Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Artistas callejeros de tango en el subte de Buenos Aires

Sent from my iPad

Tango is suffering with someone else in your arms

Here's an unpublished draft from July 3, not that suffering...not suffering like it's a really bad dance suffering...but suffering suffering...human condition type least that's how I'm choosing to interpret it...

02/28/18 note...I'm dancing a whole helluvalot more tango abierto with The Divine Miss Sugar G...and having a helluvalot'o fun...hell, I might even end up buying some white tango shoes...(grin)...

Please accept my apologies for the sensationalist headline. I was reading Susana Miller's essay "Tango Abierto y Tango Milonguero" and the last line plucked me like a guitar string.

If tango entrenches itself in one style we’ll end up alone, dancing a virtual tango, seated in front of our computer, and we’ll lose its essence: the risk of both enjoying and suffering with someone else in your arms.

So, I'll freely admit that I machete'd her words to draw in a few more readers. But she did say it - kindasorta. But that's not what really resonated with me in reading this. It was her balanced treatment of open v. close, and her lucid brevity in verbalizing the various growth phases of tango. Not so much distinct phases of development, but the continuous evolution of a person and the tango in their life and soul. And heart and mind.

I was telling my close friend Rigoberto the other day that "I think about tango every day, but I rarely dance anymore...". There is my true and heartfelt headline.

Susana's essay came along at just the right time for me. I needed to hear that there is no close without open, and no open without close. I can see the former very clearly, and I am hopeful the latter does hold to be true over time.

For me, I have absolutely no use for open embrace tango. It doesn't do anything for me. It doesn't float my boat. To the contrary, it sinks my boat. My teacher in Aspen taught us close embrace almost from the get-go. Aspen is, or was, a close embrace community, much like Denver. It's my default. It's the source of my longing for tango. Delving into the why's and science and psychology of it...another time.

I've been lamenting to myself that if I am able to dance a few times locally each year; once or twice a year at a festival, or every two years - that will be enough. Lamenting to myself or convincing myself. I've even pondered the possibility that my tango fix may take the form of a trip to Buenos Aires every four or five years.

I suppose I'm maturing in my tango - or focusing on higher priorities in life - or a combination of the two. I'm still trying to wrap my head around what's going on in my head. Wound up in the head around tango. I also recently posted a status update on Facebook that read something like this: "...uh, I dunno...something like "looking forward to the day when I can NOT think about tango".

Now I'm whining.

The point is that I needed to hear this - that open embrace is fundamental to close embrace. Close embrace might not exist without it. My dream/fallacy/lamentations of Austin moving to become a more "close embrace" estilo milonguero community...(not sure what I meant to continue to say here...the draft post just trailed off with this...)

By the way, thanks to Joe Grohens over at The Topic is Tango from bringing this to my attention on Tango-L.

Here is the essay in its entirety:

Tango Abierto and Tango Milonguero
[by Susana Miller]

[open embrace tango and close embrace or estilo milonguero tango, as danced in the milongas of buenos aires]

The so-called tango abierto, based on the spectacle and glamour of its moves, is the gateway to tango. It is what people see all over the world, in Buenos Aires; at the theatre and on TV. Can anyone possibly resist the match between great technical display and romanticism? Inevitably, it’s ‘love at first sight’. This is the type of tango that attracts many students to class. A small part of these go on, trapped by its passion, dancing in classes or on the stage or teaching it. As in any other discipline, knowledge of tango is shaped like a pyramid, with a large amount of beginners at its base and the few chosen and ambitious elite that will never stop studying at its peak. Dancing tango isn’t easy. It’s never been a massive practice either, not even during the so-called “golden age of tango” in the forties and fifties.

The difference between this dance and any other is that you can’t learn it by going to the milongas, watching the dance floor or by studying a DVD. It needs study and time, just like an academic career.

You need about 10 years to dance it properly. That doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy the journey. In fact, it’s enjoyment that moves the learning process forward, a process which is not linear, but two steps forward and one back.

You need time for doubts and time to compare and double check the knowledge that comes with good, regular practice.

It’s almost impossible to avoid tango abierto. Throughout the world, most students, far away from the pistas porteñas, start with this type of tango, as indeed do most young people, even in Buenos Aires. It’s here that they find a wide open space in which they can reassert themselves and hold on to in the midst of this global and somehow oppressive world.

The fact is that tango abierto is spectacular. It requires great physical challenge as your body is the protagonist. Hours of practice and dedication are needed.

Once you’ve started, nothing else matters. It is the only thing you talk about. You don’t even notice how boring you’ve become to all your friends, tired of hearing the same old story over and over again. At work you can’t avoid discretely practising a couple of steps. Nor can you avoid it whilst waiting for the three a.m. bus. Every single mirror, every shop window shop are an opportunity to double-check your posture. And after this (at first) subtle invasion of public places, you inevitably end up moving your own living room around in order to use it as a small studio.

The fact is we all started with tango abierto. It is part of our personal history: the game, the freedom and the challenge, all of these are fixed in our emotions, like the fond memories of childhood.

Tango’s ‘old guard’ that has been dancing for over 40 years, also started with tango abierto. They started with the many backwards sacadas, barridas and ganchos until they eventually ended up with their embrace del centro, cerrado and parrillero that they continue to enjoy nowadays.

Tango abierto attracts beginners and inevitably makes their life easier, which is fantastic, since no popular dance continues for decades unless there are beginners. But the paths of learning gradually turn long and twisted, and you never know where and how the story is going to end. But he or she who continues will finally reach something really big, a sort of climax, la fiesta del tango: a more mature tango, less narcissistic and less ostentatious. Tango is in no rush, it knows how to wait even until you reach your forties. Tango withdraws itself in order to get stronger, and emerges triumphant, a tango that is no longer based on the look of the others but on the profound dialogue between partners. Its conception of music is richer and more sophisticated. It isn’t formed by the muscular tension of the tango of stage performances but by relaxation of the body. Therefore, it’s a more organic tango, not suitable for theatres and performances where the tango abierto is danced.

Those who continue to dance tango abierto over the years become the maestros, those who dance it both properly and in the correct context, on bigger dance floors, with more space. They never run the risk of colliding with other dancers. They choose suitable places to dance, usually far from downtown. When they have to dance on smaller dance floors they adapt their style, dancing milonguero like the others.

For those dancers over 30 and those who are younger but with experience, the musical embrace of the tango milonguero leads the way to tango for the rest of their life. Tango abierto and tango milonguero are the two streams which fuel the source and maturity of tango. They are mutually indispensable. If one is lacking there will be no future for tango.

The maestros who generate communities should specialise in one style, whilst acknowledging, accepting and supporting other existing styles. They should encourage those that teach other facets of tango, which in turn need to be nurtured by all the other expressions of tango. Each style and expression matches different ages, expectations and stages of life.

It is very difficult to begin without the game and the freedom of tango abierto but it is also very difficult to dance tango for a lifetime without giving it more significance, however important pleasure and fun may be. Tango’s maestros and organizers should negotiate events, locations and times in an intelligent and rational way, smoothing down, regardless of egos and competences, for tango isn’t a place where you always have to compete and find out who’s who. Idolatry and selfishness can only serve to hurt the general well-being and growth of our community, or even divide and destroy it entirely. If tango entrenches itself in one style we’ll end up alone, dancing a virtual tango, seated in front of our computer, and we’ll lose its essence: the risk of both enjoying and suffering with someone else in your arms.

[end of essay]

Are we brainwashing ourselves in the battle against climate change?

I see headlines like this and I'm immediately skeptical, because I've done a fair amount of looking into U.S. and World total power production and consumption.

I’m skeptical...I know things are improving, but this seems a bit much...unless they mean 100 “city governments”...okay, so now i'm doing the math... Seattle yes, mostly hydropower...Burlington, VT 55MW (very small) wood-fired with natural gas auto-transfer backup, plus some hydro...I know Aspen is City of Aspen Electric only, with a very small customer base (hydro, 5MW)...and then Eugene, OR - mostly hydro, with some nuke, biomass, wind...88k customers (again, very small)...the rest of the cities are in other countries, and I'm guessing they are very small amounts of power usage/capacity...not many cities/localities in the U.S. are in a position to benefit from hydro or biomass power, unless we start burning our trash, but that's not exactly green/no-carbon...I'll make a guess that the U.S. cities the article cites, and throwing in Aspen, is around 100 megawatts or 0.1 gigawatts...the U.S. total generating capacity is just over 1,000 gigawatts total generating capacity...(note this is nameplate generating capacity in aggregate of all power generating facilities)...

For perspective there are 1308 coal-fired power plants in the U.S. (on 557 sites) with a generating capacity of 310 gigawatts or 310,000 megawatts...460 gigawatts gas/other...just over 1,000 gigawatts total when you throw in nukes, wind, other/experimental...

