Argentine Tango Blog 2006

My name is Igor Polk. I am dancing Argentine Tango in San Francisco. This is my personal tango site where I express exclusively my IMHO opinions for my own pleasure and pleasure of my friends. And I do not promise to be objective. If you are ready for it, proceed..

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2006 December 26

It is confirmed!
On January 8, Monday, 2007
Brigitta Winkler, a world renown tango teacher, gives an all-level lesson "Introduction to Boleos" in Palo Alto JCC Tango Club at 8:30pm.

Location: See the map on the site.
4000 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94303-4760
January 8, Monday.
7:30pm - beginners lesson with Igor Polk and Brigitta,
8:30pm - all-level lesson "Introduction to Boleos" by Brigitta
Practica afterwards.
$10 for everything.
Please, come 15 minutes before the class.
Igor Polk

Igor: "Brigitta (one more photo) is one of my first teachers, and the most important one. She opened me the tango world as it really is. Brigitta is a frequent teacher on such popular tango events like Portland Tango Festivals and Denver Tango Festivals, the best in US and she keeps the score between most popular teachers. Here is your chance to learn secrets of the dance from this fabulous dancer right here, in San Francisco Bay Area."

2006 December 26

French dancing movie "Aurore", Here is info from London Film Festival. "Aurore loves to dance and despite the fact that it is forbidden in the kingdom, she seizes every opportunity to follow her mother's advice 'Never forget to dance, even when you feel sad'. "... "The ball sequences, choreographed by Carolyn Carlson, Kader Belarbi and Yann Bridard are particularly outstanding. Whilst this film has been made with lovers of dance in mind, there is certainly enough to entertain those of us who have an interest and appreciation in this cinematically neglected art form."

2006 December 24

In the "The Rhythm Inside", by Julia Schnebly-Black, and Stephen F. Moore (a book about Dalcroze eurhythmics ):

"While teaching accompaniment at the Geneva Conservatory, Sylvie Morgengg and her students attended classes in movement at the Dalcroze Institute. Many of them felt insecure when playing accompaniment for dancers. Watching Dalcroze students move in their naturally rhythmic way, the music students gradually gained confidence as performers. "The picked up the energy from the dancers, and realized they played much better when looking at the dancers. They felt energy and they gave energy back."

Dominique Porte noted that one of the delights of teaching Eurhythmics was the joy of playing for others. The "Lonesome voice" of piano playing became a means of working with people and sharing the joy of music. He also expressed his conviction that music has the power to better human life. Its purpose is "to move us" and that purpose alone makes it worth doing"

2006 December 20

Brazilian Tango. Yep. For example composer Ernesto Nazareth. They are called tangos! And they are.

But I am not talking about it. I have updated my collection of links about Samba Gafieira. Check these videos out, tango dancers!

2006 December 19

Tango dancers, tango dancers, I put is all around the blog, but it might be little confusing for non-tango people. Who are they, tango dancers? Are they professionals, especially gifted, athletically developed, extraordinary beautiful, hard-working on the floor 8 hours a day? No. They are regular people like me and you who were lucky enough to recognize what tango is about and dedicated enough to learn this dance in their own pace. Now they are happy, and they are what is called "tango dancers". They support tango tradition and community of all of us around the world making this thing going !

2006 December 18

Just found: an excellent Canyengue photo. Still alive at Buenos Aires. And in San Francisco some ladies dance it with me with pleasure.

2006 December 17

Cafe Cocomo, a favorite night club for Salsa and other dance parties, hosted a second tango party on Sunday. Seth Asarnow trio played very well. This time the party was hosted around David and Nancy Mendoza. They know awful a lot of authentic and vintage tango steps. The last party was the opening night and was hosted by Nora. I think I can say this place will become one the favorite tango places. It is just grand !

2006 December 13

Leading Ladies of Tango. Photo Marty SohlLeading Ladies of Tango

It happened. Long awaited production. There is a poster on my wall: Tango Mujer dance tango. It is on my wall as long as I learn the dance. I bought it when I made a run on a shop to strip them from the videos and to find finally what tango is about... Read more about --> Leading Ladies of Tango.

Thinking about Jazz singers and modern Tango singers, Silvana Deluigi came as a greatest surprise to me. She is really the one. With such a dramatic expression, visual appeal, range of the voice she is without doubt the best modern Tango singer.

Tango Mujer group, combine great modern tango dancing with seemingly infinite flow of ideas, creativeness, and theatrical inventions. Shocking! This is the only group making a world-class performance on the basis of the real tango the way it is actually danced on the dance floors. And walls..

Sharp beauty of Chelsea Eng and Cristy Cote are combined with artistry of Debbie Goodwin, and Pier Voulkos in Tango Con Fusion.

Have your heard a perfect tango with harp? Anna Maria Mendieta. Jazz-tango solo on bass? Petite Yung-Chiao Wei. A flute which sounds like an orchestra? Viviana Guzman. With direction of Polly Ferman performing tango in soft classical manner, but with the penetrating rhythm.

Even though tango is the theme of the production it is not the major axis of the performance. Dancing of arts together, virtuoso combination of many things in one, modern interpretations, intense sophistication, and freedom of the performers, that what gives the show the spirit and artistic uniqueness.

" The leading ladies of tango think men are just dandy..." Ha-ha-ha !!! The whole show is about desperate search of that perfect MAN !



2006 December 1

It is something related to my study of Spanish. Can someone tell me what caused the great shift from Old English to Modern English ( here is what happened ). Like no other european language: German, Spanish, French, or Russian, English language was simplified to the highest possible degree, especially grammar. Everything extra was removed from Old English. What facilitate this process? Why other nations did not go the same way?

Simplification is not a minus, it is an advantage, no wonder that most naked, abstract, and rule-strict language became the language of computers, not to speak about science, politics, and economy.

2006 November 28

Orlando Paiva Orlando Paiva Sr. died. There is a video tape of Orlando Paiva and Susana made in San Francisco. This is a true encyclopedia of salon tango ( the way Paiva believed in 1950s ). Paiva was a great dancer. I remember his performance at Verdi. The way he moves was magnificently majestic. I have asked him: "When you move, it looks so beautiful and simple". He smiled slightly: "Simple !..". To read an article about Orlando Paiva by Laura click on the picture.


2006 November 28

--> Why competitions in Argentine Tango make no sense. I was thinking about it for long. It is a common understanding that competitions in tango make no sense. And tango dancers even do not like the idea at all. But why?

The most important and respected tango competition is Tango World Championship in Buenos Aires.


2006 November 27

One gentlemen told another one in my presence: "there is new tango music and old tango music. It looks like new musicians never listened to old music, only to themselves while there is the whole world out there, very reach and vibrating.." Another gentleman replied: "Well, not all old music I like..".

