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Monday, 5 October 2015

Random tanda thoughts

Adelaide has just finished hosting a lovely long-weekend of tango, bringing together dancers and DJs from far and wide, including New Zealand! No workshops, just social dancing. It was delightful discovering 'new' dance partners and having the opportunity to reconnect with 'old' ones.

This brought me to reflect on a sense of being somewhat short-changed at times. Allow me to explain: I would be enjoying a lovely dance with someone I hadn't seen in 12 months or so, and after 3 tangos the cortina was already playing. Or my new partner and I were just 'getting to know' each other in our first ever tanda together - really starting to connect during the second track of the tanda, and found that there was only one tango left to enjoy.

People who prefer three tango tandas often express the opinion that the arrangement allows dancers to circulate more and therefore dance with more people at the milonga. I can see that viewpoint.  However, that argument doesn't seem to work for those of us who perhaps prefer to dance less often, but with partners we really want to dance with. A four tango tanda leaves me feeling pleasantly satisfied and ready to happily float back to my table, rather than the sensation of an unfinished dish being snatched away from me by an over-zealous restaurant waiter.

I'm sure some will read this post and vigorously shake their heads.  They might even label my views as anti-tango community.  But there you are....

On another tanda note...
I recently came across this interesting background of the origin of the tanda.
PP


6 comments:

Felicity said...

>>No workshops, just social dancing.
How nice to hear. :)

>>A four tango tanda leaves me feeling pleasantly satisfied ... rather than the sensation of an unfinished dish being snatched away from me by an over-zealous restaurant waiter.
Very true!

Peter said...

Mmmmm, I seem to remember 3 tango tandas on Friday night???


Peter

Chris said...

Patricia wrote:

> after 3 tangos the cortina was already playing.

I'd guess your DJs were mostly class teachers. Please correct me if I am wrong.

> People who prefer three tango tandas often express the
> opinion that the arrangement allows dancers to circulate
> more and therefore dance with more people at the milonga.

One hears this a lot from classgoers, especially the teachers.

In a four-hour session at a regular milonga playing four-tango tandas, dancing two-thirds of the tandas would let you dance with approximately a third of the potential partners.

That's much more than enough for the typical milongagoer.

But way short of normal for a classgoer. In class, people are typically conditioned to dance with as many difference partners as possible, often with everyone available. Add in the fact the dance session is much shorter in proportion to the number of attendees, and you can see why partnerings have to be short. And indeed this is not the problem it would be in the milonga, because in class the student's primary relationship is with teacher, not partner.

The basis for this class conditioning has little to do with real-world social dancing. Something that class teachers often fail to respect when they try their hand at DJing in the milonga.

Tango Salon Adelaide said...

Well-spotted, Peter.

You must have arrived right at the start of the milonga. My first two tandas were a 3 tango and a 3 vals tanda. Once several couples were dancing, I switched to the 4 tango & vals pattern.
Hope you enjoyed the music.
PP

Tango Salon Adelaide said...

Chris commented: "In a four-hour session at a regular milonga playing four-tango tandas, dancing two-thirds of the tandas would let you dance with appproximately a third of the potential dancers. That's more than enough for the typical milonga-goer".

That's a pretty good summary of the reality in a medium-attended milonga, giving a sensible outcome for the dancer.

later her says: "I'd guess your DJs were mostly class teachers. Please correct me if I'm wrong".

Let my knowledge of two tango encuentros in the past year do the talking for me:
#1: 4 milongas, all with 4-track tandas.
#2: 5 milongas, two with 4-track tandas, three with 3-track tandas.
The breakdown: the six milongas that used 4-track tandas were DJ'd by four teachers, and two non-teachers. The three milongas that used 3-track tandas were DJ'd by one teacher and two non-teachers.

Bob

Andy said...

What I don't really understand is why people (modern Dj's) keep trying to change the milongas musical pattern. Here, in Europe, fortunately they keep the normal 4 tangos tandas twice and a vals o milonga tanda afterwards but there are many Dj's offering 3 vals tandas. After 13 years attending BsAs milongas my opinion, as a dancer and also Dj, is that the ideal way to "play" the tango music in a milonga is 4 tangos, 4 tangos, 4 valses or 3 milongas. During those years I never experienced lack of dancing for it is posssible to start dancing at any tango of the tanda, even in the last one. If both partner are willing to, where is the problem?

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