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Author Topic: Tango (ballroom)  (Read 8256 times)
Some guy
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« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2009, 03:36:24 PM »

I was always taught by all my teachers that there is a form of rise and fall in Tango but it is not in the legs or by dividing the feet. It is done through the ribcage and center.

Just my 2 cents worth....

Dora-Satya Veda

DSV, if you told me this yesterday, I would've been totally confused.  This morning, it just hit me like a lightening bolt: I realized that there IS rise and fall in Tango, and the rise and fall actually is a crucial element of direction, power, and the "illusion" of effort.  In other words, if I don't "rise" in my rib cage before a walk, it looks flat and weak no matter how much effort I put in to making the movement "explosive".  If I execute a rise in my rib cage a split second before moving, it looks like I'm moving directly accross the floor (as opposed to downward into the floor, or upwards away from the floor) and the power one is able to produce with little to no effort is staggering!  It also completely eliminates the Hunchback-of-Notre-Dame frame I had in Tango when I was putting in all that effort to create power and speed.  I surprised myself!!!  Now if only I can stop looking so surprised when I dance the Tango!!!  Shocked

What struck me was how similar the power in Tango was to power in martial arts.  "Power" in Tango is something I always attributed to "conscious effort".  Today, using the rib cage rise I was blown away by the amount of power I was able to produce with almost no effort.  It makes perfect sense, because in martial arts power is produced with little to no effort.  Effort is an illusion in martial arts, so why not in dance?  When martial artists make things look effortless, it's because it is.  I never thought to apply that to dance.  When I used to do martial arts and chop through wooden blocks, back in the day, I hurt myself quite badly the first few times.  I had blisters and bruises galore!  This was because I imagined that my fragile hand (or fist) had to crash through a piece of tough wood.  Finally, I had a lesson with a Grand Master and what he told me blew my mind: he asked me to imagine that the wooden block was a piece of paper, and asked me to send my hand through the "piece of paper" as quickly as I could.  It took me a while to actually convince myself that the block was a piece of paper, because whenever I felt myself believe that the wooden block was paper, I felt my whole body relax.  That feeling of relaxation scared me because it made no sense that relaxation equaled power.  So after what seemed like an eternity I came to grips with the feeling of total relaxation that enveloped my whole body.  I decided to go for it.  "CRACK!".  When I opened my eyes (!) I was relieved that the crack I heard was the wood, not my bones!  Not only did my hand pass through the wood, but the block of wood actually felt like nothing more than a piece of paper!  I always thought that chopping through blocks of wood required a lot of effort, but that's only an illusion.  The power is very real, but the effort is an illusion.

So if I'm understanding what I felt today in my dancing, effort and power almost seem to have an inverse relationship.  The more effort I put in, the less power I generated.  When I see Pino or Mirko explode out of a promenade link it looks as if they could crash through a brick wall.  All these years I had been trying to charge through a brick wall on every step, but for the first time ever, it feels like I have enough power to actually crash through a brick wall, only I'm expending the same amount of energy I would to crash through a sheet of paper.  So does that mean the Paso Doble requires little to no effort also?!
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 04:27:24 PM by Some guy » Logged
Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2009, 03:53:59 PM »

DSV, if you told me this yesterday, I would've been totally confused.  This morning, it just hit me like a lightening bolt: I realized that there IS rise and fall in Tango, and the rise and fall actually is a crucial element power and direction.  In other words, if I don't "rise" in my rib cage before a walk, it looks flat.  If I execute a rise in my rib cage a split second before moving, it looks like I'm moving directly accross the floor (as opposed to downward into the floor, or upwards away from the floor) and the power one is able to produce with little to no effort is staggering!  It also completely eliminates the Hunchback-of-Notre-Dame frame I had in Tango when I was TRYING to create the power and speed.  I surprised myself!!!  Now if only I can stop looking so surprised when I dance the Tango!!!  Shocked

Well, good thing I didn't tell you that yesterday Wink 

Yes, the fall is used to move the body with no effort and to tell the lady that you are ready for her to take over the movement. The rise is used to stop the movement and create the sharp stop and controlled look. If you are just staying down in the leg you will look like
Groucho Marx-from-the-Marx-brothers. I don't think that is the image you want to portray in your Tango.

