Tango: my life as a not-so-good leader

And you thought that YOU were the worst dancer in the world ?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Versatile partner (aka women, you know...) 

I went to a week-end workshop about tango nuevo saturday, having beforehand arranged things with a class partner so that she comes with me to this workshop. Well, I thought things were arranged. Because I went there, but my partner didn't. Afterwards I phoned her, she apologized and said she would come for the sunday session. Sunday, no partner once again. On my answering machine I found a message "Sorry, I'm just too tired to come. Sorry. Kisses". Just after the workshop there was a milonga at the same place. On my way out (the workshop finished a bit later than it should have), who did I meet , entering the dance hall, wearing tango shoes and a nice black short gown? My partner.

posted by Pablo  # 1:14 AM (10) comments

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

a musicality workshop that never was 

Among the various workshops I attended, and that were labelled musicality, most of them were just about double-time steps. But here, the teachers had carefully prepared a CD of their own, a mix of various A.T orchestras, and intended to show us how one same sequence of steps could (and had to) look very different if both dancers were listening to the music.

Unfortunately, the studio CD player refused to play their prepared CD, and so they had to use the four or five regular CDs they had. So, a considerable amount of their time was lost replacing every three minutes the D'Arienzo CD with the Canaro CD or the Piazzolla's. Also, the sequence they demonstrated, and which was build with simple elements (walks, ochos, cruzadas, boleos) but designed to allow us to add embellishments if the music needed some, this sequence was definitely too long (24 steps or so) for the numerous leaders who had overrated their abilities.
(this was an intermediate musicality workshop)

And so, instead of having two teachers making us aware of the instruments, the melody, the pauses, the rythm, and how to translate all this in our dance, we had one teacher changing the CDs and the other repeatedly showing the steps. Finally one of them shouted
"Ok, forget the sequence, do what you want, 8CBs, anything, but do it with the music!"

Yet the problem when all pupils stopped dancing an identical pattern is that it added navigational issues. Up to now we were more or less doing our, say, forward step together, but now that we were not doing the same sequence any more, having to be more focused on floorcraft made us (even) less focused on musicality.

All in all, despite everybody trying to make the best of it, the workshop was a one-hour mess.
After the class, while changing shoes, I heard the (female) teacher, almost weeping on
her partner's shoulder:
"- All these women! What the point of my showing them how to embellish their ochos when they
can't do a regular ocho in the first place? Aren't they supposed to be intermediates? They
should have come at the beginner workshop. I didn't know most of them, but it looked like they were walking in the street, saw some light and just entered..."
He tried to comfort her:
"- No, they were not all newcomers, some of our regulars were here too. Look, Pablo was here."

She had a brief look at me, and cried louder.

posted by Pablo  # 6:02 AM (0) comments


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