Renewables/green power plants are a hugely small fraction of our total power production/consumption...well, okay now that I actually look it up, renewables are 215 gigawatts, so call it 22%...(Includes conventional hydroelectric, geothermal, wood, wood waste, all municipal waste, landfill gas, other biomass, solar, and wind power. Facilities co-firing biomass and coal are classified as coal.) we have a long way to go, and keep in mind all burning of wood/waste, etc are producing CO2 which is the gas that causes anthropomorphic climate disruption...

here is the link to the source article...

and here is the link to the USEIA data that I used...

And finally, my point is that these articles are somewhat misleading to the general public (and what, there are 10 of us actually reading and pondering these articles?)...I think that most people think we are making headway by leaps and bounds in the march towards renewables/green/solar/wind/tidal energy sources...and hence the fight against global warming...but we are not...especially with the addition of 3-4 million people being born each year...

Baby steps are good...but we have a long, long, long way to go...and it will involve severe cuts to our usage of power, something no one ever talks about...along with over-population...

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Buscandote :: Short Film by Juan Francisco Otaño

Looks like I sent the lyrics from my phone or ipad back in February of 2016 and never got the blog post built...

"BUSCANDOTE" un cortometraje de Juan Francisco Otaño from Francisco otaño on Vimeo.

Dedicado a todos los que buscan con fervor algo en la vida. y cuando se encuentran con ello todo sucede mágicamente.

Written by Lalo Scalise, recorded in 1941 Osvaldo Fresedo/Ricardo Ruiz...

Lyrics translation by Derrick del Pilar

Searching for You
lyrics by Eduardo Scalise

with the fatigue of my endless ambling,
the bitter sadness of being alone,
enormously anxious to arrive.

Perhaps you know…
that I have gone through life searching for you,
that I shattered my dreams without meaning to,
that I left them at some crossroads.

I sped up my steps,
in hopes of seeing you,
I strung together long roads,
I covered leagues and leagues.

After I have had a chance to rest
in your arms,
if you prefer I will leave again
by the road I took yesterday…


Con el cansancio de mi eterno andar,
Tristeza amarga de la soledad
Ansias enormes de llegar.
Que por la vida fui buscándote,
Que mis ensueños sin querer vencí
Que en algún cruce los dejé.
Mi andar apresuré
Con la esperanza de encontrarte a ti,
Largos caminos hilvané
Leguas y leguas recorrí por ti.
Después que entre tus brazos
Pueda descansar,
Si lo prefieres volveré a marchar
Por mi camino de ayer.
Letra y música : Eduardo Scalise  (Eduardo Scalise Regard)
Grabado por la orquesta de Osvaldo Fresedo con la voz de Ricardo Ruiz.

Un cortometraje de Juan Francisco Otaño

Nice Tango Videos :: Tango, A Message from the Concrete Jungle (2013)

So on Vimeo (which I like better than YouTube, because it's more film-maker-ey and artsy-fartsy) there are lots of people trying their hands at amateur shorts and such, as well as pros. People wanting to tell a tango story using video as their medium. Tons and tons. So many that it would be difficult/impossible to sift and parse through all of them. There almost needs to be an TangoIMDB of all of the best. Feature length films with tango elements in them (very few), documentaries (more), and shorts, probably in the thousands.

Anyway, just blathering.

Here's a nice one.

Tango, A Message from the Concrete Jungle from ColdSun Productions on Vimeo.


This poetry video is an elegant dance between the city of Buenos Aires and the Tango. The poem is written by Andres Bosso and the music composed by the poets brother, Jorge Bosso.

The city of Buenos Aires, the poem and this intimate partner dancing inspired us to shoot this video.

Directed by Alessio Cuomo

Cinematographer: Ignacio Masllorens

Poem by Andres Bosso, taken from the book Luz Natural

Music: Tango's Gedanke

Composed by Jorge Bosso

Poem recorded at IDQ Studio Utrecht

Translation by Matthijs Beeren & Jean Lanham

Special thanks to the tango dancers: Tatiana Lopez, Edison Chaves, Lucy Attwood, Gonzalo Navarro

Camera: Canon 60D

Edited & color graded in Final Cut Pro and Magic Bullet.

A ColdSun Production © 2013

Weird Tango Videos

If you do a search on "tango" on Vimeo, you get 29,600 results, mas o menos. I'm browsing, and ran across this strange one. Embedding is disabled so just click the button to see it on Vimeo.

TANGO from Javier Pérez on Vimeo.

Our Last Tango :: Documentary

Executive produced by Wim Wenders, Our Last Tango tells the life and love story of Argentina’s most famous tango dancers Maria Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes, who met as teenagers and danced together for nearly fifty years until a painful separation tore them apart. Relaying their story to a group of young tango dancers and choreographers from Buenos Aires, their story of love, hatred and passion is transformed into unforgettable tango-choreographies.

1 hour 25 minutes

Rent or buy on Vimeo

Our Last Tango from Strand Releasing on Vimeo.

Hozelock Tango :: Tango Animation

Using tango the word and the dance in advertising, in theory to sell Hozelock's hose fittings/paraphernalia...?

I'll stretch and call it cultural appropriation.

Lots of this out there in the world...

Hozelock 'Tango' from Mecanique Generale on Vimeo.

They have another one called Hozelock Valse...

Hozelock 'Valse' from Mecanique Generale on Vimeo.

Tango but not tango :: “Tango” by Zbigniew Rybczyński, 1980

Another animation, a great one, but only tango in the title "Tango". A must see, but again, no tango.

Actually I guess it's not really even an animation. Oh well. Let's throw it up on the wall.

"Tango" by Zbigniew Rybczyński, 1980 from Tito Molina Faceblog videos on Vimeo.

No copyright infringement intended. Copyright remains with the artist and label.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Tango Animation Not :: A Evaristo Carriego (a compendium)

Nice animation, but not tango. The song is "A Evaristo Carriego", an instrumental by composer Eduardo Rovira, dedicated to the Argentine "Arrabalero" poet, who was born in 1883 and died in 1912. His wiki page says that his poetry influenced tango lyrics over the years. Pugliese first arranged and recorded it in 1969, and if you look it up on iTunes, there are three dozen or so nuevo orquestras who have covered/recorded it. I'm sure there are tons of results on YouTube. Avail thyself. Keep scrolling. Tons more info below the titular video.

Nice song.

From the I Like Tango YouTube video: "A EVARISTO CARRIEGO", Tango composed by EDUARDO OSCAR ROVIRA (1925-1980) La Orquesta de Tango de FOREVER TANGO estaba formada por once músicos argentinos: 4 bandoneones (liderados por Víctor Lavallén), 2 violines, viola, violonchelo, contrabajo, teclado y piano (Fernando Marzán).

Here's an (audio only) version with Pugliese and Piazzolla supposedly playing live in Amsterdam in 1989.

Here they are, Pugliese and Piazzolla, live in Amsterdam (1989), in some crude footage performing"La Yumba" and Piazzolla's "Adios Nonino", with a very big orquestra. Pugliese died just over six years after this, in July of 1995.

Here's Pugliese and his orquestra performing live at Teatro Colon in BsAs in December of 1985.

And here are Carlos Gavito and Marcella Duran peforming to "A Evaristo Carriego" at the Boston Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops and the Forever Tango Orquestra in 1998. What self=respecting tango afficionado hasn't watched this one a few times? Marcella Duran. Sheesh, man.

This appears to be the 1969 version, on YouTube. I can't seem to find this version anywhere - to purchase.

Here's "La Calle Junto La Luna", an Argentine romantic drama from 1951 - about the life of poet Evaristo Carriego...

Sinopsis: La vida del célebre poeta del barrio de Palermo: Evaristo Carriego, interpretado magistralmente por Narciso Ibáñez Menta. Una estampa única del Buenos Aires a comienzos del siglo XX, la lucha de un poeta del suburbio de entonces que pintó como nadie las simplezas y dolores de la gente. Un film para volver a revivir y comprender la historia de un Buenos Aires intelectual y el desarrollo de su música popular. En la fotografía vemos a la pareja estelar de la película: Diana Ingro y Narciso Ibáñez Menta

Then there's this from the TodoTango website:

Evaristo Carriego, un poeta arrabalero

rasladada su familia a Buenos Aires, vivió en la calle Honduras N° 84 (hoy 3784), del barrio de Palermo. Desde muy joven frecuentó las tertulias literarias porteñas, en las que gravitaban Rubén Darío y Almafuerte.

Escribió en diversas publicaciones de la época, como La Protesta, Papel y Tinta, Caras y Caretas, y otras. En ellas dio a conocer también sus poesías y cuentos breves. Publicó su primer libro de poemas, Misas herejes, en 1908 y su restante obra poética fue publicada después de su muerte con el título La canción del barrio.

