It's Tango time now, which means as a competitor you will have approx. 15 sec to relief
your body and mind from the swinging and spatial Waltz movements. The Tango differs considerably from the Other dances,
there is now rise and fall, no body sway, the hold changes, thigh veer towards one other
and the dancers should prepare there body and mind for the required "staccato" actions.
When the Tango intent to starts you feel as a competitor and spectator that in the Ballroom
the level of tension and readiness is higher than usual, it seems that a small war is going to start
on the dance floor.
What I try to explain here is that many couples don't practice this switching over from
the Waltz to the Tango fundamentals...... in 15 seconds.
Try it and your Tango will improve!
Consider always the roots of the Tango when taking the hold on a Competition, you should radiate
already the Spanish/Argentine arrogance, before de music is being played and before having danced
a single step. Judges are sensitive people they will notice that radiation immediately.
My conclusion here is, that the Tango competition already starts before.......... the music plays!!
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The Milonga is the forerunner of the Tango. The Milonga had already the characteristic
head and shoulder movements that suddenly switched over to stillness. In the beginning of the
20th Century the Milonga was danced in small theatres for the High Society from Brazil.
in that period the name was changed from Milonga to Tango, the Milonga name carried to many
memories from the ghetto's of Buenos Aires.
The Tango was introduced in Europe, actually in Paris in the Argentine community. Until 1907
the Tango was not accepted in London, the dance was to erotic and had many opponents. After some stylistic changes the Tango was excepted by Paris and London that was the time (1912) of the tango-parties, tango-teas and tango-soupier with professional tango demonstrators.
In 1920/1921 the Tango was standardised at the Conference in London, during the "thirties"
the staccato actions merged in to the Tango choreography
- Tango Character: Firm and convincing, Spatial no swing and flow, Staccato actions
- Movement: Snappy, Dynamic actions switching to superb Stillness. Cat like flexibility
- Timing: 2/4
- Bars/min: 33 according the IDSF Rules
- Accent: On beat 1 and 3
- Competition: 1,5 - 2 minutes
- Rise and Fall: No
- Dynamics: Well balanced combinations of Weight, Time and Spatial motions
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Consider that your Tango must not look mechanical, but your movements must radiate the
feeling of an animal (cat - tiger), on top of that you reflect in many figures a certain Spanish
arrogance. There is now rise and fall, no body sway, thights and knees veer slightly towards
one other (think and feel slim). There is a slight inside edge control in the feet all the time.
The Lady is more to the right and assured somewhat haughty attitude, the couple must radiate
the feeling that their bodies absorb in each other, gravity and groundness of the couple
increases only in those situations they have to switch to sudden stillness.
As in all dances dancing from the supporting foot is essential, movement of the body is across
the feet. The presence of Walks in your choreography will develop your Tango expression, the
Tango is rooted as a dance of "Drama and Mood"
Correct timing of the choreography is required to present the right contrast and sharpness
between movements and stillness, fighting against or resisting "time" develops a sudden quality
to your Tango movements.
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There are many famous Champions, one name we can' t forget is "Len Scrivener" from England
who dedicated his dancing career mostly to the Tango. An other name that inspired me personally
is Anthony Hurley from England. At this moment in the competitive dancing sport,
I have found my personal favourites they are:
- Lucca Barricchi and Loraine Barry
- Augusto Schiavo and Catarina Arzenton
The CD's that flow into my mind when writing this page are the following: I will come back
with my final list of favourites in the near future!
- "Tango's" Malando Orchestra
- "Please Mr. Brown" Alma Cogan