December 2014 Teachers: Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks Music: Francisco Canaro's "Salud, Dinero Y Amor"
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This week's tanda is calm, rhythmic tanda by Francisco Canaro with Roberto Maida singing. It starts with the very popular "Invierno." It is such a sweet and smooth song. Click here for a great translation of the lyrics from the Poesía de Gotán blog.
You might notice that there are 5 songs here. No, this is not a 5 song tanda... but rather, I could not decide which song to end the tanda with. I think "Viejo Tiempo" is probably the best fit, but I also love "Paciencia." So, I put both on here so that you could listen and decide. "Viejo Tiempo / Old Time" makes sense because all of these songs have more in common with the "Guardia Viejo / Old Guard" period (1910 to 1925) than the Guardia Nueva or Golden Age period. To give a super brief and over-simplified explanation, the songs of the Guardia Viejo period would have focused more on the underlying rhythm while the music of the Guaria Nueva would have focused more on melody and harmony. Canaro is working with both here.
Here is one of my favorite all-time favorite performances by Pablo Rodriguez and Noelia Hurtado. It is such a sweet and tender performance. To me, nothing says tango quite like this performance. It also demonstrates the statement that "Tango is a sad thought that can be danced." You might notice how emotional they are after the performance. I do not know the details, but it is my understanding that this was their last performance together after many years of teaching and dancing with one another.
Columbia, SC Regional Tango Festival Performance
We had planned on dancing to something very slow, but then we were asked to perform live with the Alejandro Ziegler Orchestra. So, we decided to be bold and dance to their arrangement of Astor Piazzolla's "Michelangelo '70." This is completely improvised and we have never danced to this song before, much less their live version. I do wish we had been able to practice to it a few times, because i feel like it started coming together about half-way through. Thanks to Martin Ahrens for the video.
DubStep Tango Performance for Daza Dance Showcase
This is our performance from the Daza showcase. This was part of a showcase put on by Daza Dance to showcase the students and teachers of the studio. This was an improvised performance, except for the lift at the very beginning.
History of Argentine Tango Performance
The concept of this performance is to show a progression of Argentine Tango from its early days up to today, demonstrating different rhythms, embraces and styles.
Vals Performance from Charleston, SC Spoleto Tango Festival
Leg Wraps Class Demo from Charleston, SC Spoleto Tango Festival
In this week's class, we focused on milonga con traspié. We had several people stay after class, because they were so excited about milonga... so we ended up running out of time to do the instructional part of the video... we will try to do one next week for this class.. but here are some highlights in text:
We started with more milonga basics of keeping the simple, regular time rhythm of 1, 2, 1, 2 by changing weight.
With all of these steps, we focus on:
* keeping the rhythm. Both the man and woman are responsible for holding the rhythm.
* staying relaxed and trying to release any tension in the embrace and especially in our hips and legs. This will help with quickly switching weight.
* precision footwork by bringing our feet completely together when we can.
* mixing dancing to the single, regular time rhythm and dancing double time. In my opinion, lots of people look like they are just running around the dance floor during milonga, because they are trying to dance double time the whole time. I prefer dancing in regular time and using double time more sparringly.
:07 to :16
Then we step outside partner, bringing out feet together and changing weight to the rhythm. Then we step back and change weight to the rhythm and repeat.
:17 to :21
Then we step outside partner, bring our feet together, change weight and immediately step back, change weight and back forward outside partner and repeat.
:25 - Traspié to the Side
There is a lot of confusion over the term traspie. Some think of it as a stumble step or as dancing in double time (quick-quick). While these are partly true, I think a more accurate definition is using the same leg twice. Some say it comes from the term "pie detras" which means "foot behind." I think this is a very accurate description of what happens.
We start the side traspié by stepping outside partner with our right, then we take a step to the side with our left and then forward AGAIN with the our left, leaving the right foot behind. So, we use our left to step to the side and then re-use it again to step forward.
We can also think of traspié as rebotes (rebounds) or arrepentidas (repents). We often do traspiés in double time or as syncopated steps, but that is not what defines a traspié. But do keep in mind that when some teachers talk about traspié they are using it as a synonym for double time or syncopation.
:44 - Here I step back and then perform a side traspie and back to collection. Then I take a forward step and another side traspie and back to collection. Then immediately to a back traspie and continue back.
1:36 - Mix n' Match Traspiés
Here we do a string of traspiés forward, side and back for both the leader and the follower. You can see here that we can mix and match the traspiés. I can do forward while she does back or we can both go forward or both go back etc.
In this class, we look at the basic ocho cortado and many variations.