Carriego fue quien descubrió las posibilidades líricas del arrabal y de los arquetipos que constituirán su mitología personal y porteña, en la que destacan los guapos, los cafés, el barrio y los vecinos, con sus tristezas y sus alegrías, pintándonos toda una época, una geografía, un sentir humano. Obra que ha sido decisiva para la poesía porteñista posterior y para las letras de tango.

Murió a causa de una peritonitis apendicular, según consta en certificado firmado por el Dr. Pedro Galli. Tenía 29 años. Fue el «poeta del suburbio», el «poeta de los humildes», el «poeta de Palermo».

El 7 de mayo de 1975 se fundó la Asociación Amigos de la Casa de Evaristo Carriego, que presidió el pintor palermitano José María Mieravilla, a quien se debe, en gran parte, la conservación de dicha casa. Fue Presidente Honorario de esa entidad, a la que tuve el honor de pertenecer, el escritor Jorge Luis Borges.

Google Translation:

Evaristo Carriego, an arrabalero poet

Rasladada?? his family to Buenos Aires, he lived in Calle Honduras N ° 84 (today 3784), in the neighborhood of Palermo. From very young frequented the literary gatherings Porteñas, which gravitated Ruben Dario and Almafuerte.

He wrote in various publications of the time, such as protest, paper and ink, faces and masks, and others. In them he also announced his poems and short stories. It published its first book of poems, Masses heretics, in 1908 and its remaining poetic work was published after its death with the title The song of the quarter.

Riego was the one who discovered the lyrical possibilities of the suburbs and the archetypes that will constitute their personal and porteño mythology, in which the handsome, the cafes, the neighborhood and the neighbors stand out, with their sadness and their joys, pintándonos a whole period, a Geography, a human feeling. Work that has been decisive for the poetry porteñista posterior and for the lyrics of tango.

He died because of a appendicular peritonitis, according to a certificate signed by Dr. Pedro Galli. I was 29 years old. It was the "poet of the suburb", the «poet of the humble», the «Poet of Palermo».

On May 7, 1975 the association was founded friends of the House of Evaristo Riego, which was chaired by the painter Palermitano José María Mieravilla, who is due in large part to the conservation of the house. He was honorary president of that entity, to which I had the honor of belonging, the writer Jorge Luis Borges.

Here's a search on his poetry.

And lastly, this, on Scribd, which appears to be a pretty comprehensive collection of his poems, in Spanish (232pp).

I think this fucking post took me two hours to put together...(grin)

Hot Tango Mondo Bizarro :: Tango Animation Is A Thing?

Hot Tango Clay Animation, bubbled up from the aether in a "tango clay" search...

Crude clay. Crude animation. Crude resolution (240p). Crude tango. If you can even call it that. Crude plot? Crude and unusual human/tango behavior. Why don't y'all comment on the storyline? But, all that said, someone named Alexander Zhernovoy went to a fair amount of work to do this. Worth of a record in the archives.

And from the "realated" videos that popped up, it appears that "tango animation" is a thing. More to follow. Although I see I've used the tag before. I'll have to see what that's about. Ah. This.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Tango Addiction :: A Neurobiological Disease?

Photo credit: Remi Targhetta (the study's author)

Here's the pdf...

J Behav Addict. 2013 Sep; 2(3): 179–186.
Published online 2013 Jun 14. doi: 10.1556/JBA.2.2013.007
PMCID: PMC4117296
Argentine tango: Another behavioral addiction?
Remi Targhetta,1,# Bertrand Nalpas,1,2,*# and Perney Pascal1
Author information ► Article notes ► Copyright and License information ►
This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.
Go to:
Background: Behavioral addiction is an emerging concept based on the resemblance between symptoms or feelings provided by drugs and those obtained with various behaviors such as gambling, etc. Following an observational study of a tango dancer exhibiting criteria of dependence on this dance, we performed a survey to assess whether this case was unique or frequently encountered in the tango dancing community. Methods: We designed an online survey based on both the DSM-IV and Goodman's criteria of dependence; we added questions relative to the positive and negative effects of tango dancing and a self-evaluation of the degree of addiction to tango. The questionnaire was sent via Internet to all the tango dancers subscribing to “ToutTango”, an electronic monthly journal. The prevalence of dependence was analyzed using DSM-IV, Goodman's criteria and self-rating scores separately. Results: 1,129 tango dancers answered the questionnaire. Dependence rates were 45.1, 6.9 and 35.9%, respectively, according to the DSM-IV, Goodman's criteria and self-rating scores. Physical symptoms of withdrawal were reported by 20% of the entire sample and one-third described a strong craving for dancing. Positive effects were high both in dependent and non-dependent groups and were markedly greater than negative effects. Long practice of tango dancing did not modify the dependence rate or reduce the level of positive effects. Conclusions: Tango dancing could lead to dependence as currently defined. However, this dependence is associated with marked and sustained positive effects whilst the negative are few. Identifying the precise substratum of this dependence needs further investigation.

Keywords: addiction, tango, behavior, dependence

Dmitry Pruss wrote about it at his humilitan blog when it came out in Discover Magazine back in 2014.

And here's Remi Targhetta's article in Tout Tango (in French)...

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Somewhere between firming up and melting :: Terpsichoral Tangoaddict Thread

Me dancing with a Ferrarri named Heather...back in Aspen...
Heather smiles...

I copied and pasted this (the words/stuff below) into a Word document some time ago...looks like it's from Facebook...

On the subject of "the embrace" and the feeling of the embrace and mutual pressure resistance tension force meeting force and all that khynna stuff...

Personally, I like Catherine Young's comment....Tone without tension, melty but not flaccid, presence VS "resistance", awareness but not micromanagement, assertiveness without force, grounded while also buoyant...

I generally don't go back to followers who are "noodle-ey" and just not there, not "present"...I like to feel a slight bit of athleticism...

Rigoberto back in Aspen...we used "she's like a Ferrarri" to describe particular followers a few, I've never driven a Ferrarri...but now I know what it feels like...(grin)

Terpsichoral Tangoaddict
April 22 at 10:22am · Edited ·
I was musing yesterday on a very simple, in fact rather commonsensical, but often forgotten aspect of tango teaching. (At least, I often forget it.) What you emphasize in your teaching or even your own dancing and practice reflects what you feel most dancers are lacking and therefore what is most important to correct.

My personal impression is that most less experienced/less skilled dancers feel too stiff and tense, that the leaders are too forceful, and the followers offer too much resistance -- and that most people don't feel sensual enough in the embrace. So I focus on encouraging people (and myself) to relax more, find the way of least resistance, the minimum effort necessary, do less (especially leaders), not micromanage the muscles and soften everything up.

But The Semite feels that most beginners are too unstructured, floppy and collapsed and will disintegrate into a heap of wet spaghetti if you blow on them. So he is always emphasizing maintaining a frame, keeping things toned, using a *small* amount of resistance, being clear and not under assertive, pushing off.

His language is all about firming up. Mine is more likely to emphasize melting. He stresses discipline; I talk about sensual enjoyment. These aren't contradictions, of course. The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle. He just feels the steaks are so rare they are almost raw. And I'm more concerned that they might burn to a crisp. And often this is what is happening when teachers give you contradictory advice: they are trying to pull you away from the extremes, to keep you far from one pole or the other (and you need to stay away from both, both are equally distorting -- and, yes, you can be both collapsed and tense, in different ways and at different moments). The teacher's job is to try to guide you to where the lovely subtlety of the movement lies: that sweet spot in the middle.
Unlike · Comment · Share
• You, Dierdre Nepa Black, Tina Marie Eaton, Mary Li and 84 others like this.

• Faith Lasts Yes, I think the truth is somewhere in the middle but I tend to drift more towards your approach...(I am not a teacher yet )
April 22 at 10:25am · Like · 1

• Terpsichoral Tangoaddict Faith Lasts Actually, my partner doesn't often teach either. But, yes, this is partly a question of personal preference and you will take an approach with your own dancing even if you're not a teacher (you are always your own teacher).
April 22 at 10:26am · Like · 1

• Anna Larsen Comparing to steaks is a new word in tango teaching:)
April 22 at 10:32am · Like · 1

• Catherine Young Tone without tension, melty but not flaccid, presence VS "resistance", awareness but not micromanagement, assertiveness without force, grounded while also buoyant...
April 22 at 10:37am · Unlike · 15

• Terpsichoral Tangoaddict Anna Larsen But appropriate here in Baires, right?
April 22 at 10:39am · Like · 2

• Anna Larsen Totally:)
April 22 at 10:40am · Like · 1

• Bruce Chadwick I think that what beginners do is just extremely varied. People who come from a ballroom background are usually too stiff, because the ballroom embrace is what in linguistic circles might be called a "faux ami" (false friend). On the other hand there are definitely some that flop around like loose spaghetti.