Well... Does it take long to learn music of tango? Here is the ---> list of most important tango orchestras. And where to get the records.

Here they are for the quick reference:

  • Francisco Canaro;
  • Roberto Firpo;
  • Osvaldo Fresedo;
  • Juan D'Arienzo;
  • Carlos Di Sarli;
  • Orquesta Tipica Victor;
  • Ciriaco Ortiz;
  • Angel D'Agostino;
  • Julio De Caro;
  • Astor Piazzolla;
  • Alberto Castillo;
  • Edgardo Donato;
  • Francisco Lomuto;
  • Rodolfo Biagi;
  • Pedro Laurenz;
  • Osvaldo Pugliese;
  • Enrique Rodriguez;
  • Anibal Troilo;
  • Lucio Demare;
  • Alfredo De Angelis;
  • Ricardo Tanturi;
  • you can add Arolas, the earliest recodings, for the flavor, Alfredo Gobbi and Miguel Calo.

This is it.

2006 November 20

Ruben Milonga in San FranciscoRuben Milonga's workshops at my place in Palo Alto went great ! Ruben is an amazing teacher proved himself once more. I'll probably write more on his method later. A very good method. A photo to come.. Teressa assisted. There were two workshops: "Very simple milonga" and an advanced one "How to dance with D'Arienzo music" ( D'Arienzo was the most popular tango orchestra leader in 1930s ).



2006 November 19

It looks like we have a new great place for tango: Cafe Cocomo ! A Nora's milonga today ( 3-rd sunday of a month) was a great success. Musicians: Seth Asarnow's trio played amazingly great, danceable, and from the root. There was a lot of good dancers. Atmosphere.. well, you now, Cafe Cocomo, a serious dancing place ! Emilio DJed perfectly. So, I am looking forward. Thank you!

2006 November 5

Democracy on march. Just received a message from friends: "Hi, Folks, we need your electronic VOTE for one of our favorite dance bands, <...> Band.  Just below follow the link to their nomination in the Independent Music Awards". Of course, I voted for them! It all comes to how many friends you have.

2006 November 4

Slivina Valz. Here is she on video. Look how she handles this guy. Here what Stella wrote about her: " Silvina Vals is Argentine by birth, and studied tango with Gustavo Naveira and Pepito Avellaneda, as well as classical ballet, jazz and gymnastics. She is a specialist in "dansevoltage" a form of aerial dance. She now lives in Paris and choreographs with the Theatre a Vitez. She often partners with the famous milonguero "Dany El Flaco" for performances and teaching at festivals worldwide. Many students are inspired by her passion, charm and knowledge. She is energetic, empathetic and enthusiastic in helping students arrive at their own level of perfection and is able to break down technically difficult movements into an understandable level. She is a true "milonguera" who enjoys dancing with students and dancers of all levels. "

Pure delight!

2006 October 5

In any way, even annoyingly long cortina time is mostly not enough to select a partner and invite each other. Sometimes - may be, but often - not. Imagine you want to have a sip of wine in-between, go to a restroom? Or chat a little? So, then you have to wait a whole tanda to start dancing? While other ladies are waiting? Hmmm.. not for me. So more often than not, one have to stay with a partner to continue their 4 dances. To separate just because it is a cortina - sorry, I never do it. For example, dancing a milonga or vals with a new partner, I like to continue and finish with at least one tango.

Cortina music should definitely break the current tanda style, tempo, and gradually prepare for the next one. I do not like when cortinas are danceable. Often, especially at alternative events they are more calling me for a dance than the music itself.

If people in the dancing room have other purpose to gather than just dancing, that is another matter. Long curtinas are pretty appropriate.

You are free! You DO NOT HAVE TO separate if it is a cortina ! Nonsense!

It is pretty rare when cortinas work very well. It has to be a very high class of tango party there. Like in Portland, or Broadway Studios.. Collective meditation. Cortinas there are like breath of fresh air before the jump to the next meditation cycle. Cortinas are a part of the whole dancing pulse, they connect tandas together, serving as a thread for the event. Tanda - high, cortina - relief. It is a part of the dance, it mixes everything: legs, senses, surroundings, dresses, faces.. It has its own rhythm: antirhythm. And then tango music starts and from the chaos a new dance is born. Magic! That what cortinas are for..


2006 September 29

Some thoughts about --> Dancing and the Sense of Freedom.

2006 September 26

Just received a message about Sebastian Arce workshop in Berkeley which I'd like to publish in its completeness.
Here is the video of Sebastian Arce and Mariana Montes. This is about Neo Tango.

2006 September 21

( this links do not work temporarily: the server is down )

I like this writings about tango: " TANGO AND CHAOS IN BUENOS AIRES". I've just just read about the Essence of Tango.

2006 September 20

Judging by plans of most-today's classes and workshops, and what they call "beginner, intermediate, and advanced" I am bound to be a beginner forever. I do not regret. I am old, conservative, and do consider molinete an advanced figure. And Tango Walk is even more advanced. At least people started talking about "How to lead and follow anyone" and improvisation to have fun. I am glad!

What is Advanced? There are only two conditions of a man: when a man dances, or not yet. If he dances - what level he is on? Even if he does not know new stuff at all?

Here is a citation from Dance Spirit. Stuttgart Ballet's Artistic Director Reid Anderson answers a question:
Question: "What do you look for in a dancer?"
Reid:"I look for "It"... Either you have "It" or you don't. Some learn "It". Of course I look at legs, feet, turnout and proportion, but also movements quality and musicality. I always try to explain to my kids that a lot of people can probably do the steps, but dancing is something completely other than doing steps."

2006 September 13

Reading a book "Calaveras County Gold Rush Stories" by Edna Buckbee, I have found the following story happened around 1850 in Angels Camp, about 2 hour drive from San Francisco now. Angels Camp "had a population of 300 exclusive of Indians" of gold miners.

"At Lake's hotel [a one-story frame building, the only one around], though there were no women in the camp, a ball was given. The dancers depended for music on two amateurs, a fiddler and flutist. The fiddler shouted out the various figures of the quadrille and the merry-making was kept up for several hours. After each dance had come to an end the fiddler, remembering the dancers' thirst and the welfare of Mr. Lake's barroom, called out in tones louder than usual, Promenade all to the bar and treat your partner! The absence of women in the camp was a difficulty easily conquered for it was arranged that any man wearing a square patch on the seat of his jeans, was to be treated as a "lady".. It was a strange sight to see a party of long-bearded men in heavy boots and flannel shirts going through all the steps and figures of the dance with so much spirit and often with a great deal of grace."

2006 September 11

Finally I have participated in some Luciana Valle's Tango Nuevo workshops. What can I say. One can immediately feel an extremely experienced, motivated great personality ! Professora ( in spanish ) de Tango Nuevo! No wonder: she laid down the basement of that style. All material is interconnected, systematically arranged, with careful consideration of difficult points, very well explained ( for those who prefer logical way of learning ).

