Using all rhythms in tango

Today we continue with musically and dancing in different rhythms. Last week we review the basic structure of a tango and the elements of the music that are available to us. We practice dancing in the double beat rhythm. One and two or one half two half three half, etc.
Today we are learning to listen and to dance in the 1 2 3 4 rhythm.
Review from last week: we have 4 elements between one strong beat to the other. That is tango is counted as follow:
1 2 3 4   1 2 3 4  1 2 3 4  1 2 3 4
Where count number 3 is your half beat. Today we are moving to count number two or your first 1/4 beat.
Dancing in the quarter beat is not easy task. So how can I catch that fast beat…by either dropping the weight in 2 or by accelerating the lead to close the follower’s free leg before the half beat.

 

Music

Raul Beron

Singer – For some he was the best Orchestra singer in the history of tango. Although at times his voice is obscure and hard to understand, the wide and varied repertory sung by Berón reveals his skill to understand every topic and mood of the genre, from the dramatic to the funny ones, whom he always interpreted with finesse and moderation, quite far from extremes.

Songs:

Tristezas de la Calle Corrientes, La Abandone y no Sabia, Moneda de Cobre, Lejos de Buenos Aires.

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Posted in Classes, Tango Continuing

Basic Turns

Nov. 13

Today’s our focus is to tackle turns or giros from both the leader and the follower’s perspective.

Followers keep in mind the following:
1) turns or giros are composed of 4 steps – side, forward, side and back ( not necessarily in this order)
2) theses four steps are equal in length
3) be in control of you axis and how you move WITH your partner.
4) do not syncopate by yourself! let the leader lead the syncope or double step
5) syncopation is normally lead after the back step so please do not attempt to do the syncope in your back step. It is far too complicated!!!
6) follow with the chest but also from the hips

Leaders keep in mind the following:

1) be clear as to when you want to start a turn or giro and when you want to finish it. Do not assume that the follower will finish your movement.
2) Try to lead turns in the strong beat for all 4 steps of the follower – this is difficult and requires a lot control! And once you achieve this, lead the turn with the syncope. Keep in mind that the syncope is not lead in the followers back step but rather after it!

Music:

Di Agostino

Pianist and leader. His music is simple and clear and it is so his vocalist Angel Vargas. Angel Di Agostino was a dancer himself (a milonguero) and therefore developed a respect for the melodic line and rhythmic emphasis to make the dancing easier.

Songs:
Mano Blanca, tres esquinas, el yacare, trasnochando, hay que vivirla compadre.

Posted in Basics of tango, Classes

Elements of the music

  • The beat is the basic unit of time in music, the pulse of the mensural level (or beat level). Usually marked by the bandoneon and the base.
  • Tempo: In musical terminology, tempo (Italian for time, plural: tempi) is the speed or pace of a given piece. Tempo is a crucial element of any musical composition, as it can affect the mood and difficulty of a piece. The tempo is a measure of how quickly the beat flows and in modern music is usually indicated in beats per minute (BPM)
  • Rhythm (from Greek ῥυθμόςrhythmos, “any regular recurring motion, symmetry”) is a “movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions.” In other words, rhythm is simply the timing of the musical sounds and silences. The rhythm is the part that varies dramatically with sounds and notes throughout the piece which can have different lengths, pitches etc. It is the rhythm which is usually the individual part.

 

Think of the tempo as a ticking clock, and the rhythm as the drummer who creates a rhythm to go alongside the tick of the clock.

  • Melody is a rhythmical succession of single tones producing a distinct musical phrase or idea. In other words, melody is the part of the music that can be hummed and in tango the violins and the piano usually mark it.
  • Phrase: In music and music theory, phrase and phrasing are concepts and practices related to grouping consecutive melodic notes, both in their composition and performance. A musical work is typically made up of a melody that consists of numerous consecutive phrases. In tango one phrase includes 8 beats.

 

Music:

 

Di Sarli, Carlos

Porteno y Bailarin (123 BPM) – Walk and find the strong beat.