I think what happens on the beginner follower end is that there is so much stress about "did I do what I'm supposed to," that it results in a bunch of compensating behaviors. For some, it's to tense up in preparation for hearing that something went wrong, for others, it's to give up their poise and let the leader push them around and mold their steps as if they were a lump of clay being patted into shape. For others (a lot, in my experience) it's to try to memorize a figure that's being worked on, or - if that isn't possible - try to guess what the leader is going to do after a step or two.

Having followed a bit (albeit badly), I know that it's a very challenging nut to crack, since I was guilty of many of the same things, even though I supposedly know better.

(As an aside: I particularly feel for followers who get told "don't anticipate" constantly, because it's often hard to know that you are anticipating until something goes wrong. I pretty much never say "don't anticipate" to anyone, because what they need to hear is what *to* do, not what not to do (also, I might be doing something wrong too). Often times you are not consciously anticipating - it's just muscle memory coming into action. Leaders can usually get away with that, because muscle memory kicks in and then they can say "yes, that's what I was leading," but followers don't get as much slack for that, so there's no doubt that following is a high level skill, even for followers that aren't doing tons of embellishments or anything particularly showy.)

Of course the challenge with beginner followers is that most have to learn by dancing with beginner leaders, and that usually doesn't help much. Though a beginner follower with a more experienced leader will sometimes get floppy and let the leader push them around, figuring "this seems to work ok," not realizing how much extra work the leader has to do in that case. (You can argue that the leader should refuse to do that extra work, but often the path of least resistance is to put up with it and hope that a new partner comes soon).

Beginner leaders are also stressed about "did I do that right," along with "did I step on her" and (in some places) "is my melty embrace inappropriate for someone I just met, so maybe I'll stiffen it up so that it's more 'businesslike'". I think the compensating behavior for the leader does tend to be "let me try to micromanage everything." That's partly because leaders are very concerned about whether they forgot to do something, so they will tend to overdo things as they go down their mental checklist of what's supposed to happen. Ironically, this doesn't stop us from forgetting things, it merely encourages us to overdo the things we do remember.

As with followers, the challenge for the beginning leader is that he usually has to learn by dancing with beginner followers. Only when more experienced followers dance with a leader is it possible to realize that "she's perfectly capable of dancing her part without micromanagement, and in fact it tends to be better if you just let her do that." But then he goes back and dances with a beginner follower again and perhaps the grand epiphany no longer seems to work.

It sometimes amazes me that any of us (leader or follower) survive long enough to develop much skill. A testament to the human spirit, indeed.
April 22 at 1:08pm · Edited · Like · 20

• Hans Peter Meyer A complaint I (sometimes) have is with follows who melt so much they flow through my arms. So I'm often encouraging "presence." But last night my best tanda was with a follow who felt as if she might melt through my arms, yet was entirely present - and delicious. No simple answers. Just complex learning, simple pleasures.
April 22 at 10:44am · Edited · Like · 9

• Eva Vonesse I'm not a teacher, but eternal student and I agree, the sweet spot is in the middle.
April 22 at 10:52am · Edited · Like · 2

• Bruce Chadwick I think a pasta metaphor is better. You want an embrace that's "Al Dente". You don't want an embrace that's floppy/watery, and you don't want an embrace that's crunchy. You want Al Dente.

You don't want an Al Dente embrace when you're with a squid, but that's a different story.
April 22 at 12:47pm · Edited · Like · 20

• Dennis Loffredo Yes, this is why you should be careful who's hands you put your tango fate in! Don't take a few classes from every person who comes to town, or because someone has a big name, or won the mundial. Watch everyone, see what speaks to and inspires you, and then let them guide you, and trust their advice, build a long-term working partnership with that teacher whom you respect. It doesn't mean they have to be the most graceful, some older teachers can't move as well any more but have incredible information to share. But CHOOSE your teacher.
April 22 at 10:54am · Like · 12

• David Phillips Both Bruce Chadwick and Terpsichoral Tangoaddict describe matters in a way that resonates with my experience (coming from a ballroom background) as leader and follower, and my thinking. I differ only in a matter of degree, in that it seems we too often see things as either/or, when really it's about applying the just right level of firmness/meltiness at the right times.

I've become a fan of quite small, highly targeted functional movement experiences/experiments/games (somewhat akin to Feldenkrais but more specific to tango) as a means for dancers to self-discover the range of possibilities, equipping them with understanding of the need to always be adapting - to the partner and to the movement requirements - in either role.
April 22 at 11:00am · Like · 4

• Eva Vonesse I think learning both roles, leading and fallowing CAN be helpful.
April 22 at 11:05am · Like · 6

• Christina Choong Hear hear Eva!
April 22 at 12:07pm · Like

• Terpsichoral Tangoaddict Bruce Chadwick Almost no one here has come from a ballroom background, but, yes, I know what you mean! And I think the ""is my melty embrace inappropriate for someone I just met, so maybe I'll stiffen it up so that it's more 'businesslike'" is a very American concern. Puritanism is not dead.
April 22 at 12:43pm · Like · 6

• Bruce Chadwick Yes, I'm speaking from a US context, where it's more common to have beginner dancers who have done ballroom dance previously, and where the standards of what constitutes appropriate touching are often exceedingly unclear.
April 22 at 12:46pm · Edited · Like · 3

• Suzanne Doyle Tango dancers of many years training are still trying to find the "sweet spot" of this dance of contradictions. It becomes a lifetime pursuit.
April 22 at 12:51pm · Like · 7

• Andrew Gauld Beginners tend to have firmness and looseness in the wrong places so they can be both too firm and too loose at the same time. And most of the things I've heard teachers say, in attempts to fix these problems, have made them worse. I wish I could claim, like Fermat, to have a truly elegant solution to this (which would, of course, be too large to fit in the margin of this book), but I don't.
April 22 at 5:17pm · Like · 3

• Terpsichoral Tangoaddict Jonathan Descheneau and Daniel Helfrich: Sorry, guys, but you know the house rules. Discuss it in a PM, please. Abrazos!
April 22 at 9:20pm · Like

• Barbara Kottmayr
Yesterday at 3:08am · Like · 1

• Joanne Zhou Let them(us) find their body before start correcting.
Yesterday at 7:50am · Like · 1

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Codes of Coexistence Among Milongueros :: ALL VIDEOS

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Codes of Coexistence Among Milongueros :: PROHIBIDOS LOS BOLEOS ALTOS EN PISTA LLENA

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Codes of Coexistence Among Milongueros :: PROHIBIDO DAR CLASE DURANTE EL BAILE

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Codes of Coexistence Among Milongueros :: PROHIBIDO DESCUIDAR EL ASEO PERSONAL

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Codes of Coexistence Among Milongueros :: PROHIBIDO HABLAR AL BAILAR

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Codes of Coexistence Among Milongueros :: CIRCULACIÓN OBLIGATORIA DE LA PISTA

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🔥HOY🔥 We finally arrive at the last short of the milonguera and educational production of "CODES OF COEXISTENCE AMONG MILONGUEROS"

🎁 For those who could not come, I tell you that this video we premiered with all the emotion of being all together, last Friday, November 10 at the unforgettable birthday party No. 5 of our site 🎊 Great party great jejeje🎈

We present the last two codes ⭕ "MANDATORY CIRCULATION IN THE TRACK" & also the most important and essential code of all for THERE TO BE GENUINE AND REAL TANGO ...

With you, the beautiful people who made this possible: (THANK YOU, THANK YOU AND MORE THANKS FOR ALL WE WANT THEM !!!)

Retorted that go backwards on the track:

Atilio Veron Mi Refugio with
Susanna Pirjo Rapo (from Hoy Milonga)

And the Nadias of Hoy Milonga, Nadia Funes & Nadia Spens

"The" Master who comes to put order on the track, our beloved dancer, director, choreographer of a lot of tango and great heart ... Olga Besioooooo Olga Besio II Olga Besio Olga Besio

Master musicians who sweetened our ears and lit our legs !!!
Duet "Salvando las Distancias" Fernando Rezk on bandoneon and Miguel Barci on guitar

Milongueros dancing with all their hearts

Adriana Argentina Frossasco
Omar Viola
Martin Chili
Suyai Serpa
Manuel Gonzalez
Majo Marini
German Ballejo
Magdalena Gutierrez
Carla Tango Tango
Maria Oliva
Federico Piperno
Karin Dhadamus
Niv Sardi
Roberto Ubaldo Soto
Daniel Ricardo Adra
Natalia Peña
Tamara Valdivia Mio Tango
Susana Beia
Jorge Nelson Farias L
Noe Andino
Leonardo Salvador Guerra
Leonardo Chinchilla

*** If someone was missing, please let us know! Sometimes it can happen, we are many and there is a lot of work :)

💜 Thanks again everyone, everyone! For this beautiful experience, for having put the heart to all the filming, for the laughter, the jokes, for the endurance of always !!!! We hug them strong strong❤

💜 Thanks Doris Bennan, you were right "Los Laureles" has that thing that makes everything look spectacular !!!

