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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

What can we learn from performances?

Obviously it depends on who's performing, but it also depends on what we're looking for.

Geraldine Rojas and the late Carlos Gavito gave one of those unique and "I wish I'd been there" performances a few years ago. Carlos illustrated his mantra "less is more" - that passion, timing, and giving time for his partner to improvise was far more important than what he once referred to as 'dancing like a bunch of washing machines". Geraldine shows her clear joy at dancing with one of tango's greats, but it didn't get in the way of her demonstrating her exquisite skills that complemented her partner's intensity. What can I learn from this piece? Aim to evoke sensuality from the dance and focus on musicality - but that'll mean keeping it simple.

And two dancers who do keep it relatively simple are Sebastian Achaval & Roxanna Suarez while performing this great De Angelis piece; note the word relatively. Mind you, their turns are brilliant - no chance of emulating that - but they otherwise dance small figures that would be familiar to many intermediate dancers. So what puts them on quite a different plane? Their execution is precise, balanced, and grounded for a start. Now add a generous layer of timing while they expertly link their figures seamlessly. And finally, as with the other couple, their musicality - the dance reflecting the moods & changing rhythms of the music. Again, I learned more about timing & musicality, but there's no short cut to the hours of constant practice that needs to go into it.


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