It is amazing the power you get be so little effort Cheesy. You will also look strong with no effort Cheesy. You will soon feel that Tango is the softest dance of all of the standard dances. It is good that you got rid of the Hunchback-of-Notre-Dame look. I don’t think that look would be marked well in competitions Wink. Well, I think getting the facial expression right is going to be a lot easier then fixing technique.  Wink

Dora-Satya Veda
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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2009, 06:08:14 PM »

What struck me was how similar the power in Tango was to power in martial arts.  "Power" in Tango is something I always attributed to "conscious effort".  Today, using the rib cage rise I was blown away by the amount of power I was able to produce with almost no effort.  It makes perfect sense, because in martial arts power is produced with little to no effort.  Effort is an illusion in martial arts, so why not in dance?  When martial artists make things look effortless, it's because it is.  I never thought to apply that to dance.

My main teacher actually asked me to do martial art lessons when I first started having lessons with him Wink. He told me that most of what I would learn in those lessons could be transferred to my dancing. I actually also used to practice with putting my hand through wooden boards! Cheesy I think I still have some of the boards somewhere.  Cheesy

Quote
I always thought that chopping through blocks of wood required a lot of effort, but that's only an illusion.  The power is very real, but the effort is an illusion.

All these years I had been trying to charge through a brick wall on every step, but for the first time ever, it feels like I have enough power to actually crash through a brick wall, only I'm expending the same amount of energy I would to crash through a sheet of paper. 

I think I have said many times hereon PDO, that dancing is so easy and that it is puzzling to me, how much time and effort people spend trying to learn it. I don’t care from whom or from where the easy of dancing comes from. But please go out there and find a way to make it easy and not difficult. It is truly an illusion that fools many, many people. Dancers are great magicians and illusionists. My teacher wanted this information to come out and I promised to help him with that, which is why I make these posts. It is however a struggle as many people would rather make it difficult (like they take a pleasure in doing so) then believing it is easy Huh. I guess that is why there are so few that master great dancing.

Quote
So does that mean the Paso Doble requires little to no effort also?!

Why would it be any different in Paso Doble  Cheesy

Dora-Satya Veda
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"As we understand more things, everthing is becoming simpler"

Edward Teller
Some guy
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« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2009, 06:14:49 PM »

Lol!!!  Yes, it's a good thing you didn't tell me this yesterday!

Next dance!  Paso Doble!!!  Smiley

As usual, you're right.  The rise is what stops the movement, the fall moves.  I was executing the rise as an impulse, and the fall that resulted from the split second rise is where the movement happens.  The fall lasts longer than the rise.  The split second "rise" is where the movement stops.  The sharper the rise, the more steccato I can create with minimum effort!  Am I anywhere in the ballpark with any of this?  I find it easy to do, very hard to explain.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 06:17:49 PM by Some guy » Logged
cornutt
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« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2009, 08:01:32 PM »

DSV, if you told me this yesterday, I would've been totally confused.  This morning, it just hit me like a lightening bolt:

I wish that bolt woud hit me, because I'm still not getting it. 
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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2009, 08:17:27 PM »

As usual, you're right.  The rise is what stops the movement, the fall moves.  I was executing the rise as an impulse, and the fall that resulted from the split second rise is where the movement happens.  The fall lasts longer than the rise.  The split second "rise" is where the movement stops.  The sharper the rise, the more steccato I can create with minimum effort!  Am I anywhere in the ballpark with any of this?  I find it easy to do, very hard to explain.

Yes, the easiest place to see this action is when top couples are moving into a promenade after a Five Step.