Visual production: Colectivo Ladran Caravana a first class team, not only professionally but humanly, thanks Luz Balaña, Cristian and Jeremias Ferreri for everything, everything and for having come to premiere with us and to share a night that we will never forget 💜

Meet them!*...




#hoymilonga #prohibidohablaralbailar #codigosdeconvivencia #tango #ilovetango # la2x4


🔥HOY🔥 LLegamos al fin al último corto de la producción milonguera y educativa de "CÓDIGOS DE CONVIVENCIA ENTRE MILONGUEROS"

🎁 Para los que no pudieron venir, les cuento que este video lo estrenamos con toda la emoción de estar todos juntos, el pasado Viernes 10 de Noviembre en la inolvidable fiesta de cumpleaños Nº 5 de nuestro sitio 🎊 Gran fiesta gran jejeje🎈

Les presentamos los dos últimos códigos ⭕ "CIRCULACIÓN OBLIGATORIA EN LA PISTA" & además el código mas importante y escencial de todos para que HAYA TANGO GENUINO Y REAL...

Con ustedes, la gente hermosa que hizo esto posible: ( GRACIAS, GRACIAS Y MAS GRACIAS POR TODO LOS QUEREMOS!!! )

Retobados que van al revés en la pista:

Atilio Veron Mi Refugio con
Susanna Pirjo Rapo ( de Hoy Milonga )

Y las Nadias de Hoy Milonga, Nadia Funes & Nadia Spens

"La" Maestra que viene a poner orden en la pista, nuestra tan querida bailarina, directora, coreógrafa de mucho tango y gran corazón...Olga Besioooooo Olga Besio II Olga Besio Olga Besio

Maestros músicos que nos endulzaron los oídos y nos encendieron las patas!!!
Dúo "Salvando las Distancias" Fernando Rezk en bandoneón y Miguel Barci en guitarra

Milongueros bailando con todo el corazón

Adriana Argentina Frossasco
Omar Viola
Martin Chili
Suyai Serpa
Manuel Gonzalez
Majo Marini
German Ballejo
Magdalena Gutierrez
Carla Tango Tango
Maria Oliva
Federico Piperno
Karin Dhadamus
Niv Sardi
Roberto Ubaldo Soto
Daniel Ricardo Adra
Natalia Peña
Tamara Valdivia Mio Tango
Susana Beia
Jorge Nelson Farias L
Noe Andino
Leonardo Salvador Guerra
Leonardo Chinchilla

***Si faltó nombrar a alguien por favor avisennos!!! A veces puede pasar, somos muchos y hay mucho trabajo :)

💜 Gracias nuevamente a todos , a todos!!! Por esta hermosa experiencia, por haberle puesto el corazón a toda la filmación, por las risas, los chistes, por el aguante de siempre!!!! Los abrazamos fuerte fuerte❤

💜 Gracias Doris Bennan , tenías razón "Los Laureles" tiene esa cosa que hace que todo salga espectacular!!!

Producción visual: Colectivo Ladran Caravana un equipo de primera, no solo a nivel profesional sino humano, gracias Luz Balaña, Cristian y Jeremias Ferreri por todo, todo y por haber venido a estrenar con nosotros y a compartir una noche que nunca olvidaremos 💜





#hoymilonga #prohibidohablaralbailar #codigosdeconvivencia #tango #ilovetango #la2x4

Hoy Milonga Buenos Aires Milonga Guide

For those of you planning a trip to Buenos Aires....and apparently there's a mobile app...also for Paris and Berlin...

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Juan Lencina Bailarin Natural :: Los Milongueros Interviews

From Juan Tango's YouTube channel:

Click on CC for English subtitles. Argentine tango dancer tells what it feels like to dance the tango. Juan Lencina is a very charismatic tango dancer and storyteller who promotes milongas in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Monday and Thursday nights Juan Lencina and Daniel Rezk are the organizers of the milongas Derecho Viejo and La Cachila at Club Gricel. The reason that Juan's story is important is because the older dancers that experienced firsthand the tango craze of the 40s and early 50s are disappearing and their presence in the milongas cannot be replaced or underestimated.

Juancito began to dance for the natural reason, to meet girls. The milongas of the 40s and 50s didn't have older dancers like the milongas today, they only had young dancers. His neighbor Finito became a very famous dancer and has been called the best dancer of his generation. Juan enjoys seeing dancers from other countries come to Buenos Aires to dance each year and to watch them improve as a result of their contact with the Argentine dancers.
Juan became a tango maestro as a logical consequence from his experience learning and teaching in the practicas with his friends. He had a long career as a tango professor and taught in all of the best places in Buenos Aires. When he began to organize milongas in the 1990s he began to meet young dancer that were also interested in becoming tango maestros and it occurred to him that like everything in life you have to help the next generation become successful, so Juan gave these young professors the opportunity to teach in his milongas. He was invited to go to France and teach in 2008 and really enjoyed the experience.

Juan never had a desire to compete in contests. He feels that competitive dancing lacks the heart and soul of tango. He feels that every dancer should incorporate their own personality and uniqueness into their personal dance style. He appears to be singing the lyrics to the songs he dances to, but he doesn't actually use his voice. He feels that you shouldn't talk or whistle or sing while you dance. Juan definitely has his own personal style and you will never see anyone dance like he does.

To learn more about Tango in Buenos Aires go to:

Tango Marathon Man :: Los Milongueros Interviews

Roberto Segarra 96 Year Old Tango Dancer

From Juan Tango's YouTube channel:

96 year old Argentine Tango dancer tells his story. Click CC for English Subtitles. Roberto Segarra was playing cards with a group of friends prior to the interview which took place in May of 2011 at Club Liber Piemont. Most of the video footage was shot in Marta Fama's Wednesday night milonga El Rodriguez

Roberto's 96 th birthday dance footage was shot on September 16, 2016 at Obelisco Tango in the Friday night Milonga de Buenos Aires. The final performance and the pictures of Roberto with his family and friends were shot at Club Fulgor in May 2011. Roberto was being honored for his lifelong contribution to tango.

Bonus material

The first dance that I went to was held in a dance hall that no longer exists and I am not sure there is anyone who knows it but it was called the “Lido de Palermo” (Lido of Palermo) and was located over there in the “Palermo Chico” area, as it's called over here, you know, “Palermo Chico”. I think it was on Juez Estrada Street, with the Osvaldo Fresedo Orchestra and the “Santa Paula Serenaders”.
There was a tango academy where there is now the Bachin Restaurant … er, no, Pippo … where Pippo is now. You know Pippo? … There, on Montevideo, between Corrientes and Sarmiento, a restaurant, Pippo. Well, there used to be a big hall … named “Academia Pedro” but they did not really teach there. They had female employees who would all dance very well, they were all tango teachers, and guys would go there to dance since they knew they would be dancing well. Because at that time, when you were starting to learn to dance, those who already knew would tell you “you need to go to the dance and ask out women who know how to dance well because that way you are going to learn faster. Don't ask ... as the tango says “no saqués paquetes que dan pisotones” (Don't ask out a “paquete” that will step on you. – Paquete is argentinian lunfardo for “a clumsy, heavy or overweight person.” ) … [unintelligible] … (Laughing) That's the way it is. They would teach you to ask out women who were good dancers … even it was only for a single song … even if she did not want to dance with you again … but at least you danced with a partner that danced well. That's what your elders taught you, and that's what we did … those of us that could. Of course, when you already knew how to dance well, you did not mind the feet as much, you started caring more about the woman who you asked out than her feet or footwork.

(Talking about during the 1970s and 1980s ) Even though the tango had not reached the stage where it is now, but there were places (to dance). There were definitely some places. There were just a few places but then it began to grow thanks to Piazzolla. Because Piazzolla was the one that started taking the tango abroad, in its classic form but he … Here's what I think: there are two people to whom we owe what tango is now. One of them was D'Arienzo in 1935 and Piazzolla in the Seventies or Eighties. Those were the two that raised the tango and tango is what it is now thanks to them. We have to be thankful to them. To learn more about Tango in Buenos Aires go to:

Monday, February 19, 2018

Vania's most excellent efficacious quintessential foundational core small space tango rudiments for tango ruminants

(typically of something inanimate or abstract) successful in producing a desired or intended result; effective.

