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Give Meaning to Your Adornos

posted Nov 26, 2014, 5:17 PM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Nov 26, 2014, 5:34 PM ]
sydney tango lessons
image: Access Tango

For me, a decoration says 
"listen to this tiny detail, now, right here."  

Sharing this great post by tango teacher, blogger extraordinaire Terpsichoral Tangoaddict...

'It's something I've found myself repeating to a few female students lately (though it applies to some men, too, of course), so I thought it was worth posting here: beware of the decoration which becomes a habit. If you always do little taps in this particular position, always paint a rulo on the floor before taking your side step, always do a leg caress before stepping over in parada, you rob those gestures of their potential for artistic and musical expressiveness. They become part of the step itself, rather than a response to something specific happening in the music. I don't think this is in itself wrong (for some dancers it can work), but, at least for me, when this happens it's no longer a decoration. If you sometimes do little taps and sometimes stay still, then you can differentiate between one part of the music and another. If you always do them, they become meaningless and can begin to feel like mere nervous fidgeting, like doodling, rather than drawing, humming and hawing rather than speaking articulately. You might well have a favourite decoration which just always feels right in a specific moment of the dance (I do have a few of these and I'm also guilty of sometimes just getting into the habit of doing them because they feel so nice for the body). But at least try varying the timing of it to fit the specific moment. For me, a decoration says "listen to this tiny detail, now, right here." It needs to be discrete, clear and specific. Otherwise, if you are always mumbling and muttering, your partners may switch off and stop listening and treat your adornos as background noise. And that would be a shame!'