I have learned quite a lot, but the greatest discovery I have made for myself, and it is not what I was not guessing before, but now it is pretty clear, that Tango Nuevo have their own way of lead and follow. Many of my writings about lead and follow may not find any application to the Tango Nuevo style, nor even understood by those who do not know anything beyond Tango Nuevo. I will work more on that once I know more.

Tango Nuevo is a dynamic, athletic dance. The basic figure is Molinete. Perfect molinete, well done, on the speed, with energy, with feet collected. If you do not know how to do it, it is useless to go any further. What a pity, a relatively simple ( in Tango Nuevo ) element can be well explained by the local teachers and  there are tons of opportunities to practice it in San Francisco. Why you did not do it, dear students !!!!???? It is not the best investment of time to try to learn it in the last moment on Luciana's workshop! It takes years, dears, to do it well, not 1 hour.

Ochos are done with the torque. "Spirals", in Tango Nuevo language. Deep, sweet, "tasty" as my friend said, ochos. Again, I am sure any tango Nuevo guru here will be glad to show it to you in a minute. Then you should have enough time to practice is. Some will do it right away, for some - diligent practice is required. But forget about going any further in Tango Nuevo if you do not know them well.

2006 September 7

I have seen many people who dance or expect back sacadas, volcadas, colgadas, infinite boleos, but they are not able do dance simple steps.

They do not feel them. They do not understand them. They even do not collect their feet in ochos !!!

What level they are dancing on?

This is not a level. These are different styles.

A lot of people dance greatly with very simple steps. I would never call them beginners. If you know how to dance, you have mastered the dance. Period.

Everything else is extra, or belongs to another style.

There are styles in tango. There are many of them, and there are beginner, intermediate, and advanced level in all of them, and they are all different. And equal. What is considered of utmost importance in one style is not of any importance whatsoever in another style. Every teacher mentioning levels must say explicitly what style they will work in. That is this what is a greatest source of confusion with a lesson attendees which is discussed.

Do not tell me that a person who claims that molinete belongs to a beginner level, is an advanced dancer of salon (both of them) or orillero or apilado styles of dancing. No way !!!! And evidence just supports it.

There is no offence in my words. Only appeal to accept the truth. For Tango Nuevo the Molinete is the basic figure. Everything else is growing form there. For Neo Tango the basic element is Boleo. Other styles have other basis. Think about it. It is a deep thought.

2006 September 6

I have received a program of new Nora's workshops for September and October Here it is. They have included a topic of Apilado there.

2006 September 6

I have received today an advice to find if a lady is a good tango dancer visually: "It is of course easier to read the level of a follower from the relaxation and precision of the hip, and my second glance is always on her butt.."

I do not even know what it means. Theoretically-wise. How a butt should move in tango?

I can find 100 more points to evaluate. Like if she is collecting her feet. Or if her cross is definite. Does she have a tight embrace? Is she able to stop? Does her movements of feet reflect music?... But I keep been confused. Sometimes a beginner dances much better than a perfect looking lady. So I am through with it. I never look at ladies. I just take my glasses off and dance, and invite those who exchange a glance with me.

The description above describes typical features of Nuevo Close Embrace and Neo dancers they pay attention to. But these are not the only styles danced.

2006 September 1

What pleasure in tango comes from? It comes from many sources:

  • Beautiful music;
  • Dancing in unification with music, rhythmical movements - rhythm hypnotizes;
  • Feeling of one's own body, flows of energy in it, muscles playing, stretching - it is similar to wonderful feeling during yoga exercises; And feeling the same in a body of your partner!
  • Feeling of discovery: in an improvised dance something new is happening all the time. And what is next? What is then?
  • Feeling of creation: when one creates it is a source of great pleasure;
  • Feeling of power: when one commands and it works, it is a source of great pleasure;
  • Feeling of community: when we act in group, when you are not alone - it is a source of pleasure;
  • Feeling of admiration, pride: when I did something good, it is a source of pleasure: did I really do it !? And your partner confirms: Bravo, Bravo! Incredible tango synchronization is one of the sources for admiration;
  • Feeling of dissolving in a friendly environment: the world is so beautiful and I am a part of it!
  • Feeling of beauty: I am so beautiful in the dance! It is confirmed by feeling: everything which is felt good is good;
  • Touching a partner: it is so pleasant to pet and to be petted, aren't we animals yet? Aren't we children in heart? We need it for good health!
  • Pleasure of sexual games - it happens too. Can you imagine what it is when it is amplified with all other pleasures?

Whew! Is it it?


2006 August 31

Some of the developed dances stress their improvisational nature. For example, Argentine Tango is an improvisational dance despite what you see on stage. Improvisation is greatly encouraged and taught. Tango surroundings support directing the dance toward more improvisation: tight crowds, reach rhythmic patterns in music, a new partner every dance, a reach vocabulary of moves. Many Tango performers while on stage dance improvisation only. Great improvisation abilities is a must in reaching the top of popularity.

There are methods of improvisation in Tango. It can be taught.

2006 August 25

Janis Kenyon wrote from Buenos Aires about IV Campeonato Mundial de Baile de Tango:
"Daria Nikolaeva and Andrey Panferov are here for the first time. This tall and elegant couple are worthy of being among the top ten finalists, if not the winners of the competition. They don't do anything fancy--they dance to the music and follow all the rules."

Here they are, at the bottom picture on the left ( I guess): Daria Nikolaeva and Andrey Panferov.

2006 August 25

It was some talk recently about spirals. I was first saw this figure 5 years ago at Juan Bruno video tape. The video was made about 12 years ago. This is one of the most ancient salon tango figures.

2006 August 24

I was asked do I tend to be neutral on my site. No. I want to be myself on my site. And it is probably more difficult.

2006 August 22

Are you afraid of Break dance? No? Then "Rize" might give you a view on what dancing is.
"It was already implanted in us.. from birth" was followed by an impressive sequence of interchanging break dance episodes and authentic African dance frames. Quite revealing for one who considers African roots of Tango seriously.

2006 August 15

Just  came to my mind, what opportunities one has to learn tango:

  • dancing
  • practicing
  • group classes
  • workshops
  • privates
  • video
  • participation in shows
  • writing about
  • one's own teaching

Healthy proportions everyone define for himself.

2006 August 13

Paulo AraujoAgain, I took Paulo Araujo classes yesterday at Lake Merritt. He proved himself once more to be a great tango philosopher, inventor, teacher. Paulo's workshops where difficult but very deep and inspirational. Several times I said to myself: this ... pays off all my 3 workshop expense. I am looking forward for more !

Paulo Araujo program for this visit.





