Saturday, December 13, 2008

On Boleos

Seated boleo...
[I tried to find a photo with a woman doing a boleo, but I couldn't... which tells you where I've been dancing...]


From Limerick Tango, this one bears repeating in every class, practica, milonga and blog across the land...

"You don't *do* boleos. Boleos happen." [Limerick Tango]


At the aforementioned recent tango event, unled boleos were being done all over the place.

The difficult part is conveying that instantaneous state of controlled flaccidity or ready relaxation in the free leg, alternating from leg to leg, so that the leader can cause a boleo to happen.

Comments?

13 comments:

Debbi said...

Well, I have to say that I don't do a boleo unless it is led, mostly because my leader knows whats happening behind me and I don't. The best piece of advice I ever got about boleos was from Tova Moreno who said to me that any ocho could become a boleo, so keep your legs loose and relaxed through the weight transfer. Works for me. :-)

As far as unled ganchos, I have to admit do doing something very rarely to my leaders in a playful moment that I call "kicking your ass." I only do it to those whom I know won't freak out or get thrown off by it, and I only do it with clear communication and acknowledgement that I am about to do something and when we are on the outside lane or in a corner - so it happens rarely. But when the timing and music is right, I will brush my thigh and knee (rest of leg is pointed down) up against the outer right thigh of my leader, sometimes I will literally "kick" his ass with my foot, but that is rare. It is a playful, interactive embellishment and I am super selective on the who and when it gets pulled out. But the reactions are always worth it. ;-)

Otherwise, I don't do wraps on my own because I am not a fan of falling in a tangle of legs on the dance floor.

Mtnhighmama said...

Right, what debbi said about tangles. I can't even imagine how I could do an unlead gancho and not cause a huge pile of limbs on the dancefloor.

Doesn't it pretty much completely stop/impede the motion of the leader for that small timeframe?

I can see how boleos can be done without the lead, as an embellishment, but my understanding of a gancho is that it has to be a mutual agreement.

Maybe this is my "youth" and inexperience talking, or my lack of creativity? I don't know, but in all honesty I rarely can figure out how to do something that isn't lead. Including boleos.

Alex said...

Sorry about the gancho mention in the post. I copied it over from a comment on Limerick's blog without thinking about it. I never lead (no 'do') ganchos, so I never think about them either.

I agree that it would be very difficult/dangerous for a follower to execute an unled gancho. Unless you consider a leg wrap in the gancho family.

Sorry about that...I've corrected it in the post.

Alex said...

I take that back...when I play, with the right follower who is open to it, I do have a follower back gancho that I lead between my legs. It looks like she's kicking me in the nuts with her heel, so it's always good for effect...practicas exclusively...

Besides that one, I can't think of a single gancho lead - I just never did get them, and so never lead them.

Alex said...

Anyone ever experience an un-led gancho?

Limerick Tango said...

I have suffered the most infuriating post-mordida un-led gancho.

Tango Padawan said...

All the time. All you can do is wait :-)

Johanna said...

More often than not, I do not do ganchos because they were not clearly led. I err on the side of caution; if I do not feel the man's leg against my own, I will ignore the "jerk". Too many leads are WAY too timid about touching their partner with their leg; the result is a timid little tap somewhere around the ankle or calf, which effectively impedes ganchoing anything at all.

As for boleos, if there are other people on the dance floor, then I ALWAYS do them low, no matter how much force the lead puts into it. High boleos are ONLY for shows and exhibitions, because one single poorly-timed boleo - whether led or not - can (and does) cause scars that last a lifetime.

Wraps and volcadas are all "into" the partnership instead of outside it (like a boleo or amague), so they are somewhat "safer". Even so, they should be done with the rest of the surrounding dancers in mind.

Technically, a boleo is an interrupted ocho - either backwards (resulting in a back boleo) or to the front (resulting in a front boleo, aka "amague"). The only way they can be followed is if they aren't anticipated.

Malevito said...

Hi Alex, how are you?

Following up on Johanna's comment on boleos, the thing that really makes for a nice boleo is a strong, assertive walk. That is, if a follower has a weak projection in her walk then there is really no energy behind the leg to cause it to whip. Many people with weak walks tend to fake dynamic boleos, and from the leader's perspective it feels like a break in connection since the follower is generating all the energy and movement herself.

As far as unled ganchos, I have experienced them, usually when I'm intending a casual sentada or sometimes after a parada/pasada.

I was once asked by a follower about the suitability of boleos in a social environment and what kind of physical response leaders really wanted, and I explained that in a social situation I'd suggest always doing as Johanna and keeping them low and contained. As a leader, I'm not necessarily looking for a big response from the leg regardless of the energy I put behind it, but rather a response from the hips, that great feeling of tightening the coil and the energy from the release of tension in the unwinding.

And as for social ganchos, I am in accord with Alex and pretty much exclude them from social dancing. One occasional exception--clockwise turn, stepping right leg next to her left leg in her open step causing her right leg to hook mine. Since that one is well contained within our own dance cylinder I figure it's pretty safe. I define this as a gancho although it sounds as if maybe by Johanna's definition it might be more considered a wrap.

OwenMc said...

Unled ganchos? They seem to be a fashion over here (UK), with the ladies twisting against the lead to force that back-kick in. I get it most from <1yr followers, though last w'end I had a teacher (lovely follow, but that's another story :-) do it on a regular basis.

And then there was the front-to-back unled gancho that not only caught me by surprise, but followed through to catch me..... cough....

Still think I should've left that tanda at that point :-D

koolricky said...

Boleos and ganchos happen... when they are led. Debbi has stated the very wise reasons why this is the case. If you have eyes on the back of your head, then yes, you can do an unled Boleo!

koolricky said...

And please, pay attention to Johanna's wise and technically excellent reply. It should have a golden frame around it! I couldn't put it better!

Johanna said...

Oh KR...

[blushes]