6161  Variations in Tango Styles


Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 00:15:47 GMT
From: "larrynla@juno.com" <larrynla@juno.com>
Subject: [Tango-L] Variations in Tango Styles
To: tango-L@mit.edu

Barbara Garvey, another voice of clarity and common sense in this forum, pointed out something very important in the examples of tango nuevo given by Sergio. Chicho and Fabian dance very differently even though both were supposedly dancing the same tango style.

Chicho, for that matter, seems to have several styles depending on the music. In one of Sergio's examples I would not have recognized the style as tango nuevo. Chicho stays fairly close to Claudia and does not do or lead anything very flashy. Their dancing is simple and a bit slow, perfectly suiting the music which is languorous and sadly nostalgic.


Elsewhere on YouTube you can see that Gustavo Naveira has his own distinct style. As does Sebastian Arce, who with his partner Mariana Montes are my favorites among the tango nuevo dancers.

What is true among tango-nuevo dancers is true for other tango styles. Pepito Avellaneda and Puppy Castello, for instance, were both traditional style dancers. But their personal styles were quite individual. And they would have been highly pissed if anyone claimed they were clones of each other.

Classification systems are very useful. They simplify the confusing complexity of the universe, help point to similarities that might be lost in an undifferentiated mental universe, give you a road map in your studies of tango.

Each tango style is a distinct vocabulary, a menu of movements and ways of moving, a palette of colors and textures. From each style dancers can choose to use (or ignore) some idioms/actions/colors when they dance. Just as Chicho chose to ignore many of the possibilities that tango nuevo offers so that he and Claudia could interpret the slow sad song they danced to.

So can you, as you mature in your adventuring in the wilderness of tango, also choose. And choose not just parts of one style of dancing. You do not have to be a traditional/nuevo/milonguero/canyengue dancer. But a dancer of tango in all its rainbow of possibilities. True, it will take all your life to explore those possibilities. But is that sad? Or grand?

Larry de Los Angeles

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