2006 August 6

There is one delicate but sharp instrument to find if a dance is musical: dancing without music. Dance without music, make music with your legs and body, listen to the music of tango figures!

It can be used in another way. Switch off sound of a performance video: and you will see the musicality flaws as if under a looking glass..


2006 July 30

Las VegasJust found: " Country music has never been hotter than in "Bareback", the new high-energy adult revue from Greg Thompson Productions. This rowdy, wild and sultry show is sure to have both men and women dancing in their seats"

:)))) Why to dance in a seat? Dance on the floor, dance Tango !

2006 July 25

Roman Rosso and San Francsico Tango Orchestra at El ValencianoSan Francisco Tango Orchestra played at El Valenciano <--. I was there. It is a beautiful place. I wanted to have a visual record of it for a long time. And I even danced there several tandas!




2006 July 22

I am not a specialist in dance art,
but I'd like to share a short thought about ---> Choreography vs. Improvisation.

What is the main difference and how they are related.


2006 July 20

Roots of sensuality of tango are in music.

2006 July 15

I have updated my old article about -->Musicality.

2006 July 15

I am reading some books about dancing. What greatly surprises me is that they practically do not talk about music and pleasure. While I consider music and pleasure most important. I believe for all tango dancers it is quite obvious. I would go even further: they define what dance is:

  • Dancing is the music played with the body.
  • Dancing is done for pleasure of the dancer.

Here is an article about it --> What is Dancing and the place of visual effect of dancing in the definition.
It is mostly a phylosophical topic, so if you are not interested in phylosophy very much it might be considered boring. Skip it!

2006 July 14

I try not to divide tango styles by schools, but by their mechanical parameters. And that stays forever. It does not depend on historical or social reasons.

It is a myth that tango of 40 was a golden age of tango. It is only because it is remembered by people who still live now. And that tango orchestras were paid by the government ( for them - it was golden age ).

If I would put it on the scale how many elements is danced now and in the past, I would say now - 1. In the past - 100. Tango is changing, yes, but it is not evolving yet. It is recovering. And it is far far away from the full recovery. Mind you - everyone, EVERYONE able to dance danced tango in Europe in 1920-1950.


2006 July 13

Women's supporting force can go down through the ball of the foot or the heel. I clearly prefer women on high heels: I feel them much better. The difference should be evaluated closer.

2006 July 13

I believe tango is well suited for any type of music.

Of course, there is music to which only ballerinas or break-dancers can dance.

For tango, it seems to me, the most important feature of danceable music is complex rhythmical variations, allowing expression of reach tango rhythmical capabilities and vocabulary. Rhythm can be expressed in more subtle ways: through melody, and interactions between instruments.

Shortly, if rhythm does not change in the next measure - it is boring, so it is not suitable for tango.

As one of my tango-friends, a professional modern dancer said: "When I come to tango I relax - music carries me and makes a dance for me. With other music I have to make a dance myself"


2006 July 12

What family values are:

"You [God] created Adam and gave him a helper Eva as support - as his wife. From them the whole mankind came. You said: it is not good for a man to be alone, let us create a helper of the same kind. And now, Lord, I take the sister of mine not to satisfy {sexual desire} of mine, but truthfully like a WIFE: be kind to safe me and GIVE me to get old with her! And she said with him: amen." -- my the-best-I-can-do translation from the russian Bible I have.

Together to Tango

2006 July 4

I have find out that all "threatening motions" or fakes in tango carry structural significance: they help accumulate energy for the next move or absorb, dissipate extra energy from the previous move. They help to be more sharp or more smooth. This is related to all adornments.

But for outsides they may look like extras, decorations

2006 July 3

Astrid gave me a permission to published her tango poem. See -->The rules of tango addiction

2006 June 28

Leading with everything.

Points of Contact

Sometime, with good partners, I make the following experiments.

I try to lead with the certain parts. I direct my whole attention to a part and imagine the lead is pouring out of that part, and other parts are transmitting it, supporting it.

I have tried it with

  • the center of the chest,
  • the side of the chest,
  • the left hand ( her right ) in multiple positions,
  • the right hand on her back ( in at least a dozen of different places),
  • the right forearm ( which is under her shoulder),
  • the shoulder ( where she holds me with her left hand ),
  • my upper back where she rests her left hand,
  • the forehead,
  • the cheek,
  • a thigh,
  • the belly ( if we attached there ).

It all feels different and if it is done good, it is good.

I believe one can easy find out what arms and hands are for dancing without them. Of course, you can dance without them, but they are here for purpose! The dancing embrace is asymmetrical. And this is for purpose also.

2006 June 25

Sorry, I have missed the San Francisco Tango Exchange at all. I had a ticket, but I had to go on business trip. Just returned. Actually, as some of my friends pointed out, the event was under-advertised, so I hope it will be remedied the next year.

2006 June 15

--> Definition of Social Dancing - a free flow of thoughts.


2006 June 14

- Will I ever learn to dance?

Take a piece of paper. Are you right handed? Try to write with you left hand. It does not work, does it? Then write down something with your right hand. Easy, isn't it? You do not even think what you are doing. Your thoughts directly are laying down on the paper. Remember how you learned to write? You did it even worse then you are doing it with your left hand now. Diligent learning did the magic!

Every one can write, so every one can dance.

2006 May 31

Today is a glooming day: I do not have enough of good tango. Then I remembered, I have links on my site, ah! So here it is again: Eva Lucero and Patricio Touceda: a sip of fresh tango water! Find photos on their site, it is in About Us section. Clean, crisp, and tasty, isn't it? It is sunny again!

2006 May 30

Here are some photographs from --> Denver Memorial Day 2006 Tango Festival. Enjoy!

2006 May 30

Men follow men like men in a man-to-man dance. Men who try to follow like women just do not get it or something.

When men dance it is like a friendly fight with exchange of lead and follow on every step: fighting for the lead, fighting for a gancho, fighting for a surprise, attack and defense, ...

- "I wonder if this more aggressive kind of following you describe can really be called good following. It's certainly not passive and boring; but where do we draw the line between "following like a man" and backleading?" - Jake Spatz Washington, DC

There is no line to specify "between 'following like a man' and backleading", Jake.

As far as I understand "backleading" is something bad, but I am talking about something good there. So these things are incomparable.

Technique of "following like a man" is exactly the same as technique of following like a woman. At least in major parts. The difference is attitude. Woman makes a boleo for pleasure of the dance and deliver pleasure to her partner. To show a beautiful leg, if you wish. A man's boleo is an evasive action and then probably an attack. Do you feel what I mean?

Or it could be done like two partners are doing something together. Like same-side warriors in a combat. Then boleo could be a "reinforcement", help.