Don Juan (115 BPM) – find the Rhythm.

Porteno y Bailarin (123 BMP) Find the Melody.

Dance to both and find the phrases. End each phrase with a change of weight on the spot.

Posted in Classes

Ochos continues

The past class we talked about the cross system and its importance. While it is true that dancing in the cross system is challenging, it allows for a lot of variety. One of the basic patterns that we find in the cross system is the ochos or figure eight. Last class our focus was to find the timing of the ocho. How we move trough the music is as important as learning what to do with our bodies. The music dictates the timing at which we move so it makes sense that we learn how to move to the music when doing ochos.

Today we keep focussing on ochos and timing but we will add different speeds and ways of ending an ocho.

Music:

Osvaldo Pugliese:
Pianist, leader and composer. Pugliese’s music can can be hard to dance to, but it is very powerful and full of emotion, inspiration and passion. Pugliese followed De Caro’s style but with a strong rhythmic beat – extremely appealing to dancers.
Songs:
Nochero soy
Pata ancha
Chique
Gallo ciego
Emancipacion
La Yumba
Si nace chancleta
Quejas de bandoneon

Posted in Basics of tango, Classes

Turns with a spin

Last class we focused on tackling the timing of the turn so leaders can do sacadas. For the followers it was important to keep that sense of timing, stepping in the strong beat,  so the leader uses the space in between our legs. We also talked about the focus of followers. I follow the chest but not the center. Since the leader is turning, I focus on the shoulder that is opening and I try not move right in front of him right away hence blocking his movement. Keep in mind followers that your embrace needs to be elastic otherwise you will pull the leaders axis with you.

Leaders last week we focus on turns that chase the followers axis. This turns allow us to do sacadas either in the side steps or the front step. Remember that we do not look for the foot but rather the middle point of the follower’s stride.

Today our focus is centered around turns and back sacadas. Again the secret of a back sacada is timing and disassociation. Leaders ensure that when you are doing a back sacada, you are in control of your axis and that you are leading the follower to step in the strong beat. Followers do not let sacada leg control your axis. Control your center and relax the free leg so it is light rather than heavy. Keep the timing being mark by the leader.

 

Music:

Raul Beron

Singer – For some he was the best Orchestra singer in the history of tango. Although at times his voice is obscure and hard to understand, the wide and varied repertory sung by Berón reveals his skill to understand every topic and mood of the genre, from the dramatic to the funny ones, whom he always interpreted with finesse and moderation, quite far from extremes.

Songs:

Tristezas de la Calle Corrientes, La Abandone y no Sabia, Moneda de Cobre, Lejos de Buenos Aires.

Posted in Classes, Tango Continuing

Ochos

Today we focus strictly on cross system and backward ochos. Ochos are done in the cross system only. Followers it is important that you learn the timing of the ocho. There are two parts to it: transfer of weight and pivot and these two cannot be confused.  Leaders, respect the timing that is needed for followers to complete and ocho. Lead from the chest and move in the line of dance.

Music:

Di Agostino

Pianist and leader. His music is simple and clear and it is so his vocalist Angel Vargas. Angel Di Agostino was a dancer himself (a milonguero) and therefore developed a respect for the melodic line and rhythmic emphasis to make the dancing easier.

Songs:
Mano Blanca, tres esquinas, el yacare, trasnochando, hay que vivirla compadre

Posted in Basics of tango, Classes

Turns – second part

We continue focusing on turns, its timing and variations. This time we will look at syncopation and how we move to it. It is important that both followers and leaders understand when the syncopation happens. We continue working on having followers keeping same length strides. Leaders will try to incorporate small sacadas as the followers complete the turn.

 

Music:

 

Music:

Di Agostino

Pianist and leader. His music is simple and clear and it is so his vocalist Angel Vargas. Angel Di Agostino was a dancer himself (a milonguero) and therefore developed a respect for the melodic line and rhythmic emphasis to make the dancing easier.