I'm taking a small space workshop with Vania, here in Austin. Or small space sequences. Small space technique fundamentals. A perfect and on-purpose choice of topic leading right up to the Austin Spring Tango Festival, and on the heels of a...uh, how shall I say it?...a milonga with less-than-optimal floorcraft several weeks ago. Apparently some boleos were thrown that made contact. No bueno. Otherwise generally chaotic. However, I wasn't there - assumptions based on what I've heard.

Just to get this out of the way, I think we can all agree that "small space sequences" are key to manifesting a milonga with good floorcraft, and further, manifesting good floorcraft within a community, and finally, manifesting good floorcraft within oneself, in one's own dancing. If you ain't dancin' tango with good floorcraft, you ain't dancin' tango. Bub. Bubba. Tango Bubba. I think I've just coined some new tango terminology!

So, that said, this morning I was going to share the next event - Week 3 - in a Facebook post, and I wanted to say something about how much I like these classes, the subject matter, her teaching style and teaching knowledge. Being the man of few words that I am, what popped into the primordial soup first was "amazing". Then "stupendous". Stupid, weak words. So as I was hunting for my big, thick, dog-eared thesaurus on my bookshelves, other words like "important", "of vital importance", "fundamentals", "core" all popped into my head.

Y'all who know me know I'm not one to gush. Especially about tango teachers or tango teaching or classes and workshops. Truth be told, I haven't taken many classes for the past several years. Mostly "a la carte" stuff at the ASTF - favored topics, wanting to add a thing or two to my "tango roll-o-dex of moves". Baring my soul, I feel like my repertoire is limited. Not that there's not a lot of tango shit, "happy horseshit" as one of my oldest teachers used to say, in there, in my primordial soup, it just doesn't come out. I've forgotten the vast majority of my "learnings" from my first four or five years of pretty profoundly intensive study of tango. Lots of teachers, lots of local classes from my maestra local teacher, lots of festival classes & weekend workshops, lots of privates, and a handful of intensive intensivos, and a shitload of money and time. Almost too much information. But I figgered I would let it percolate and steep and soak into my bones. So much information that I didn't care to or dare to take a class. For a long time. Until now. Until Ms. Vania.

The more I dance, the more stuff bubbles up to the surface. The more I remember "stuff" that I forgot to remember not to forget. "Tango stuff". I'm dancing more now, and practicing at home, but for about five or six years there I was in a dry spell. A Tango Drought. When you're thirsty a little bit of tango can go a long way. I was only dancing a few times a year. For the past almost three years, Sugar G and I are dancing 3-4 times a month, if not more, now.

So I've focused on my few things. The old standbys. My embrace. My walk. My ocho cortado. Some cross-footed happy horseshit. My molinete and some fairly extensive variations. My cross footed anti-clockwise rotating rock step. An occasional 1/2 back ocho. An occasional 1/2 front ocho. My never ever sandwichito. An enganche/leg wrap thingy. Really only one of those that I can think of. No real sacadas, except for a tiny one in this milonguero double clockwise giro that I do. A standard issue volcada. Sometimes a double volcada. Obviously la cruzada, which surprisingly I tend to forget about, or not think about - I guess because it just happens "absent conscious thought". Which is a good thing I suppose. I think I'm pretty good with my musicality. I walk when the music tells me to walk, and I do stuff when the music tells me to do stuff. (I'm being humble and modest.) (In my humility after Sugar G and I finished a vals at practica yesterday I said "well I pretty much nailed the shit out of that one". She laughed. Cuz she knows me. Truly madly deeply.) And pretty good with tying it all together into a cohesive mass. One song at a time, one tanda at a time. (Sidenote: it frustrates the hell out of me that no one else (or rarely) hears it when the music says "WALK, FUCKING WALK. NOW. DUDE.")

So. I have my YouTube playlist "Tango Stuff to Work On" that I've been tucking videos into cubby holes for future reference. Future study/practice/work. I have my G&G videos from their four day intensivo in Atlanta way back when. I'm delving into all that (and more) a little more. A lot more I suppose. I'm missing a milonguero dip. Haven't been able to learn that one, although I haven't really tried. I feel myself wanting to add a thing or two or three. My happy horseshit type stuff. More "fun" stuff? I can't believe I'm even saying that. Sometimes, I get bored with my own lead. I beat myself up that I'm being repetitive, and that surely the followers much feel it, and that they too must be bored. I know I'm wrong about this, at least that's what I tell myself. I can't shake the self-downing stuff though. Maybe it's normal nature of the beast type shit. Or maybe it's just me. Who knows.

So. Festival coming up. Gotta work on smaller more interesting stuff, more variety in small sequences. Maybe I won't get so pissed about all the bad floorcraft if I have more to focus on in my own little space. Bad floorcraft pisses me off. Probably too much. I need to be more tolerant and compassionate. Sometimes to the point that I just leave. The milonga. I suppose I'm known for my disappearing act. Less now with Sugar G. Less disappearing. (Stay tuned for another post on floorcraft, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The elephant in the room no one wants to talk about.)

Not just for the festival, but for everywhere all the time. Small Is Beautiful. I have the book on my bookshelves. Not about tango, but you get my drift. Smaller more interesting stuff and a few happy horseshit items.

That would make me a happy dancer. Not that I'm an unhappy dancer. I don't think.

So. Lo and behold, Vania decides to make this the topic of her current four week workshop. Sweet. The tango stars align.

Back to the gushing part. And the Thesaurus part. Searching for words to adequately describe what I'm thinking and feeling after two of Ms. Vania's most excellent classes. So amazing and stupendous are out. 4th grade words. I look up "fundamental". Noun. essence 5.2 foundation 216.6 important point 676.6

essence 5.2: intrinsically quintessence elixir core heart soul spirit - those all pretty much nail it.

foundation 216.6: base basis groundwork fundamental principle rudiment terra firma - yes to all those, too. Grounded. Grounding. Ground. Earth.

important point (importance) 672.6: essential, fundamental, gist, heart, meat, core, crux

And then this one popped out somewhere - I saw it, but then I couldn't find it again...efficacious. A word I know but rarely/never use.

efficacious (adj): capable of having the desired result or effect; effective as a means, measure, remedy, etc.:

intrinsic stands out: 1480-90; < Medieval Latin intrinsecus inward (adj.), Latin (adv.), equivalent to intrin- (int(e)r-, as in interior + -im adv. suffix) + secus beside, derivative of sequī to follow

synonyms: 1. native, innate, natural, true, real. See essential.

Vania's most excellent efficacious quintessential foundational core small space tango rudiments for tango ruminants

Vania's Tango Elixir

Vania's Quintessential Tango Elixir

Okay, now I fear I'm sound like some obsessive compulsive sick fuck type stalker.

Let's just say her classes are "really good", and she's a "really good" tango teacher.

I always love it when my posts ramble around over hill and dale and always come back to the core. The crux.

It's hard to describe how and why her classes are "really good".

Good foundational core crux posture suspension type stuff. I'm falling short here.

Nuances of stuff related to where your thoracic vertebrae stop and where your lumbar vertebrae start and the kinesthesiology of how to properly engage that in the dynamic embrace. Subtleties of where/how/why the leader needs to have his (or her) weight on his forefoot and stand on his leg and originate the pivot in the torso/frame and not with the trailing leg.

Without being all scientific or medical or didactic, but all flowy and natural-like.

Concise and clear.

She's a really good teacher.

World class.

Right here in Austin.

And at the upcoming Tucson Tango Festival.

If you get a chance to study with her, do.

Your tango will be the better for it.

And your tango will thank you.

Your tango partners will thank you.

Avail thyself.

And she also covered nuances and subtleties of cabeceo - as a side-topic.

And she spent a good amount of the class on #goodfloorcraft.

"She's a really good teacher."

File under #floorcraft #deeptangothought #deeptangotechnique #deeptangoteaching

(Stay tuned for another post on floorcraft, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The elephant in the room no one wants to talk about.)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Steadicam Tango Cultural Appropriation

Y'all know how I feel about products stealing the name "Tango"...fuckers...although this one kinda makes more sense...a body mounted crane-cam stabilizer...

Oh wait...the motherfucker has trademarked TANGO™ ...that dog ain't gonna hunt... that he's going to start suing anyone over the use of the word...still it just rubs me the wrong way...

Cinefilia Tanguera 2018 Itinerant Tango Short Film Festival :: Deadline April 15, 2018

So there's a Tango Film Festival...!!! Even if it is for shorts/docs...pretty cool! Actually very cool...



Cinefilia Tanguera is an Itinerant & International Short Film Festival linked to TANGO, not competitive.