I know two ways of "SWAP"ing the lead ( without changing the embrace; it is like playing chess by white and back): lead can be given or taken. "Given", it is pretty clear. In the first man-to-man dance it can be used as a "setup" only. In the second, it is used routinely. "Taken", or interception of the lead can be used in both.

Of course, if two partners "take the lead" at the same time and no one gives up, it could lead to a dance halt. Which is not a bad idea by itself if it lasts reasonably short. It is a dance, not a fight, so it should be some rules played.

PSS. Who said that men in a man-to-man dance should be always men?

* * *
Astrid wrote: " As far as men following men is concerned: The men here I have seen don't need to wear drag or "find their masculinity in following". The men dancing with men-shows I have seen were some of the sexiest things on earth. Those two men were men alright, and from what I know, the molinete step formation originated from the moves of two fighting men circling each other warily with a knife in their hands. We once had a performance of Cristian and Gonzalo which sent the whole audience screaming and reeling. Ever seen two strong, tall men leading each other into jumps alternately? And can you imagine what those jumps look like? I think, the combined force of two leaders can create a fascinating dynamic."

2006 May 26

"Smart and final", two classical examples of wicked argumentation: a celebrity said, and "they" say. ( There is also "media" says, but that is another opera)

2006 May 24

"..For beginning men, it is enough for a woman to be there. For intermediate men, it is enough if the woman can more or less follow his routine as he works through his repertoire of steps. But to reach the murky depths and dizzy heights of tango, the woman has to be as active as the man in creating the dance.." Sean

2006 May 23

"..In the mid- thirties our phenomenon might have already been called Polish tango. I think that no other country of Europe became such an object of tango-fever as Poland. In my searches, whenever I happen to find, for instance, 5 old Polish records, 4 of them are always with tangos. The last page of every sheet music, where novelties are advertised will show us that more than 3/4 of all popular songs in Poland were tangos. The same may be evidenced when looking through the catalogues of gramophone records.. " Jerzy Placzkiewicz, found here ; Here is an example. Here is the Russian ( most popular ) performance of the "To Ostatnia Niedziela" - "Утомленное Солнце".

I have some German tango. Most delightful for a vintage salon style admirer. If you know where to get more of european tango, please, tell me! e-mail

2006 May 20


2006 May 15

Some tango quotations :

  • "  Flying like a bird, into the floor";
  • " Generally speaking, your toes should always be pointing in the direction on your nose. That's the line. Gotta have good lines to be a clean dancer."; Later on: "Musicality isn't about jumping around and doing things... All dancers have a special relationship with their feet. If they are working for us, they are our wings.";
  • "  Another way to look at energy is to look at a light bulb. The same amount of current flow through a 60 watt, 90 watt, or 150 watt bulbs. Yet, a 150 watt bulb glows brighter than a 60 watt. The 60 watt bulb has higher resistance to the electricity than the 150 bulb. The higher the resistance, the more the energy is absorbed by the resistor in the bulb and less energy sent to the tungsten that glows. From the little I remember from physics, energy= I*R where R equals resistance. I forget what the I stands for. Inductance? I'm sure there's an engineer on the list who can remind me and explain it better than I can..."
  • "  Feet should be relaxed, made as big as possible, as much contact as possible; the goal is ultra-stability. I envision a hobbit; short creature with stumpy legs and big bare feet (hobbits don't wear shoes). Just try to knock a hobbit over! The concept is same for followers..."
  • "  I'm using a cane to support my right ankle because I can't put full weight on it. As I was walking to the restaurant for dinner I noticed that I felt my weight better than usual. When I started 8 years ago, I was so stiff, knees unbent, I didn't feel my weight nor the transfer from one foot to the other. I'm suggesting for those who might have the similar problem, that you get a walking stick or cane. You will feel your weight more on the hand holding the cane and the weight transferring to the other foot then back to the foot supported by the cane. Tango is a dance of feeling and this can help accentuate the sense of feeling. I'm NOT suggesting you get into a car collision. You probably can buy a cane at a medical supply store. Just one of my crazy ideas for improving dancing..."
  • "It is of course easier to read the level of a follower from the relaxation and precision of the hip, and my second glance is always on her butt..."


2006 May 14

Energy? "Vigor" word?

I wonder, is there any energy in not moving things? Without visible intensity?

Like a in a compressed spring?

It goes very well to the lean theory. In lean our energy is accumulated and is ready for actions since each of us is in an unstable state - the energy can be released at any moment, and slightest chest or leg movement can trigger it.

There is a little force between us, it means we feel this energy. We may not move, or move very little, or move very slowly, but we feel this energy ( a real one, in scientific sense ). If there is no connection - we can not feel the energy, if there is, and the lean amplifies it - we feel it. Oh, yes we do!

And we can play with it, making micro movements that others may not even see. Or not making any movements at all! That is the magic of tango!

There is another feeling of energy. When one has a great energy in the body, and the partner feels it with a simple touch or even visually. I can not talk about it. I do not know it. May be someone?

* * *
The word energy is used in many senses. Whatever is more convenient at the current moment. And that is ok if we understand what it means.

But in any domain there is a whole world behind a term. Using a particular term, you actually bring to use the whole theory behind it of that domain. Theories vary in their abilities to explain and to solve problems. I guess it is more useful to use the most powerful one.

2006 May 10

Andres Amarilla and Meredith performance in the Golden Gate Club was in my view astonishing. A volcano of Nuevo dancing elements of all sorts and directions done with such ease and perfect technique that would be enough for 10 dances of someone else.

I took 2 classes with them. Andres and Meredith are thinkers, philosophers. They literally speak with the dancing elements. Fluently. It is their native language. They say there are thousands of possible steps and linking elements like boleos, crosses, ganchos, sacadas, linear boleos, colgadas, volcadas, and they can explain and show all  those combinations! We where amazed of how effortlessly we made something new and surprising, wow-ing.

The success of their workshops is that they know 100 times more than they say. These are the Nuevo teachers which move the whole tango forward. If you ask me who is the best to explain useful Nuevo concepts to everyone else, more traditional style dancers of tango, I would say - that is definitely them. I am looking forward to take all classes I can when they come to San Francisco the next time. Good luck!

2006 May 9

"In my frame of reference, which includes many more dances than Tango, compression is when you have a shared balance forward toward each other.  Leverage is when you share a balance, through the frame, away from each other.  These are basic concepts in swing dancing." - ME

2006 May 3

Steven Faivus is a great sax player. I have heard him at the Revolution cafe in SF some time ago. Just a memo.

2006 May 2

"...Do you recall the pitch hereabouts: "To dance tango you first must learn how to move"? Thing is, there are an infinite number of ways to move. And almost as many teachers who'd love you to pay them for workshops covering each and every one of them individually. Plus the videos too.

