[Tango-L] No dancing before the music

Victor Bennetts Victor_Bennetts at infosys.com
Thu Feb 21 00:44:18 EST 2008

This thread seems to have evolved into a discussion on dancing tango to non tango music, so here goes.

Tango music has been written and beautifully arranged and performed specifically with tango dancers in mind. Lets take Biagi's Quejas De Bandoneon. First you have the keyboard chomping rhythms, so suggestive of strong walking, boleos, sacadas, cortadas. Then the violin kicks in and you have beautiful ochos, gentle turns, long pauses, small volcadas. And so it goes with amazing textures, contrasts, pauses, right up until that final rolling piano brings on fast turns, tiny americanas, linear grapevines etc etc. Just thinking about this is making me want to go and find my wife and change my shoes :-).

Realistically, no matter how much you might like a piece of non tango music on examination you will find it is just paced wrongly, bland, two dimensional (for tango purposes) or alternatively overly complex by comparison. There certainly should not be any rule against dancing tango to non tango music. Dancing and singing are a way of life in Argentina and I am familiar with that mindset from Spain. You just walk out into the street and start dancing, so rules are a bit stupid in that context. It's a dance of the people right. On the other hand, there are some non tango songs that seem to work ok and this isn't just a foreign phenomenon. I have seen Argentineans dancing tango to Zitarrosa, for instance. And there are plenty of old time waltzes to which you can dance tango vals. But do you dance to this alternative music all the time or even the majority of the time?

Say you drive a race track in a delivery van. Sure you can do it and maybe make a decent fist of it and make it entertaining, but it is never going to feel the same as doing the same track in a sports car. Tango music is perfectly suited to the dance and Biagi (for me) is the Ferrari of tango music. So why someone would walk past the Ferrari to get  into the delivery van is what I am wondering. You might do it occasionally for fun and a bit of a break, but if someone starts to want to do it all the time, because they think it handles better than the Ferrari, that would be a little strange.

Victor Bennetts

>"Feeling" is one of the characteristics of A. Tango, if you change the feeling then you are dancing something that is >similar to tango but that it is not tango.

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