Our primary objective is promote the tango and cinema, from an original perspective without dissemination and promotion anywhere in the world, as are the works of short films and documentaries about the identity of the tango in all sense.

Cinefilia Tanguera was already shown at Cagliari (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016), Barcelona (2009, 2016, 2017), Moscow, London (2009, 2013, 2016), Madrid (2009, 2016), Ámsterdam, Brussels, Catania, Hamburg, Jordan, Buenos Aires (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), Athens, Valladolid, Zurich, Bergen (Norway), Milán, Eindhoven, Sassari (2012, 2016), Berlin, Paris, Crete (2016, 2017), Budapest, Tenerife, Formentera, Ibiza, Istanbul, Tokyo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Bali, Bilbao, Montecarlo, Arles, Georgetown (Guyana) & Toronto.


Cinefilia Tanguera opens the reception of material to complete the Official Selection, we are receiving the works of students of cinema’s studies, professional film makers, amateurs and dancers that are interested in exhibit their audiovisual works.

The 2018 tour will be global again, including at least 10 countries and 3 continents, Europe, Asia and America as destinations confirmed, and several more to confirm, thereby forming a new concept and dynamics.

The works should be short films (documentary, fiction, video-creation, video-clip, animation, making of etc), but we are also open to receive and display feature films. The films should have any type of connection with Tango, may it be musical, visual or conceptual.

Those interested in participating (participation not competitive nor financially rewarded) should send the work/s in a format that can be shown from a computer (DVD, mpg, mp4, mov, etc.) by official Registration, directly to, or by the alternative of Cinema Platforms that we are part of.

Feel free to contact us for any question that you may have.

Deadline: APRIL 15, 2018.

Leonel Mitre

Executive Director

Friday, February 9, 2018

Genetic Throwbacks, Miscreants, Dickweeds, and Freebooters

Draft from 03/11/11...I think maybe I published it, thought better of it, then drafted it back into hiding...

This started out as a Facebook comment on someone's post about this article, and it kinda got away from me.

Note that I didn't, and haven't (yet) read the article. I just went off on my own rant. So I'm not sure if it's even germane.

I don't think this is an issue of extreme-high-net-worth folks "earning" their wealth.

Whether it's the Facebook dickweed, or Bill Gates making software, or Warren Buffet making smart investments and helping other companies grow, or a family in Florida with thousands of acres of orange groves, or a family in New Mexico with several hundred thousand pecan trees, or a single mom benefiting from her family ties back to sugar cane in Louisiana, or a little old couple who made theirs in the grocery store business or another family in the business of selling us all our toilet paper - even if they do stoop so low in their commercials as to using animated bears with dingle-berries to do it. People who make things people want/need to consume, at a fair profit (mind you, not a windfall), I have no problem with.

Where I have a problem is the crooks, charlatans, carpetbaggers and snake-oil salesmen who manipulate the system to their advantage and don’t actually contribute anything with any redeeming social value to the planet. Investment bankers who make millions betting against a stock. Currency traders. The Enron folks. The new energy "traders"/manipulators. The crooked mortgage bankers and securities mofos. The credit default swappers. The payday check cashers and pawn finance world low-lifes. Reverse mortgage opportunists. The obvious Ponzi schemers like Bernie and the others.

But the lowest form of "serpentine-insect-life-lowest-of-the-low-most-worthless-pieces-of-shit-who-I-will-personally-break-their-fucking-pencil-necks-and-twist-their-heads-off-with-my-bare-hands-when-I-encounter-them” life are the pieces of shit who see the taxpayer, and the tax base, and future taxpayers generations into the future, and future tax dollars generations hence, who see all that cash flow (and not even the cash flow - start counting up the debt and interest flow as well) as their personal pile of cash to roll around and get a hard-on in.

Medicare and Medicaid (fraud), Social Security (basically trying to figure out how to siphon it off), the Military-Industrial complex, subsidies like a bad case of dysentery out the wazoo, all the fraud and graft and earmarks and sweetheart deals and special interests (and I could go on and on but I won’t), Americans with their (siphon) hose in the foreign aid pool whether it be the IMF, or USAID, or pallets of cash bricks being flown to our foreign “friends”, no-bid contract awards both at home and abroad. Lobbyists. Crooked politicians (Republicans and Democrats and Tea Baggers alike), public officials and public administrators at all levels. Bad teachers and police officers who don’t want to be there and don’t deserve a job but can’t be fired because they’re “union”. Warmongers. Planet rapists. Ecosystem destroyers. “For Profit” water/aquifer foulers/wasters.

These are the fuckers we need to be seeking out and going after as if they were the worst terrorists/anti-Christs/black holes/dark bits of matter/princes of darkness/profiteers/pirates/freebooters/plunderers/malignant maligners/we need a new word to describe them/ to ever walk the face of the planet for the last 10,000 years.

These are the fuckers we need to go after. With pitchforks and torches and broadaxes and tar and feathers in the streets. Miscreants. Genetic-throwbacks with aberrant genetics who seek to do financial harm to others to line their own pockets with the greenbacks, hard-earned by those others, with healthy genetics and blood, sweat and tears.

I remain convinced that in the old days the tribe would deal with these types with a single swift blow to the base of the skull with a stone club.

I remain convinced.

It’s gonna be a beautiful day out there folks! Enjoy! I know I will. And have a great weekend! Thanks for the opportunity for some vituperation on the subject!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Roberto SZ Productions - Milonga Scene in Barcelona

Draft from 10/06/16

We call y'all "non-tango people" - everyone who has not (yet) experienced or really even seen social Argentine tango being danced. This is one of the most accurate portrayals of the scene/s at a milonga, or social tango dance, that I have ever seen. 

Although this shows only one song, we dance with the same partner for three or four songs, what we call a tanda. Everyone leaves the dance floor during the cortina, then via cabaceo/mirada, a completely non-verbal eye contact only process of invitation and acceptance, everyone mixes it up with new dance partners and the process begins anew.

Milongas occur every night of the week, in cities large and small, all over the world. Most go from 10 until 1 or 2 am, however, some last until the wee hours of the morning, or even day break.

It's a beautiful dance and art form, a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, and as I am oft to say, it's not "just" a dance.

Sent from my iPad

Will You Love Me Tomorrow

Draft from 07/23/13 - I have 112 draft posts that never got posted for some reason...all the way back to March of 2008...

Originally written by Carole King & Gerry Goffin...

Ran across this on Facebook today...from "The Other Side of Amy Winehouse" longer available...

Originally by The Shirelles...

How the U.S. Exports Global Warming - Rolling Stone Magazine

Draft from 02/04/2014


I'm all for happiness and hope and positivity and tango and football and elephants and cute kitty cats and lions and dachshunds who are BFF's. But at some point we're going to have to wake up, get off our collective asses, stand up, walk or drive or bike or mass-transit our collective asses somewhere, and actually start to DO SOMETHING about the raft of really pretty major fucking issues that face humanity across the board and across the planet. We will have to put our cushy-ass comfortable lives at risk, or at least our "way" of life.

I suggest en-masse demonstrations as a first step. Non-violent of course. Millions upon millions of unhappy folk in the streets, day after day, week after week have a way of getting the attention of the onion-eyed miscreant politicians and puppet-masters. An added benefit of this action is that we'll be able to finally determine if all the "conspiracy theory" stories about the militarization of the U.S. police forces, FEMA detention camps, millions of stockpiled black plastic coffins, indefinite detention of U.S. citizens, etc.

Of course, I'm only joking and dreaming, because we all know this will never happen. We will continue to look the other way and to fuck it all up until it's too late. It will be ugly and painful and extremely uncomfortable at that point.

No, I take that back. The first step is to dream a new dream. The American Bad Dream ain't cuttin' it anymore, y'all. Something viable in the long term aka sustainable, something healthy and good and just and right. Something that doesn't commodify human beings and the human experience/life. Something that doesn't rape our Mother Earth, despoil the very source of our sustenance/life force. Something difficult and uncomfortable to figure out how the fuck to do it and how the fuck to do it right. Do the right thing and do the thing right as I always like to say.

Have a good day, y'all. Be careful out there. It's raining again.

Last night I dreamt...

Actually from way back in 2014...saved as a draft for some reason...

Last night I dreamt that I found $141 in my pocket. Two twenty's, a hundred dollar bill, and a one. I was at a quaint little shop of some sort, somewhere, not in America, buying something. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a fold/wad of bills and as I unfolded them, was surprised at the completely unexpected windfall.

