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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 ?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A theme is a theme is a theme 


The teacher had decided that the private would focus on listening and musicality. So she played a few pieces, La Yumba, El Choclo, Recuerdo, while I was listening silently. Then she began to talk about how one tango piece was divided into melodically coherent parts of 16, 24, 32 beats, named themes. The same theme could come several times in the same piece, she continued, and usually with a variation, for instance the second time a violin would be added. And when the theme changes, she concluded, "You have to change your dance accordingly."

She was already opening her arms and coming closer but I stopped her as I was not ready to dance yet.

I was not getting it. I could change my dance (Actually I could not. But I could try to.) to match the music when the change was about the rythm (fast to slow), the style (stacato to rubato), the instruments, the volume (loud to almost silent).
But a change in the melody? How to translate it?

"- You have to be aware of the change of theme."
"- But what then? What property do I change in my dance?"
"- If you're aware that the theme has changed, or that a theme is coming back then there will be a change in your dance."
"- Ok I got it!"
"- Finally! Good!"
"- You mean that if I was leading giros the first time I have to lead the same giros when the same theme occurs."
"- No, no, no! How can I say, well, you have to be aware..."

And once again the little me went back home puzzled and confused by another tango mystery, only hoping that one day it will make sense.

posted by Pablo  # 8:21 AM
Comments:
I found it amazed that you keep ridiculing yourself here all the time. I am sure that you a better dancer you have described about yourself.
 
No, it's sincere. I can recognize when a new theme comes but I don't know what to do with it.
 
The way she is explaining musicality, sounds very confusing. I am not sure if one can explain it. Musicality comes from the soul, and expresses itself in our movement.
 
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