The truth is much simpler. To dance tango, you must first learn how to be still. There are very few ways to be still, but from them unfold all the infinite ways to move.

For free. Chris, UK" - posture, presence, centeredness and groundedness.

2006 May 2

I think there are 3 types of tango:

- Show tango, when you dance for someone to watch, perform as an artist. It requires guts and artistic skills.
- Personal tango, when you dance for your partner and yourself only, when you are looking for dance trance ( or whatever else you call it ), and
- Social tango, when you come to meet with your old friends, make new friends, communicate, chat, learn something new, experience touch, cooperate in a united activity, help a beginner, just live as a social being.

These are the only differences between them. Everything else: what you dance and how is irrelevant. These 3 are not defined by any dance styles.

Someone dance show tango, but in fact it is a Personal one.
And someone dance Personal, and it appears to be a Show!

* * *  
"Igor, so does this mean that we can't go to a milonga (or a practica), and enjoy the social aspects and still dance "personal tango"?

Sorry, Igor, we're discussing the term "social tango" as it relates to dance styles. It is used quite commonly (in the US, anyway) to refer to the styles of dance that can be danced politely on a crowded dance floor. Of course all tango can be considered a "social activity", even if its a tango class, but that's missing the point of this discussion.

And if "Someone dance show tango, but in fact it is a Personal one", doesn't that muddy up your own definitions?

Cheers, Michael  "

* * *

You said: "we're discussing the term "social tango" as it relates to dance styles."

I have noticed that, and that what triggered my message. I believe absolutely any style can be danced as "social tango". Mixing the styles, that what makes them not convenient, but that was already discussed.

And I want to defend what people see as show tango figures. All the same figures can be danced on stage, for personal pleasure, and in social environment. There are people who can bring their legs up and experience a great personal pleasure of doing it, and they do not hinder anybody around them in any way, since they are aware of the situation. (Again, it was discussed recently: "A greatest obstacle on the dance floor is a beginner".

There is bad tango and good tango. And this is not the same as show, personal, and social tango.

To be polite is not a goal of any dancing. It is the requirement. A couple can be impolite even dancing a solo show tango number on stage. I am afraid what you mean is the "talent bashing". "If they do all this flashy stuff and I don't, they dance impolitely!". Yes. To you, if you take it personally. And they might be going against the community spirit as well. It is not the same what I am talking about.

"Flashy stuff" does not mean "Flying legs" only. It is everything unusual. Many do not like the unusual.

Here: "Someone dances Show tango, but in fact it is a Personal one", I mean that when poor show dancers dance, in reality they dance for their own pleasure. And they fail to make impact on the audience, which just applauds them politely because they are friends or something. And all that is not bad. It is social.


2006 May 1

I am going to Denver!

2006 April 28

Tango dance is born in mutual interactions. If a couple is capable of a dance - it rises itself. Interactions are amplifying themselves up to become a dance.

2006 April 27

Why tango?


I do not know who said it, I guess many could: "The one who moves, reaches the oasis". So, forget about it all, and hit the trail!


But it is much easier to reach than success in moneymaking, career, karate, yoga, all that stuff. And after that? It is heaven!

2006 April 26

What would you think about Paul Bach-y-Rita et al. have developed the Tactile Vision Substitution System ( Brain Port )?

The idea is to digitize visual image from a camera, or any other device, and transmit it to the matrix of electrodes formerly put on a back of a human, and now - on the tongue. Tongue, I guess, is used because it is much more sensitive. Yes, it works, people can get used to perceive visual images in this way. See the recent article "During research Scientists Probe the Use of the Tongue" [Metro].

Well, touch is not much different. What does it mean for us, tango dancers? It means that we "see the dance". We feel our partner, our own reflection in our partner, and the dance itself in the mirror of our connection. Connection has to be a good definite touch to make it happen. Here I write more about it: Good Tango Connection, what it means.

We see not an actual image, but we visualize something which is invisible. Many people note that faces of tango dancers are not expressive. Well, they do have an expression of deep meditative thought. But now we can say more, they are away wandering around and enjoying the scenery of a beautiful country of their own dance.

What color prevails? What palette? What forms and ornaments can you see?

* * *
Some more links:
Kurt Kaczmarek;
Some science articles;

2006 April 19

Here is what I received from Elaine Kho: ( I live nearby and it sounds interesting to me and I am sure for many others)
Subject: Oakland Bistro and Cafe Milonga every Wednesday starting April 26

Please join us for the grand opening of the bistro and cafe milonga next Wednesday (April 26) ! This quaint restaurant that has been open for over 35 years has opened its doors to the tango community. One side of the room will be available for dancing, the other side for eating, drinking, and socializing. The milonga will be every Wednesday from 9p-1am.

"Trio" Bistro and Cafe Milonga
542 Grand Avenue Oakland, CA 94610

Hosted and DJ'd by Elaine Kho and Roberto Riobo

Every Wednesday starting April 26
Milonga: 9pm-1am
Cost: $5.- *Plus consumption of food or beverage item.

Directions: Easy access from freeway:
>From SF: Take 580 towards Hayward, take the Grand Ave. exit, the café is on the first block on the right side. Lots of street parking. ***Also, additional parking lot at corner near restaurant (@Euclid/Grant) $2 for all might parking)

2006 April 17

How to make milonga groovy? I'd like write about something which I consider --> a help for a milonga dancer to make those fast steps, keep the rhythm, and stay with a partner.

2006 April 13

I have finally figured out --> what Quebrada is. Thank you, Ruddy!

2006 April 10

- I took a private lesson ... but when I tried to implement it at a milonga I found that the men were plodding - maybe i need to try a different milonga with different dancers ?? or maybe adapt to the men (even if its bad)? What do you think?

That is the problem with many private lessons. If they teach you new elements - you are not able to dance them unless men around lead it. As a quick remedy pick a man you like and drag him into a private lesson. But that does not solve the problem with that lesson completely: the man is only one.

Dancing at a milonga with a good man you can influence his lead, you can even do your own steps, and you can backlead him. All that is not possible with those who are not able to support you in it.

Even if he is the one, when you do your steps or even smaller elements of a dance, you take the responsibility for the lead. You have at least make what you do visible to a man, then if you feel he is aware, you can continue. That is exactly how a good leader leads. You become a real leader for a moment!

A regular women adornments - that is your space of your unique fancy moves to start with. They are done within men's lead. It is their major property - they do not interfere or interact with the man's lead, all within men's intentions. You adorn them! Them! Not your own legs.

The first thing for you to start advanced technique - to get a little out of regular adornments - learn how to variate your answer to a man. In a nutshell - on every specific men's lead you answer a little differently. There are numerous ways to do it, many things are under your control to change. Here you affect the result of the lead, so for the next thing the leader has to adopt to you a little. It is ok, it is as if he suddenly changes a partner.

