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 Post subject: Re: Argentines Celebrate New Year in Style
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2001 11:47 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Christina - that was succinct and to the point - care to elaborate?


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 Post subject: Re: Argentines Celebrate New Year in Style
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2001 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
I talked about it a bit in the "Tango" thread. But I must warn ahead of time that I was in something of a mood the day I did that posting ...<P>By way of background, I was in an ethnic troupe for about 4 seasons that was unusual in that it covered the world in its repertoire. We hired masters from different countries (through grants and other funding) to come here for a week or two and give an intensive workshop. We worked like maniacs, then taped ourselves performing the piece to preserve in our archives for future reference. Each year, we showcased, along with several selections from the past, the latest additions to that repertoire. <P>When we traveled overseas, we only performed dances indigenous to the U.S. (sometimes stretching the borders a bit). For instance, when performing for an international festival in France, we did a Mardi Gras suite, a Cajun suite, an Appalachian suite, and an Ellington (jazz) suite.<P>One of the first dances I had to learn was the tango, and it is just so much more difficult (to make REALLY look good) than people can imagine. You must have exceptional strength and carriage in the torso, back and arms. There is even a special position of the hands in the hold. If anything slacks, it looks disastrous. <P>Several years ago, I was working with two exceptionally talented 9-year-olds at our school, introducing them to some character work. Using the tango music my troupe used, I took the challenge of choreographing a dance for 2 quite young (and unpartnered) girls that would give the essential feeling of the dance and still be appropriate for girls this young. They were such gorgeous children with wonderful 'stick' bodies and elegant carriage that they pulled it off beautifully. If you are familiar with how this dance originally emerged from the docks of Buenos Aires, this was something I was very happy to pull off. As example of their comprehension of the music and mood, I remember one of them rushing up to me at dress rehearsal and asking, "How do we exit the stage?" I responded, "Like elegant Argentinian women." I did not need to say more, because when I first introduced them to this genre, all I did was play the music and have them walk around the studio, stopping in pose now and then, to assume the attitude they felt. When they walked forward to do their tango bow and then exit, the audience actually gasped at the way the girls held the mood throughout their exit. Gosh, I was proud. <P>Within the last couple of years, I caught a tango championship program telecast, I believe, from South America, which blew me away. I was amazed at how the women can be 'thrown' on the ground by their partner, slide across the stage, and stop on a dime. <P>As I said in the "Tango" thread, I have seen performances of tango music and dance brought to New Orleans by the Argentinian contingency (headed up by a ballet classmate of mine), including the dancers from "Forever Tango." I am always so taken with the incredible grooming (of course the dresses and shoes are wonderful too) and the way that I have never seen women that are both that thin and strong. One of the programs also featured a tango soloist on pointe which was breathtaking.


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 Post subject: Re: Argentines Celebrate New Year in Style
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2001 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
I think that one of the things that captures people who watch the tango - and perhaps those that perform it - is the tension between the genders. This is very evident too in Flamenco, and in the ballet's pas de deux.<P>But it screams in TANGO!! I don't mean this as "competition" - I mean it, ok - I will come out and say it - sexual tension. Do you agree?


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