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Monday, 26 July 2010

Decorations - a contradiction in terms

Recently it dawned on me that decorations, adornos, embellishments (call them what you will) could well be considered a contradiction in terms - unless executed for a tango performance.

Under most circumstances in life, a decoration is an external embellishment. Yet an adorno in social tango comes from within and remains within the embrace. It's not primarily for the viewing public. It is a spontaneous expression of the emotion of the music. It does not disturb our partner. It isn't calculated or premeditated. However, sound technique and control underpin any elegant adornment.

What is a decoration in social tango? To me it begins with the way in which dancers (male or female) use their feet when taking a step.

For anyone interested in this topic, I recommend very highly the articles by Olga Besio and Milena Plebs (in Spanish & English).


Friday, 9 July 2010

Milongueros in action

I’m delighted! At last, I’ve found a series of Youtube videos featuring milongueros of Buenos Aires doing what they love – not performing, but dancing socially in the milonga.

That’s when they’re at their best: feeling the music, dancing with real connection to their partner; dancing with and for her, and at the same time, showing the utmost consideration for dancers around them.

They keep their partner safe in their embrace, allowing her to relax and respond calmly & intuitively. You can see the look of serenity, almost meditation, on the faces of the women in these videos. Tangopilgrim hit the nail on the head, when quoting his teacher: The most important dance is the one that happens inside us.

Don’t do anything, unless you feel you have to. And do anything that you feel you have to do. (Tangopilgrim)
These milongueros and their partners are dancing in the moment. They are both being carried by the demands of the music and all its rhythmic variations, and savouring each second.

Thanks, Irene and Man Yung (video above) and Jantango , for recording and posting these gems on your sites.


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