And so on...

2006 April 7

This article is under construction ( and it is very abstruse, mind bogging, but never the less..)

There is grammar of tango and there are grammar-s of individual schools of tango.
This things are different.

Analogy between dance and language is not quite straightforward.

With our experience as moving beings we are given a wide variety of body abilities which we expand significantly with our dance experience. It is possible to express it and understand it on much wider scale between two people than when two people speaking different languages can communicate with their international words and gestures.

Assuming that grammar is what puts elements together in "sentences",

there is much more meaning in tango elements than in sequences. Then tango grammar is much less important than a language grammar. Grammar is that essentially distinguishes between each individual school: each "master" should have his own figures, each school has its own grammar and uses its own set of elements more suitable for that grammar.

But it goes much farther.

One of the most important methods of dance is "surprise". We can surprise our partner with something new, and that makes the dance very interesting. I am trying to surprise on every step. Most often it is not a word or sentence, it is a new element, even micro-element, new way of making an element, those that you mentioned, Jay.

Then the analogy with language is totally wrong! We can not "surprise" our companion with new sound or a word - that will not be understood - it moves away from the purpose of conversation. In conversation we tend to find the sounds and words we both understand to express meaning, sense, humor. Letters, words, grammar are just tools.

It leads me to the thought that tango elements, moves, figures should not be associated with syntax and grammar of a language. Syntax and grammar are external to human. They are attributes of a language - a system to transform meaning with our limited means of communication. Dancing elements are the direct expression of meaning, the main purpose of a language. It is called semantics.

That is why we say that in the dance we "talk without words" - we bypass constraints put by nature on our means of communication and speak directly to the soul!

Tango moves, most elementary things, are not letters, words, or sentences. They are much more! They are the whole purpose of our dancing conversations. They are meaning themselves.

The elements become "semantic elements", and grammar - "semantic net". Here we came back to the beginning, but on much higher lever of abstraction: nobody knows for sure the theory of that, yet how it works in our brains.

Welcome to a new world!

With Tango we establish means of communication bypassing language barriers - a direct link between our sense of meaning, and thus shorten our link between feelings. No mattter what we communicate about - we communicate! And that gives the feeling of unity: we are not alone.


2006 April 5

Guess why am I so prolific today? I've finished my taxes!

2006 April 5

"Some people say that the canyengue of today is a reconstruction from some older dancer's childhood memories...."

About "reconstructing". There is one way to think about a dance:1. A dance is invented by gurus who pass it to their students and so on... So if it is lost, it has to be reconstructed painstakingly researching historical facts.

There is another way: 2. A dance exists itself. It is coded in our body mechanics and our perception of music. It is like science or math theory. Nobody invents it, it is discovered. It is a property of the world we live in. As soon as you in the right mood, in the right position, using certain principles, with certain music, improvising - you discover a dance called Canyengue! What else!?

More about "reconstructed". If we assume 2, there should be no doubt that even those who did not see actual milongas of 20s can easily dance the right dance based on what their fathers and grandfathers told them: they did not have to learn each piece of dance, but just dance in accordance with principles passed on from early generations: "Dance like this"! "Reconstructed" and "real" is the same thing here.

I believe 1. is more related to the dance of individual artists, individual styles. 2. is more related to a dance style, a more general way of dancing. "Dance like me" and "Dance like this" is not the same thing.

Interesting, that I have seen how someone claiming that they dance Canyengue did not actually dance it, they followed patterns, but not the basic principles of the dance. They did not dance Canyengue. They danced the style they knew before with figures more specific to Canyengue with the Canyengue music. And this was not the same to me like a real thing.

There are many tango dance styles, as well as many tango Brand Names, methods of teaching, and individual styles. All four are different things. The more we are certain what we are talking about the less the confusion.

2006 April 5

What is tango basis very shortly? It is an ability to Handle Your Own Body, Listen to a partner, and Influence the partner. Then goes the ability to structurize the moves, make a dance out of it. Each style, orchestra, dance, and individual partner require you to form a certain palette of those abilities which work the best for the current situation. And then you assemble a great dance out of this palette.

- and feel the music!

- I was thinking about "feel the music", but it is secondary. Important, but secondary. If you do not know how to express music in a body, what "feel of the music" is good for? Not for dancing.

- So many teachers (and good ones) and reknown instructors say that feeling the music is number one. And if you can't feel the music, give up.

Yet, I believe that most people feel the music and rhythm well, but just do not have tools to express themselves in the dance. Most of tango teachers do not recognize these tools too. Yep. That is why they say "feel the music". They mean feel the music and be able to express it. But these are two different things. Everyone can talk, walk, run, sing a military song while marching in the army. So everyone can dance.

Do not give up!

Leading and following is more important. How one can impose his feeling of music, if she does not listen or he is not able to covey his feeling, when there is no channel for communication?

So, first, feel, handle your body well. Second, learn to listen to the partner. Third, learn to lead. Forth, learn a spectrum of subtle ways to express music in your and your partner's body. There is nothing superficial in all that. It can be all precisely described in English language. Fifth, learn how to structurize the dance. Then - dance, because 99% of people is able to feel music good enough.

Quite different from you opinion? Or not? :)

There is a world-famous Russian ballerina Maya Plisetskaya. She remembers:
After the revolution in 1930-s, it was very easy to get to the ballet school of the Grand Theatre in Moscow (Bolshoy). Very few people able to dance remained. It was all dissolved during the civil war or they emigrated. Essentially young girls got to the school without much knowledge of the dance. She did too. They just signed up!

They got right into the hands of very able teachers, and most of them became great ballerinas. Maya said that most of those girls would not be able to pass modern entry exams - they would fail for some reason, but that does not mean that modern ballerinas are better. It is all in the hands of a teacher, that is what she wanted to say. There is a great "bailarin" in each of us.

I had to learn a great deal of many things in my life. I had to do it all the time since I was a boy. I was very lucky - already at school I have recognized the value of a great teacher. I had extraordinary teachers! Now I know that it pays off to buy 10 books to find the best one, to buy 10 tapes to find the best one, and then continue with the best.

2006 April 1

I have made a special article --> "How to be a good tango student". It is previously published material.

2006 March 23

So, I conduct --> tango classes at Palo Alto JCC. After the class - tango practica at 9:45pm. Would you like to join me? Everyone is welcome! Bring a partner: this place is new. Music: Best classical tandas + non-tango tango when audience desires.

- How late does this go ?
- As late as someone stays. At least till 12.

- What sort of floor is it ?
- Floor is sort of simulated wood, but it is a very good floor. We have powder available. We already are dancing in this place for 2 months, so it passed the test for danceability.

- Do I have to bring a partner ?
- You do not have to, but for now when it is in the process of establishing, you'd better bring a partner.

