[Tango-L] demo advice needed

Stephen.P.Brown@dal.frb.org Stephen.P.Brown at dal.frb.org
Mon Feb 11 16:06:56 EST 2008

Some further thoughts about demonstrations:

1)  Musicality is important to a convincing demonstration.  If 
choreography is used, it must be learned to the point where the couples 
actually dance to the rhythm of the music.  Copies of the music should be 
given in advance to all couples participating in the demonstration for 

2)  If the dancers are willing, it is desirable to use a variety of tango 
music for a demonstration.  All D'Arienzo or all Pugliese can leave a dull 
impression with a audience.

3)  There is a range of gradations from completely choreographed 
performances to completely improvised performances.  One possibility is 
generally planning and rehearsing the more complex elements of the 
demonstration--using the basic elements to connect--and using the elements 
as they fit.

4)  Choreographies need to keep the skills/capabilities of the dancers in 
mind.  I've seen fairly good dancers looking bad because the choreography 
someone else created for them didn't play to the strengths of their 

5)  Dancing synchronized elements requires a lot of practice.

6)  Changes in the speed of dancing--combining double-time and single-time 
elements creates strong dynamics.  So does strong movement across the 
stage in an element like a cadena.

7)  Use of the line of dance can work as a simple rotation device during a 
demonstration.  Each couple can take dance a showy element at the front of 
the stage and then rotate toward the back, creating room for the next 
couple to rotate forward.  (This assumes that each couple is sufficiently 
equal in ability.)

8)  The stage can be used more dynamically than simply using the line of 
dance.  (See Doris Humphrey's The Art of Making of Dances" for some ideas 
about stage use.)  Without a coordinating choreography, however, it is 
challenging for several couples to share the stage without use of the line 
of dance.  The line of dance can be modified somewhat to create a little 
bit stronger dynamics.  One simple idea is pinching in the middle of the 
sides and back toward center stage.

Steve (de Tejas)

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