Posts

Showing posts from November, 2012

Dancing to tango music

Image
My recent post on dancing 'tango' to music that is not tango has led me to read more widely on what dancing means to those who love tango and I have found some inciteful and thought-provoking stuff.
Tango Commuter wrote recently about the days when dancers went to milongas with live music. He (i use 'he' as the blogger appears to be male but has no stated gender) makes the point that there was an excitement about live music that just isn't there today when we dance to recorded music, even when it is digitally enhanced and played on excellent sound systems. 'Imagine the anticipation of going to a milonga knowing that Di Sarli would be there in person' he writes.
 I have imagined this as I have been fortunate to dance with men who have done just that. One of these men was a favourite partner until he passed away last year, and if we were dancing to an orchestra he had danced to live in his youth, he would get a distant look in his eyes and describe how moving…

Watered down tango - really?

Image
Argentine Tango is more than dance, it is more than the music… it is a culture. It has a rich history and it takes a lifetime just to scratch the surface of the great musicians and dancers that gave it the credibility to be named by Unesco as part of the world's cultural heritage in 2009.
So why would you want to water it down? Why would you want to dance the movements of tango to pop music, or classical music? Why do some people think they can 'improve' on tango by dancing a form of the dance to Mozart, or folk singers, and say they are dancing tango. Don't get me wrong I have no objection to people dancing to Monty Python, George MIchael, Bruce Springsteen or Beethoven - on the contrary I think it is great…but I am at a loss to understand why they would call it 'tango'…. or tango fusion or anything else with tango as the adjective or noun.
The tango music that was created at the height of the great composers, musicians and orchestras from Gerardo Matos Rodrigu…

A Good Tango Teacher

Image
Just because you can do something well, doesn't mean you can teach it well. The ability to teach is a very special gift, and not necessarily one that can be taught. I for one, turned down a Teacher's Scholarship to university when I left school!! (in those days many of us did) then I tried to teach  (not dancing, my profession) many, many years ago when I was a young, inexperienced mother in need of part time work. Big Mistake! I wasn't self-confident, I doubted my knowledge and I was easily intimidated by the students.
I have never tried again. Partly because of this experience and partly because I am older and wiser.
It is quite easy to be a tango teacher - all you need to do is hang up your shingle. There are no qualifications you need to have, and no associations you need to belong to. It has been suggested that you need to be a 'perfect' dancer in order to be a tango teacher - I fail to understand why.
Recently I discovered this blog about tango teachers an…

Pugliese - a musician of the people

Image
I frequently surf around buddhist sites - I love yoga and I love what little I know about Buddhism. Today I discovered this article about Pugliese written by Daisaku Ikeda, the former president of SGI, an Buddhist organisation.  Ikedu met Pugliese in 1989 and was so impressed that he wrote an article about the man and the meeting for the SGI's online magazine.
Writes Ikeda:
"Pugliese's serious, scholarly demeanor disguised a soul burning with powerful emotions. He once told the members of his orchestra: "We are sailing on the vast ocean of tango. The important thing is to know the currents that will lead us to the harbor of the people's hearts. . . . Tango must always be interpreted in terms of human emotions. It has a human voice. That is why we must bring forth a sound that accurately expresses those emotions."
This offers us a glimpse into the secret of Pugliese's long musical career. As a tango player, you need to keep your ears tuned to the …