Monday, July 30, 2012

Follow with me to a milonga in Finland!

So often we just follow what the great international stars in tango are doing, all the big performances and events around the world. For some time I have felt a joyful need to find ways for tango dancers to breath the milonga air at far away places. So....

Please take your time and participate at a Finnish milonga with me!

This Friday evening milonga is part of a Finnish summer camp for Argentine tango. The festival is at Tampere which is surrounded by two big lakes and of course we will come together on one of the islands. We were extremly lucky with warm and sunny weather so even on the ferry a thin jacket was enough! Quite unusual this summer. Pay attention on the very last part of the video so you can spot the floating sauna with visitors!
But now hopp on the boat and enjoy the trip to this nights venue!

(for full screen - click the right, down corner!)

There is windows in all directions and water is visible behind the trees. Notice that this video is taken at 10.30 PM and the sun went down about ten minutes earlier.This evening the performers are from Finland or have a strong connection :)  to Finland! 
The first couple is Pasi & Maria Lauren. 
         Please enjoy!

Maybe a vals with them? Push here

The next couple is Arttu Artkoski & Carina Quiroga! 
          Please enjoy!

How about a one more tango? Push here please

I had travelled all day and was quite tired so the best choice was to take the first boat back to town. Now at 11.30 PM it is nearly dark, but not so long, at 4.40 the sun will go up again! Tammekoski-boat comes to fetch us and some of us continue dancing on the deck to a song from a Nokia phone! (must be so because Nokia county is just a few kilometers from here!)

 If you would like to follow what is happening in the Finnish tango Universum you may try these links

Argentine tango

Finnish tango
Be aware that this festival has totally non-Argentine character and structure!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dancing to knowledge

A joyful way to learn more about relationship between music and steps is to watch the videos at La Milonga del Trenos YourTube channel. The channel owner loves old dance movies and combines that with the love to Argentine tango. He/she uses a lot of creative imagination and hours of time to find a suitable match and sometimes the result is an amazing fit, but you can learn a lot from the revealed difficulties too.

It is clear that the vals and milonga with their fixed patterns are easiest to match. I knew this fact earlier, but the videos here gave me the experience. These videos will also visualize for you how much more variation the tango structure has and how far more complicated it is to find a suitable match with an movie dance sequence and a tango.

The good tango/movie match makes me aware of the shared, general rules for tango and other  kinds of music. It is fascinating to notice how large the shared area is. On the other hand the unmatching sequences are revealing the unique parts for tango and the movie music. I think the situation on the pista has some similarities - in the laudspeakers the song is same but most of the dancers are listening to a different song. The steps are showing, what your BRAIN hears!

I wonder if this is a problem for the performers? There is one song in the laudspeakers but the audience comes with their inner versions of the song. I suppose performers must somehow be able to form the dance so it is logical, connected in some extent to all the inner versions of this same song, among the audience.

So test yourself, watch some of the videos at the channel and ask yourself:
Where do the steps and tango go together?
Where do they differ?
What is the overall feeling for this tango? Do the steps express that feeling?

When practising check if....
Are my steps speeding up more than the music does?
Do my feet express the musical accents or were they lost?
Did you noticed something else to look after in your own dance?

Please, click the channel name Canale di lamilongadeltreno  and you get there directly! 

What a movies they made those days! I just LOVE  to be entertained!

Here you have some of my favorites! 

La Milonga del Treno - Azabache
La Milonga del Treno - Sacale punta

La Milonga del Treno - Lagrimas y Sonrisas
La Milonga del Treno - Desde el Alma

La Milonga del Treno - El Huracàn
La Milonga del Treno - La Colegiala
La Milonga del Treno - Carnaval de mi barrio

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

No thanks! and the distance

We all know how difficult it is to say No thanks! when verbally asked! I have never managed to do it nicely and it became even worse when I continued trying to explain, why I was not available for a tanda.

So I became a friend of cabezeo! It is amazing clear, easy to see even at a distance, if someone is avoiding my eyes and not interested to share next tanda with me. To me it was a surprise  that it worked even at Soul Tango festival where the followers were not used to dance with another woman. They giggled when they understood that my cabezeo was a serious one, but they stepped to the pista with me. It works other way round too! When I need to keep a tanda promise it is just so easy to focus on something else until I spot my follower.

The biggest surprise has been the experience of how soft and easy it was to say No thanks! at the shortest distance. I am dancing with this follower every now and then, not regularly so we don't know each other so well. On two occasions she has come to me and put her arms around my neck when asking for next tanda and when I couldn't I was able to tell it softly and I felt ok about it afterward.

If you need to say No thanks! it is always a negative message and sometimes even a surprising one. In most cases the reaction is a reasonable one but I still want to find ways to deliver the message in a more positive way.

I will definitely stop explaining why I can't. I can not see any possibility to succeed with that!

I try instead concentrate on the positive; Here we have someone who actually wants to share this tanda with me so I will try to find ways to comment this appreciation.

Because of the experience with my asking follower I think in some cases light physical contact could make it easier for the person to accept a No thanks!. You have got a no for this dance but you was treated as a human being.

And why should I bother?
I have felt that to some extent I will be dragged to the same feeling as the person who received my No; so if I can deliver my message in a good way we both will have a better night!