This week's alternative tanda is a very high energy set inspired by Dubstep.
This set is a lot of fun and has gone over well here when I have played it. Personally I love dancing to "Too Close." I think this is an example of what I look for in alternative music to dance tango to. The thing that I love about tango is the structure: verse, chorus, verse, chorus, verse. You have 4 shifts of energy during a song, usually from more lyrical/melodic to more rhythmic/beat oriented. While I find "Radioactive" a little cheesy and pop music sounding, it has the shifts that I like for dancing. "Too Close" has those shifts also from very tender to very bold. I love those transitions. It gives me opportunities to go crazy and to calm down.
I like "Sail," but it has less dramatic shifts. Much of the alternative music that people play, I find very monotonous. They are long and sound exactly the same through the entire song. When do I dance close, when do I open the embrace? When do I go from rhythmic to lyrical? I would have to force those shifts rather than them happening organically with the music, because the music is the same throughout the whole song.
Date: 4/15/2013 Teachers: Clint Rauscher & Shelley Brooks Song: Navegante (Vito Dumas) by Carlos Di Sarli with Roberto Rufino
This class was the second in our series on Soltadas. We focused on building compression within the embrace and using an impulse to create expansion. As always, this video does not cover everything we talked about in the class, but tries to cover some of the major concepts. We also discussed how these concepts can be applied to our more traditional tango.
This is a more nuevo tango move and requires more space than we might have at a typical milonga. We stressed, to our students, the importance of respecting the space that we have. These are not moves that we would do at a typical, crowded milonga. This could be used, but only on a large dance floor when you have plenty of room. For example, we have an alternative hour after our usual milonga, often during this time there would be plenty of room for these steps.
Also, not all milongas are crowded or maybe towards the end of the evening the floor thins out. These moves do not move backwards, they progress forward. You need at least 2 to 3 steps in front of you, that is all. Just be respectful of the flow of the line of dance and the other dancers on the dance floor and you should be fine.
Class Topic: Soltadas from Back Cross: Part 1
Teachers: Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks of Tango Evolution and Tangology101
Song: Pa' Bailar by Bajofondo Tango Club
Disclaimer: This is a class demo for our students to remember what we worked on. Even though we give some instruction at the beginning of the video, it is only a small fraction of what we discuss in class.
In this class we looked at Soltadas from the back cross. Soltadas are releases of the embrace. We break our embrace temporarily to perform a soltada. This does not mean that we must completely break our physical connection, although we could do that as well. One important note is that while soltadas may be very modern/nuevo, they really re-enforce our knowledge of molinete and giros. So, working with them can increase your sensitivity in your regular dance.
Tip: We encourage our students to keep a slight physical connection as we do a soltada. We discuss this at the beginning of the video, that I place her hand on my chest as I am releasing the embrace and she can trace her hand around my body to help keep us from going to far away from one another.
In order to get a successful soltada, we must be able to depend on the structure of the molinete. The molinete consists of 3 steps: back cross, side open, forward cross. Once the leader initiates the molinete he should be able to release the embrace and TRUST the follower to execute the molinete, until he re-engages the embrace. We discussed that he can re-engage the embrace on any of the 3 steps of the molinete.
We then added a barrida with a soltada from her back cross.
Variations in video:
3.13 We execute the soltada and re-engage the embrace on her forward cross and continue around her to lead her to another forward cross to exit.
3:30 - We execute the soltada and then lead a leg wrap/gancho after the final forward cross.
3:55 - We execute the soltada and I re-engage the embrace and perform a leg wrap on her side open step.
4:30 - We initiate a soltada with barrida from her back cross. In this one, we keep a connection with his left and her right hands. This also results in a pasada as she passes over my right foot.
5:10 - This is a crazy one.. here I lead the soltada but then step in front of her blocking the forward cross of her molinete. She wants to take the forward cross step but she can't because I am exactly where she needs to go. So she stops. Notice her hand on my right shoulder, so I use that compression in her right hand on my shoulder to reverse the direction and lead her back around me... basically "rewinding" the soltada.
