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

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

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Half way 

My main teacher decided that our private would be a check-up of all the elements she had been showing to me up to now. Barridas, ochos, boleos, embrace, musicality, giros, rythm, walk.
My ochos/boleos/giros were more or less ok, and my barridas/embrace mejor (read still not good but a bit less worse than they used to be). My musicality though turned out to be non-existent. While I understand and even like the idea of forgetting the beat and "dancing the violin", I'm unable to do it.

This is how it should be:
- I'm dancing on the beat.
- Being familiar with the tango piece, I know a violin solo is coming.
- When the violin solo actually comes, I filter out all the orchestra but the violin and lead a few appropriate steps.
- When the violin solo ends, I come back to dancing on the beat, until another instrument, say the piano, becomes dominant for a while.

And this is how it actually is:
- I'm dancing on the beat, just nervous because an unfamiliar exercize is awaiting me.
- Being unfamiliar with the tango piece, I miss the beginning of the violin solo.
- At some point I notice the solo and hurry to finish the current sequence.
- Then I lead a few auto-pilot dull moves so that my brain is available for figuring out what the hell I could lead that would suit this damn violin.
- The solo soon ends before I've even begun to actually lead one violin step.

Filtering the instruments is an interesting thing though. I'll have to listen to my tango CDs a few dozen times each, and carefully, before I can achieve this.

posted by Pablo  # 10:22 AM
Comments:
The situation you're describing (the 'actually' part) isn't totally unfamiliar. :-)

You probably know this already, but just in case:
1) There's no need to "finish a sequence". At the most, you need to finish the step you're currently doing. (Also, many steps can be "finished" at any instant).

2) You don't need to frantically scan your brain for "violin steps" when you suddenly hear the violin. If you're unprepared, do your current step (and the next ones) with "violin feeling". Just slowing down whatever you're currently doing (breaking out of the beat) can be effective.
 
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