- How is your milonga ?
- This is not a milonga. This is practica - everyone can practice what they want, to the music they like and as long as they want. Great, isn't it? Well, we have to find common denominator regarding music, but otherwise.. flow of ideas is free. We all need to have space and time to try something new and to perfect what we've learned. So, this is a place.

- Why do you do it?
- Ability to structurize material is an important part in learning tango and progressing forward as well as in anything else. It is a great learning, researching, and systemizing tool for me. Believe me, I learn tango at those lessons even more than students.  I feel like I can compress and present in the useful form the knowledge I have obtained. I feel obliged to convey further the spirit of Tango. It is like a tree. A teacher is like a branch, students are leaves - they produce energy, or smaller branches. I became a smaller branch now. And we do have roots which feed all of us.


2006 March 16

An except from a web discussion (with permission). A lady wrote a post, Chris Jordan answers:

> But isn't tango about 2 people?

Tango is more than about 2 people. That's why this discussion includes the word "community".

It seems you're not a leader, else you'd certainly appreciate that each couple dances with every other couple on the floor. Guys often choose where to dance on the basis of the other guys rather than just the girls, especially where some milongas with rough guys and most have enough good girls.

In this context your

> Don't dance with people you don't like dancing with

is nothing like as easy to live by.

To find out how important the community aspect is to you, ask yourself how much you'd enjoy an evening out where your "2 people" were the only ones at the milonga.



2006 March 15

A difference between a tanguero and a milonguero?

It looks like a difference between a newspaper expert in water sports and a swimmer who actually swims in Hawaii waters.
Between a magazine editor writing about math, and a mathematician who proves theorems and solves problems.
Between a tourist enjoying the world sitting in front of his TV and a London street walker.

Troilo, D'Arienzo or Pugliese did not have to dance Tango.
They PLAYED tango, they watched people who dance to moves of their fingers!

There were Tango Gods!

* * *
Milonguero: a tango dancer who spends most of his life dancing at milongas.
Tanguero: a tango listener. He is an expert in facts, music, songs, history, but not necessarily can dance. Some say that this term is not Argentinean.

2006 March 10

Polly Ferman, a pianist performed at the new Rhythm and Motion tango studio at the ODC theatre. I have 2 CDs of her: "Piano Music by Ernesto Nazareth" and "Habaneras, Milongas, Tangos". Beautiful, beautiful tangos and milongas! Polly really feels tango very well. I wish for other classical musicians to learn her works how to interpret latin music.
Polly Ferman playing tango at the ODC studio in San Francisco
Polly coming to San Francisco Bay Area in April with more concerts, and in July, the great tango event is planned by Ted Viviani in December.

2006 March 8

I finally put the interview with Paulo Araujo on the web-site.

2006 March 8

Mark Celaya from LA passed away last week. Here is a page dedicated to Mark from the Tango Aficionado site. Note the Apilado position photo at the Cesar and Patricia of Club Danzarin post.

2006 March 7

Last weekend I took 6 hours of workshops with Nick Jones and Mayumi and danced for 7 hours at the local milongas. Nick and Mayumi gave a fantastic Colgada workshop at Dorca's and their performance was brilliant on the level of the best world dancers ( if not better ). What I especially liked about Nick is that he seamlessly dances all the modern figures the way a classical dancer would do it. He and Mayumi look right, look very tango. Nick's style is precise, elaborate, subtle, sophisticated, creative, innovative, and improvisational. And he knows damn a lot! There was not a singe step in the performance without 1, 2, or many variations, figures. Check it out yourself:

Here is the movie of Nick Jones and his partner Tara Fortier at the latest Portland festival. Magnificent!

2006 February 23

I have just received a message about a --> Taxi Dancing event at the CellSpace which I'd like to publish in its completeness.

2006 February 07

(Talking about ice-skating) Oleg Protopopov: "...We [with Lyudmila Belousova] think that the highest form of ice-skating is dancing. I.e. when technique, moves, and poses are united in such a way that you can not separate one from another. In his time, George Balanchine said: 'I want to see music and to hear movement'. So is our credo in ice-skating..."

2006 January 22

Paulo Araujo

I took ---> Paulo Araujo classes and workshops this weekend. Quality of workshops, deep philosophical and spiritual value, and skill of presentation astounded me!

- Do you know that at the same time Cecilia Gonzalez was in San Francisco?

- Yes, I know. She is a Neo dancer. After the last Paulo's workshop I rushed to the Beat club to take the last of her classes. So I was able to get 2.5 hours of her teaching of enrosque. Spent 50 bucks on that.


2006 January 15

---> Perfect Apilado Position article with pictures! I illustrate and explain here the most important features of Apilado position: lean and bend knees.

2006 January 12

Today at Verdy Club Yanina and Gennaro performed. What a dance! This beautiful couple has shown the top class of Argentine Tango professional show dance. More than that. Everything was lead and followed with a great skill. We are honored here, in San Francisco, that this argentine couple lives in our city.

I had 3 wonderful dances this evening, all in close embrace. One with Dn with Nuevo music. Yes, she is a wonderful dancer, very reach. She said: "How come that I can extend my legs so far away dancing with you!?" Hmmm :) There is a secret to it ;). Another one was with J1. We were dancing with very small steps, very slow. But this small steps were filled with emotion, movement and rhythm. And the third dance was with an exquisite D'Arienzo-Canaro-music dancer J2. When we danced last week, even Paulo said that we looked great. May be, but we really felt great, and this is it! She has such a powerful body, such a great drive, tork, sharpness of steps..

2006 January 11,  ( published first on web)

Laurie said: "In the US at least, close embrace dancers are generally taught to maintain their own axis and balance. They may look like they are leaning on each other to an untrained eye, but it is an illusion. If women lean on you when in a close embrace, it might be because they are following your center, not your strong lead. In that case, your strong lead is shoving them off balance, and they are just holding on for dear life."

Igor: " No. ( "Never say no", yes? )

Many women I dance in San Francisco do actually lean in close embrace as it supposed to be. It is not an impression. The lean is sometimes significant, sometimes very small, but it always present.

Yes, there is a group of dancers who make impression of it mostly "keeping their own balance" which means not leaning. This is another technique. This is another world.

Yes. Strong lead "is shoving them off the balance". Exactly. But that is why we lean! To compensate it. We balance! We balance on a rope! We balance in a lean. It makes every step a figure. And that is so pleasant!

And yes, the more the lean, the easier to make long steps.


2006 January 01

I never took any money for dancing with me at a milonga, and I never paid to anyone and never will pay for dancing at a milonga. I want all my friends know about it.

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My name is Igor Polk. I dance tango in San Francisco.
Argentina Tango, Argentin Tango, Argentinian Tango, Tango Argentino

Copyright©2003 Igor Polk
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