5:40 - Another crazy one where after the final forward cross, I step behind her making thigh to thigh contact and lead a reverse gancho. Yes, there is a lead for the gancho. As with all ganchos, there is thigh to thigh contact first and then the lead which is a tiny twist.
These also work very well in vals since they are circular in nature. Take a look at 2:05 of this video of Oscar and Ana Miguel performing a vals:
This alternative tanda is really more of a modern tanda by Sexteto Milonguero.
The Sexteto Milonguero formed in 2006 with the simple desire to play the dance repertoire, usually heard in the milongas, including different styles of different bands, emphasizing the 40′s, and beyond the excellent versions heard for years, Sexteto Milonguero tries to give a personal sound to these great old songs.
The only intention? … follow the path of those great bands, and do not let the tango, withdraw from the neighborhood, the dancers, the popular, the milongas …"
This weeks alternative tanda is a collection of modern classical pieces excellent for dancing tango. The first is a band called Apocalyptica, who covers lots of Metallica songs. This version of "Nothing Else Matters" has been popular for years as an alternative tango. The second song is from an Italian movie soundtrack called "Cuore Sacro." It is a beautiful song and I love dancing to it. The third song is from the Mr. and Mrs. Smith Soundtrack and is very bold and a great way to end this tanda. One thing that ties all of these songs together is that they all start soft and slow and then build and build to really wonderful crescendos.
This weeks alternative tango is a collection of songs by Astor Piazzolla. What amazes me about Piazzolla is how he can put so many emotions into the same piece of music.
This version of "Libertango" is a remix by Hi Perspective and is nice because it has a bit slower and has more of a beat than other versions. The only negative to it is that it has a very fast fade out at the end of the song.
"Cite Tango" is so light and playful and then it becomes soft and romantic. It feels like being at an amusement park. You are having fun all day, but then it gets late and you start to get tired. You realize that the fun is over and that you must go home.
This version of "Tanguedia III" is from Tango Zero Hour, one of my favorite Piazzolla albums. This song is very aggressive, almost violent. You have to be bold and precise dancing to it. I also like to use lots of changes of directions (alterations). I have edited the song to remove the 22 second intro.
If you wanted to keep this tanda under 10 minutes, you could use Gotan Projects edit of "Cite Tango" which is 3.56 and then start Tanguedia III at the 1.34 mark.
Listen to this tanda
Interesting songs.. a little bluesy... The last one is a technically a milonga, but it is so slow that it is possible to dance tango to it. It is also has Hugo Diaz playing harmonica mixed into it.
Vuelvo Al Sur
Tango, Que Misterio
Listen to this Tanda
I like "Reflejo de Luna" a lot, but it is hard to fit into a tanda. I think this one works pretty well.
Reflejo de Luna
If you love to dance slowly, then you will love this set. This mix of Buenos Aires is still one of my favorite songs to dance to.
Buenos Aires (Plush Mix)
Steve Arguelies Remixes Piazzolla
Roots of Electronic Tango (Downtempo)
Listen to this tanda
As with many alternative tangos, these are technically milongas, but they are slow enough to dance tango to if you like. I find these types of songs a little annoying, because you keep trying to decide whether to dance tango or milonga.
Tango Project Vol. 2: New Tango
En Mi Soledad
Bajofondo Tango Club
Bajofondo Tango Club
Thes are all tango cover songs by Tanghetto. They all have very heavy beats and switch rhythms a decent amount. Advanced dancers that like alternative music can have lots of fun with them. Beginner dancers will struggle and often run around way too fast to them.
This weeks alternative tanda is an electronic tango set by Bajofondo Tango Club and Gotan Project. These are 3 very fun tangos to dance to. One suggestion for dancers would be to take it slow and calm when dancing to these songs. I often see people running around way too fast, especially to "Pa' Bailar."