Igor Polk , July 30, 2008
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Both embraces are important to dance tango in.
Both are true argentinean embraces and the whole lot of dance styles are done within one embrace only or mixing them. For example Tango Orillero, and Tango Nuevo, and European old-Salon Tango, and Show Tango are mostly in open embrace. Tango predominantly danced nowadays at social parties in Buenos Aires and USA (and San Francisco), Milonguero, Apilado, Canyengue is in close embrace.
There are some concepts easier to understand and to do in each particular embrace, and then it is easier to perform it in another embrace. For example, I thinks that tango structure and rhythms is much easier to understand in open embrace since it is more clear and more demanding. Tango connection and posture is easier to understand in close embrace.
It is possible to dance in open embrace only dancing "on a square" of a very crowded floor. And it is possible to make a most wide and wild dance constantly keeping very tight close Apilado embrace. Igor and Teressa can demonstrate you both.
In fact, if not to take Apilado lean into account, they do not differ from each other a bit. There is something else about sorts of embrace which is very important for good tango, and it is not about open-close difference.