The next scene was on a beach. It was a very narrow beach with very steep, almost cliff-like dunes about twelve to fourteen feet high. It would have been fruitless to even try to climb up them. The surf was building very fast. Eight to ten foot high breakers pounding the sand, but somehow, not us. I could see a spot further down the beach, a break in the dunes where they were lower - six to eight feet - where we could climb up and escape the certain death. "We" being "she and I". A faceless and nameless woman. Familiar, and deeply known, but blank and dark and distant to my dreaming consciousness.

We clambered up, the sand caving in and cascading down under our pumping legs.

We made it, just as the waves came crashing in behind us, and we walked away into the moonlit darkness.

I rarely remember my dreams. Hell, I don't even remember if I dream these days.

Lots of shit going on in there.

Lots of shit.

This is your brain on tango music

This is Your Brain on Tango Music

Marko Ahtisaari Research

Some scientists have compared studying the brain non-invasively to having the world’s most exquisite computer and trying to figure out how it works by knocking on its cover. fMRI is an important and admittedly exciting tool for just this reason - we can take a look inside...
What happens in the brain when we listen to music? What happens in the brain when we play an instrument? These have been a couple of the fundamental questions in the neuroscience of music. By making use of a method called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), scientists have been able to take a peek into the brain and examine the activation patterns related to music listening and more recently, also playing.

fMRI, functional magnetic resonance imaging, is a method frequently used in neuroscientific investigations. It detects changes in cerebral blood flow while subjects are performing tasks within the scanner. The measurement will reveal which parts of the brain are important for the task at hand, since active areas in the brain require more fuel, and oxygen-rich blood will flow to these areas. The method is exciting, because it lets researchers “look” at the brain without the need to open the skull. Plus, the results can be shown in the form of beautiful colorful pictures.

Investigations of music listening have revealed that activation in the brain is very broad - there is no single area responsible for music processing. For example, take a look at a video created by Professor Petri Toiviainen on what listening to tango looks like in your brain.

...[fMRI] reveals which parts of the brain are important for the task at hand, since active areas in the brain require more fuel, and oxygen-rich blood will flow to these areas...
Recently, there has been critique over use of the popular method, since it seems that even trained scientists can mistake an article including colorful fMRI images to contain better scientific reasoning than one without the images, but exactly the same data. Also, there are inherent caveats that need to be taken into consideration in using the method, such as the risk for false positives, such as in the case of imaging brain activity in this one, dead salmon.

That said, fMRI continues to be one of the most important methods for investigating brain processes. With carefully designed experiments, it continues to broaden understanding of brain processes and provides an unparalleled method for investigation. Recently, in addition to music listening, imaging what happens in the brain while the subject is playing a musical instrument has become possible. The restrictions related to movement are a concern, but another relates to the technique of the fMRI: it generates a very powerful magnetic field.

Therefore, any instrument used in the scanner must not contain any metal and must be something that can be used while lying in the confines of the MRI tube. This has required that neuroscientists and engineers get creative and build completely new, MRI-compatible instruments. Take a look at what an MRI-compatible cello looks like, and how it can be played during measurement. In the video, Neurologist Robert Zatorre and his PhD student (and cellist) Melanie Segado, and Prof. Marcelo Wanderley,and his student Avrum Hollinger present the fMRI-cello and discuss its use in research.

The brain is a tricky thing to investigate. It resides within living organisms and without invasive methods, our possibilities for looking at what happens during different activities are very limited. Some scientists have compared studying the brain non-invasively to having the world’s most exquisite computer and trying to figure out how it works by knocking on its cover. fMRI is an important and admittedly exciting tool for just this reason - we can take a look inside this exquisite organ. In the realm of the neuroscience of music, the fMRI as a method of investigation is vital for understanding the mechanisms that underlie music perception and production. With the help of creative thinking and engineering, the possibilities for exploring mechanisms related to more real life like music-making are expanding.


McCabe, D. P., & Castel, A. D. (2008). Seeing is believing: The effect of brain images on judgments of scientific reasoning. Cognition, 107(1), 343–352. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2007.07.017

Dancing on the Brain

Keep dancing… it turns out it is good for the brain

Picking up choreography can seem like a brain teaser. Interpreting which arm, which leg, which direction even, can lead to legs and arms everywhere except for the very position they should be in. This can be frustrating, but keep dancing, as research suggests that learning new steps could prevent dementia.

By Alanna Orpen 4 Apr 2016
Dancing is good for the brain
In the studio by Alanna Orpen

I am frequently in a dance studio, where routines and exercises are thrown at me (and my fellow dancers). You’re expected to pick up the steps in a matter of minutes, are set improvisation challenges, and the choreography changes from week to week.

It is as much a mental workout as it is physical, digesting the constant new material, but this turns out to be a good thing. At the start of a contemporary class, the teacher announced, “Good news for us dancers, I read today that dancing can prevent dementia.” So I thought I’d investigate.

Dementia risk
Dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language, that are caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.

According to the World Health Organization, the number of people who will be affected by neurological disorders is expected to increase in the upcoming decades. There are issues with current surgical and pharmacological treatments, as well as conventional rehabilitative therapies, so new therapies are needed.

dancing can reduce the onset of dementia

Dance is seen as viable therapy because it simultaneously combines physical and cognitive stimulation, which could maximize its impact on neuroplasticity and cognition. So far, studies have examined the effects of dance in elderly individuals with dementia, including subjects with Alzheimer’s disease and those with confusion, disorientation, and memory loss.

Dance to prevent onset of dementia
Dance is mentally stimulating
Dancing is mainly associated with physical health benefits, but scientists have recently discovered its neurological benefits. The complex mental coordination that dance requires activates several brain regions: the cerebellum, the somatosensory cortex and the basal ganglia, triggering kinaesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional responses. This strengthens neural connections and can improve our memory.

Benefits of dance movement therapy in dementia treatment
In 2003, research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that dancing can reduce the onset of dementia. The 21-year study of senior citizens, aged 75 and older, was led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, funded by the National Institute on Aging. They measured each participant’s mental alertness as a means of monitoring the rates of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers studied a range of cognitive and physical activities, such as reading; writing; doing crossword puzzles; playing cards; playing musical instruments; dancing; walking; tennis; swimming and golf. Surprisingly, dance was the one activity that was good for the mind, significantly reducing dementia risk. Regular dancing reduced the risk of dementia by 76%, twice as much as reading. Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week reduced the risk by 47%, while cycling and swimming offered no benefit at all.

dance may still be seen as recreational while its clinical value is overlooked

But, not all forms of dancing offer the same cognitive benefits. Working on memorized sequences, might improve your performance, however it doesn’t create new neural pathways. The theory goes that the more pathways your brain has the easier it can access stored information and the better your memory.

Neurologist Dr. Robert Katzman said, “Freestyle social dancing, such as foxtrot, waltz and swing, requires constant split-second, rapid-fire decision making, which is the key to maintaining intelligence because it forces your brain to regularly rewire its neural pathways, giving you greater cognitive reserve and increased complexity of neuronal synapses.”

Building your brain’s neural complex works in much the same way as exercise, to get fitter you have to train regularly. So, the more dancing you do, the greater your cognitive reserve. And don’t worry about having to attend dance classes. It’s said that you’ll benefit from just going out dancing. Your improvisational skills on the dance floor should fire up the rapid decision-making that’s needed to forge new neural pathways.

Another study in 2012 showed that a 10 week dance intervention helped dementia patients over 70. It was a small pilot study of 18 subjects, where ten of the dance participants showed an improvement in cognitive function and mood compared to the eight who did not dance.

neurological benefits of dancing
Argentine tango, Parkinson’s Disease and future trials
Dance has also been found to alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Similarly to dementia, it is another disease where individuals can suffer impaired mental function due to damaged neurons in the brain. A review, published in BMC Neurology, discusses how the Argentine Tango can improve an individual’s spatial awareness and memory because of the postures and simple paths learnt during the dance classes. These are then stored, remembered and used again, but it is also important for individuals to improvise and respond spontaneously to the music.

The field of dance research in the elderly is relatively young and continues to evolve. A study published in BMC Geriatrics, found that a dance video game, which combined physical and cognitive training, was more beneficial in improving walking accuracy and pace in older adults than muscle strengthening exercises alone.

Research hoping to bolster the use of dance therapy include a trial in BMC Geriatrics. The authors will examine whether two hours of moderate dance sessions a week will be sufficient to increase brain growth factors supporting brain plasticity and slow down dementia progression.

Dance and ageing research has shown its positive impact on the neurology in healthy and dementia groups. Dance therapy could be prescribed by physicians to improve visual perception and spatial memory, an area commonly affected by dementia. Even so, would traditionalists be willing to accept dance as something more than just a hobby and trust in its clinical value? At least there’s little worry about negative side effects.

If dancing can keep my mind healthy, as well as my body, then bring on the fast intricate footwork along with a port de bras (carriage of the arms) to match. I’ll see you in the studio.