo Tango means you can dance to pop music. This leaves me with a few things to get off my chest.
We were in a milonga the other day,DJ’ed by one of the best around here. Viv was dancing, as she does with a man she had asked. At the end of the Tanda the man said that he did not want to leave the floor, as he would decide when to stop, he did not like the DJ dictating to him.
At another milonga, DJ’ed by yours truly, I asked a lady to dance. “This is one of my favourite tracks” I said. To which she replied “how do you know? they all sound the same to me”.
So, I may be preaching to the converted, but I will say it just the same. The cortina is there to divide up tandas of music of the same style and by the same orchestra. So that when we hear an orchestra we like we can choose to dance it, or if we do not particularly like dancing to this tanda we can have a rest.
Each orchestra has a unique style, although sometimes (because they had such long careers) it changed over time. The cortina is not a dictate, it is what it says, a curtain between tandas that should be quite different.
When we take the time to get to know the music, it brings its own rewards. We know when it will change, we know the tempo and we can feel the difference between the melody and the rhythm. Best of all we can hit that last beat, trust me it impresses far more than throwing wild ganchos.
I am not the best Tango Dj in the world, I have to put in many hours to arrange a good set. It is all worth it when people compliment my music, but I do wonder at times, how many really know what is going on?
There is hope on the horizon. There is a new teacher in the area, and searching, as I do, I commented on Desde de Alma, thinking it was Color Tango. “No this version is Pugliese” she said. I stood corrected and impressed.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Curtains to you

  1. Bob wrote: “It is rare to hear different orchestras in a good tanda.

    It is common to hear different orchestras in a milonga or vals tanda – in BsAs, and elsewhere. E.g. looking here at a sample set from one of BsAs best-known DJs, I see different orchestras in half of the milonga tandas and most of the vals tandas.

    Whether that is good is somewhat a matter of taste. 🙂

  2. tangobob

    True a tanda is more about the style but It is rare to hear different orchestras in a good tanda. But point taken.
    BTW the guy in question does not drive.

  3. Bob wrote: “The cortina is there to divide up tandas of music of the same style and by the same orchestra.

    Point of information: Curtains are there to separate tandas only – not to divide the music of different orchestras where such appears within a tanda. One hears music of different orchestras within a tanda sometimes in tango and often in vals and milonga.

    Curtains are primarily about the dancing, not the music.

    At the end of the Tanda the man said that he did not want to leave the floor, as he would decide when to stop, he did not like the DJ dictating to him.

    I wonder what this guy does when he drives up to a traffic light 🙂

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