Songs:
Mano Blanca, tres esquinas, el yacare, trasnochando, hay que vivirla compadre

Posted in Classes, Tango Continuing

Cross system

Today our focus is on the cross system and perfecting the cross over the follower’s line of dance. Leaders it is imperative that you start using disassociation while dancing. In the case of the cross system, your chest stays in the line of dance while your hips help your feet find the empty space that the follower leaves for you.

Followers are working on using the standing leg to transfer weight in a timely fashion. Remember you dance in your axis with a relaxed embrace but you do not move by yourself rather you move WITH the leader. He proposes the timing on how we will to the music and we move as proposed – not before or after.

Music:

Angel Di Agostino with Angel Vargas

Pianist and leader. His music is simple and clear and it is so his vocalist Angel Vargas. Angel Di Agostino was a dancer himself (a milonguero) and therefore developed a respect for the melodic line and rhythmic emphasis to make the dancing easier. We watch a video of Di Agostino and Vargas to get the feel on how to dance to their music. Again in not WHAT you on the dance floor but HOW you dance it to the music that makes a tango an unforgettable experience.

Songs:
Mano Blanca, tres esquinas, el yacare, trasnochando, hay que vivirla compadre

Posted in Basics of tango, Classes, Uncategorized

Turns

Today’s our focus is to tackle turns or giros from both the leader and the follower’s perspective.

Followers keep in mind the following:
1) turns or giros are composed of 4 steps – side, forward, side and back ( not necessarily in this order)
2) these four steps are equal in length
3) be in control of you axis and how you move WITH your partner.
4) do not syncopate by yourself! let the leader lead the syncope or double step
5) syncopation is normally lead after the back step so please do not attempt to do the syncope in your back step. It is far too complicated!!!
6) follow with the chest but also from the hips

Leaders keep in mind the following:

1) be clear as to when you want to start a turn or giro and when you want to finish it. Do not assume that the follower will finish your movement.
2) Try to lead turns in the strong beat for all 4 steps of the follower – this is difficult and requires a lot control! And once you achieve this, lead the turn with the syncope. Keep in mind that the syncope is not lead in the followers back step but rather after it!

Music:

Di Agostino

Pianist and leader. His music is simple and clear and it is so his vocalist Angel Vargas. Angel Di Agostino was a dancer himself (a milonguero) and therefore developed a respect for the melodic line and rhythmic emphasis to make the dancing easier.

Songs:
Mano Blanca, tres esquinas, el yacare, trasnochando, hay que vivirla compadre

Posted in Classes, Tango Continuing

It is not what we do but how do it!

Today our focus is on listening to each other. It is important that we pay attention to each other’s  bodies and the way of moving. Both leaders and followers have to participate in the conversation that we are having while dancing. Much of the outcome of this conversation derives from the music. That is why it’s so important that we learn to listen to the music and dance differently to the various orchestras. Followers often make the mistake of trying to move too soon or too late leaving the leader half way into his plan or inspiration. Followers try think of moving together which means that you cannot move alone or at your own paste. You need to transfer your weight with the leader – not sooner neither later – together! In turn, this means that followers need to learn to transfer weight in a more grateful manner by using the entire body. Review for followers on how to transfer weight backward and forward. Do not dump your weight on the floor. Transfer it gracefully!
We will add onto last week’s lesson. This time we will dance to Pugliese (harder to dance than Di Sarli). Same short sequence but this time we will add a calesita ending in a voleo. The aim of this is to help followers to learn to relax in the leaders arms and not want to step all the time. We will keep working on the concept of following from the hips for the followers ( distribution of movement throughout the axis instead of moving in a block!

Leaders will work on timing and using double beats while leading followers to step on the strong beat.

Osvaldo Pugliese:
Pianist, leader and composer. Pugliese’s music can can be hard to dance to, but it is very powerful and full of emotion, inspiration and passion. Pugliese followed De Caro’s style but with a strong rhythmic beat – extremely appealing to dancers.
Songs:
Nochero soy
Pata ancha
Chique
Gallo ciego
Emancipacion
La Yumba
Si nace chancleta
Quejas de bandoneon

Posted in Classes, Tango Continuing