Sounds to me like you are mid-field. Wink

Dora-Satya Veda
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"As we understand more things, everthing is becoming simpler"

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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2009, 08:23:15 PM »

DSV, if you told me this yesterday, I would've been totally confused.  This morning, it just hit me like a lightening bolt:

I wish that bolt woud hit me, because I'm still not getting it. 

You have a PM with a little help.
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Edward Teller
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« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2009, 03:54:23 AM »

nice to be going back and having a good read of some of these threads, so very inciteful and very good advice.
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elisedance
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« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2009, 01:06:10 AM »

Last lesson we worked on leg speed - can you comment on that DSV - it seemed as if I almost could not move my legs fast enough stepping through.. 
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cornutt
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« Reply #39 on: September 02, 2009, 12:47:22 PM »

Last lesson we worked on leg speed - can you comment on that DSV - it seemed as if I almost could not move my legs fast enough stepping through.. 

This sounds like what I run into in cha-cha; it's not the moving so much as it is the stopping.  That look of crisp movement has to do with placing your foot on the floor and making it stick there (or so I've learned recently).  I had a coach a few months ago who made a comment about me letting my feet "squirm" around on the floor; that is, when the moving foot was moving, the standing foot was sliding or rotating or whatever.  I've been working on that ever since.  It's not easy.  I'm realizing that proper footwork has a lot to do with it.

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elisedance
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« Reply #40 on: September 04, 2009, 05:23:14 AM »

Maybe thats what people are really thinking about when they talk of tango as a cat like motion.  Its not really, cats stalk in a continuous motion whereas tango is more pulsatile.  If you want to see an animal do tango, watch a stick insect Cheesy
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cornutt
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« Reply #41 on: September 06, 2009, 11:45:27 AM »

Maybe thats what people are really thinking about when they talk of tango as a cat like motion.  Its not really, cats stalk in a continuous motion whereas tango is more pulsatile.  If you want to see an animal do tango, watch a stick insect Cheesy

The comparison could be because when cats walk slowly, they move one leg at a time.  I believe horse people call that "racking" (MC or Ginger, jump in here if I'm wrong).  If you watch a cat closely, it's rather mesmerizing actually; watching the legs move is like watching an intricate machine, while the cat's body moves in a smooth continuous motion, as you said.  Y'know, that's an interesting way of thinking of tango, and it might explain some of the leg-speed issue.  Thinking about it, I'm probably tending to move my entire body as a unit too much in tango.  Obviously, if you try to stop your whole body, that's going to be harder than just stopping your leg and allowing the body to continue. 
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elisedance
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« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2009, 05:29:57 AM »

I think of it as a very fast foot action but a continuous body one.  Its the one dance where the leg actually precedes the body.  However, the weight transfer is still complete - you have to achieve balance at each step... but I beleive there are different schools of thought on that too...
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cornutt
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« Reply #43 on: September 11, 2009, 10:01:26 AM »

Did a step in silver tango group last night... don't know the name of it, but it starts in promenade, and then the lead cuts in front of the follow and pivots to backing LOD.  The partners are closed for a moment, with the follow moving forward, and then it transitions to fallaway moving down LOD.  The second part of the step involves taking two steps in promenade and then the lead does a half spiral while the follow walks around him; it ends in tango close facing LOD. 

I got the second part.  It's the first part that I'm having trouble with.  After cutting off the follow and closing, I'm not managing to lead the transition to fallaway properly.  It keeps wanting instead to move to outside partner, and then I cheat it into a promenade position.  I can't figure out how I'm meant to get my partner to my side while moving backwards, without pulling her over there.
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Some guy
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« Reply #44 on: September 11, 2009, 11:32:08 AM »

Youtube should be able to help out.  I gave it a shot, not knowing exactly which figure you were doing, and I came accross the following video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMiwSl8SRJU
It might not be the figure you speak of, but at 4:17 on the clock Marcus Hilton explains how to lead the lady into a fallaway from a closed position using his body.  I thought it might be of interest to you.  Hope it helps!  Cool
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