Level 4 Oct - Dec 2022

The theme for this term is Dancing the Dynamic and Difference

Week 5: November 21
The song we focused on was Francisco Canaro's 'A Quien le Puede Importar'

Note the syncopation at start of 9th phrase 2:17
Note the bridges (piano arpegios) at end of phrases
Mid Phrase is more subtle than  the D’Agostino song (Tres Esquinas) we studied in Week 4. 
Unlike Tres Esquinas the ornaments are difficult as very fast. When the music is very busy / fast best to do less.
Note how the singer is singing to the rhythm
Note how the singer's voice trails off  from 1:57 - 2:27  and note the arpegios from 2.26 - 2:47. We stepped to express these sections.

We reviewed the Week 4 move - Circular steps to both sides of the Leader (back - side - forward)

A similar sounding song is Canaro's 'En un Beso La Vida':

Week 4: November 14
We continued our focus on Tres Esquinas by D'Agostino Orquesta (see Week 3 for music video)

We introduced new combination of Back-Side-Forward circular steps entered from Travelling Ochos (a.k.a Walking Ochos) and ended with a Parada. In this combination the leader does not step while follower is stepping the Giro:

Please excuse typo in video (should read circular)

This combination is a great way to end the Call and the Response of the Phrase, ie middle and end of Phrase.  
This song has very even phrasing of 8 bars. Note how the piano triplets which are perfect for ornamenting often occur at the midpoint or end of phrases.

We also worked in musical ornamenting at the Parada and noted how an understanding of phrases (i.e. knowing if you are near mid or end of phrase) is helpful to guiding ornamenting.

Week 3: November 7
The song worked on was Tres Esquinas by Angel D'Agostino Orquesta
We worked on phrases, walking through the start ('1') of each of the 4 beat bars.
This song has 11 phrases - each phrase has 8 bars.
We noted the piano triplets that appear either at the beginning of the 4th Bar or the 8th (last) bar of the phrase. These are the best place for ornamenting. 
We played with ornaments from Parada's and Side Steps.
We noted the 'call and response' of each phrase.

Check out this video which has actual footage of Angel Vargas singing. Angel Vargas and Angel D'Agostino frequently worked together and were known as 'Los Dos Angeles' ('The Two Angels'):

In Week 4 we will continue exploring Tres Esquinas. What else do you notice about this song?

Week 2: October 31
Explored different ways of stepping:
  • More earthy, almost falling into the step (suited to slow rhythmic songs)
  • Legs move faster than rest of body, more split axis movement (suited to faster rhythmic songs)
  • Even smooth, elegant pace of legs and torso (suited to more melodic songs)
Contrasted the following songs, looking for similarities,  differences, and how our movement can best express the mood and tiempo of the songs.
We compared the emotional expression of the singer in Nene del Abasto with that of the songs from Week 1 (Lomutos' Melodia de Nuestro Adios and Canaro's Poema )

and then contrasted the above more rhythmic songs with these more melodic songs:
You can find all these songs in Sophia's Spotify list (Trad Tango) or click on the song links above to hear them on Youtube.

Week 1: October 24
We focused on two songs by Canaro:

We looked for the 'gold' in each song. These are both quite rhythmic, so the gold was the more melodic sections.
We also focused on repeated rhythmic patterns at the end of phrases in Poema.

Some moves that suit Melodic Music:
  • Parallel Cross (single time)
  • Salida 40
  • WIde Ochos (half time)
  • Calesita
  • Walking half time and single time

Some moves that suit Rhythmic Music:
  • Cross System Cross
  • Ocho Cortado
  • Rebounds
  • Double time Crosses
  • Double Cross
  • Travelling Ochos

Here's some notes and resources from previous terms that you may find useful as a refresher...
Tango Music - for practising 
Check out Sophia's Spotify lists:
Tango (Trad) Best for practicing musicality - walking to single, double and half time.
Tango (Neo) contemporary songs (good for practicing technique)

Link to 250 songs

The following link will download a collection of 250 of the most popular songs (tango, vals and milonga) played in milongas around the world! Focus for now only on the tangos. Also focus on instrumental songs as opposed to vocals as these are easier to find the beat. Di Sarli is one of the better orchestras to start with: 250 songs download
This link goes to a zip file (little less than a 1 GB file).

Here's a link to help you better understand tango music for dancing

Good habits for tango dancers
  • 'Steel vs spaghetti': Your standing leg is like steel - dynamic, strong and grounded, your free leg is like spaghetti: light and loose without tension.
  • Your free leg hip is stable yet loose and lower than your base leg hip (this removes tension from your free leg)
  • 'Collection' - Thigh or ankle (as you prefer) connection as you walk
  • Push off the floor as you walk - to make your walk more dynamic.
  • Never lock your knees: You standing leg knee is softly flexed (not locked) - this gives you better contact with the floor.
  • Always find your axis - 'it's your beauty and your power'
  • Walk in the line of your hips - Imagine your hips are at the centre of 2 crossing lines: one going forward / back and the other - left /right. The first line is the guide for forward and back steps, the second line guides side steps.