Archive for July, 2008

A “cross” post

I repost this from my personal ‘blog:

Have finished Paul Coughlin’s Married but not Engaged, and it is as great and essential a read for single Christian women as his No More Christian Nice Guy. I was heartened to read of his explorations in tango dancing with his spouse, and his use of describing this tango dancing as a metaphorical way to try to demonstrate and speak about the complementary roles of Christian husbands and wives. When I consider that some denominations would consider this dancing sinful, it is disheartening to reflect that what we would call the “secular” world has much clearer insight than that community supposedly influenced by the Holy Spirit and led into truth.


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Milonga style is my worst form; I simply don’t think and improvise that fast. That having been said, I think that a simple close-embrace milonga style is the easiest to teach to a non-tango dancer – simple cruzes and cortadas in the line of dance, assuming a comparably sized follow. Doing it well, or stylishly, on the other hand, is probably something like the holy grail of tango. Thus it is paradoxically the hardest as well as the easiest, to my mind. I have previously posted this video which shows it done well by some performer-level folk.

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Tango to Evora II

This piece on youtube, which appears to my amateur eye to be somewhat choreographed, is done to the music of Tango to Evora by Lorena McKinnon, a favorite piece of mine mentioned in the last posting.

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Tango to Evora


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Viva Uruguay!

A non-tango friend sends me this link about dancing tango in Uruguay, across La Plata from Buenos Aires.

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A session with Jake about musicality was exsquisite, with emphasis being placed on listening to various Golden Age greats, particularly Biagi, whom I plan to get to listen to. As is the case with most tango knowledge, the half-life was short. But in this class a great deal of creativity was found with simple walks and crosses, but con tiempo. I had heard previously how the experience was more enjoyable for the follow when doing elegantly and simply this way vs. with elaborate figures; and thought they were being kind. No more. It’s more enjoyable for the lead, too; at least this one. However it is, like all would-be tangueros know, much harder to implement on a crowded floor with more distractions. One variant we played with in particular was using short vs. long steps (as opposed to slow or quick steps) to express changes in the music (both molody and rhythm), and also using more lunging sort of steps for the barrrrrummph kind of movement found in some pieces.

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Floreos, or “florid”

Carina says that when someone can do floreos well, she will give them a “milonguero diploma.” I think such a one might be deserving of that. Simple steps, hard to do elegantly. I will not attempt to annotate the steps, but simply note for my future review to remember to keep the chest out and to realize that the step is part pivot and part stepping in place. Something to have a private lesson about in the future when the mind is fresh and not clouded.

..In my previous experiments to wind up with my back facing the line of dance, I was operating in cross system and stepping outside of her instead of walking in parallel in a kind of “secada” walk as I learned in Bs. As. By doing the “floreo” – especially con tiempo, (and I am long way from that) one is whole order of magnitude beyond a simple change of which way you are looking.

To make the salida de quarentes (sp?) more elegant, remember for the lead: After your side step, your pivot takes up one beat of time and is a step for her – and give her intention forward as you put your chest forward with the change of front; here is where she takes a (small) back step to match your chest coming forward. An andorno she can perform here is a quick cross-uncross (not by actually crossing and stepping out, but by a quick left over-right resolved by undoing the left-over right.) An embellishment the lead can add here is a glacis before walking her out of the cross.

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