Argentine Tango Blog 2008

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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2008 December 31

Happy New Year !

We live in such prosperous and pretty peaceful time. Dancing Tango, having fun..

Thinking of it, imagine 100 years ago. 1908. Tango appeared in Europe, starting to penetrate America. Everyone danced, enjoyed life. How happy the future looked at that time. Who could think about the Great War, Russian Revolution, Great Depression, Fascism, Second world war, Atomic bomb, Computer age, Space age, and... death and revival of tango at the end of century.

2008 December 29

I have received these letters:

"Found this news report about Cafe Hansen being found by archaeologists in BSAS. Since I am not putting my time and energy into being a tango historian (playing with other aspects of the dance). Are their any tango historians on the list that could share some history about this cafe, and a few stories if possible. Also if there is any one who knows about this cafe showing up in tango lyrics. I for one would be very interested in hearing what is out there for my own edification. Thanks. David Hodgson."

The answer was:

"There is not a lot of information about Cafe Hansen because it was demolished in 1912 but it was evidently one of the hangouts of the renowned El Cachafaz. [ El Cachafaz is considered the greatest tango dancer in history. Video. ] Supposedly there was a contest there between Cachafaz and his reputed black rival, another famous dancer of the era, El Negro Santillan, which Cachafaz won. Cheers, Charles."

By the way, when you are going to visit me for a lesson or just a dance, turn left to Hansen Rd, then left to a private street Oak Creek: Google map of Hansen Rd.


2008 December 23

Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year, .. every day of your tango life !  

2008 December 21

The art of a man-tango dancer is to create a habitat fertile with soil, plenty of water and sun, slight refreshing wind, proper changes of day and night for a bud to bloom into a beautiful rose. Ladies, are you ready to bloom?

2008 December 20

Today Hugo Patyn gave an incredible performance of Tango, Vals, and Milonga with Ann Beck. I feel very happy to see his most elaborate improvisational dance as well as the way he danced on the social dance floor. These dances were among the best tango performaces I've ever seen ! During performance, Hugo is dancing in Orillero style.

2008 November 25

Why do people do tango. Indeed, why?

One could be interested in dancing, music, theatre, martial arts, yoga, travel, physics, mathematics, biology, psychology, sociology, teaching, political science, economics, history, poetry, women, spiritual, photography, philosophy, software engineering and artificial intelligence. And only tango satisfies all these interests.

And more: friendship, appreciation, feelings, sense of well being, relaxation, tension, exercise, thinking, meditation, embrace, beauty, kindness, hide away, show up, enthusiasm, energy, masculinity, femininity, food, vintage, modernism, touch, kisses, and may be love.

2008 November 19

My friend Alla sent for you this photo-reportage from Buenos Aires.

2008 November 14

Robert Hauk is nationally renowned tango expert.

Here are photos from another Rober Hauk emphasising complexity of little things. Not related to tango.

2008 November 12

One lady came to our practica after the classes.
She asked me: "What elements have you learned? I have learned "Linear Boleo" today" ( Not in my place ).
I told her, "We haven't really learned any new elements today. Tango contains more than elements".
She: "So what have you learned?"
Igor: "We've continued learning how to dance"
She: "What is the difference between an element and a figure then?"

A figure is a stable, self contained piece of the dance, linked to a musical phrase, when one thing comes naturally from another. It has an energy wave and a rhythmical pattern. An element in tango is a small piece of technique, so to speak. A step in not an element. One step in tango may be done with several elements, and one element in tango may be stretched across several steps, done with several steps.

Learning elements and figures is not enough for advanced dancing. A dancer is able to create new figures in the dance at will.

Comparing dancing and writing, one can say that an element is a word, may be a part of a word. But words are linked together in a sentence: one has to know grammar. And the sentence must curry some meaning, and not a trivial one. And there is another sentence, and the next one. These sentences pour out of each other. They carry an idea, meaning, feeling, energy, and a message. And even more, since dancing is like poetry: it has rhythm and rhyme.

And we learn and practice all that.


2008 November 8

When a building is constructed, no one would expect decorators to start working first, and people to move in.

Construction of a nice solid building starts with the basement.  Framework is put, pipes are laid down, concrete is cast. Pillars and walls are set. Roof is made, windows installed, then the decorations starts.

If the basement is not ready, cornerstones are not stable, nothing will stand on it yet. What are the cornerstones of Tango? Tango technique, tango structure, and tango rhythm. They are more than just elements and figures. They form a certain canvas of the dance. Tango elements and figures are born out of this canvas, like new stars out of space matter. Let us know about it and learn good solid background. Then we are not making shacks, we are building palaces!

Where is the design you might ask? In the head of your teacher.

2008 November 7

Here is a little Halloween picture for you:
Happy Halloween !

2008 November 7

A friend of mine said that tango is a masculine dance. She said that masculinity in a man calls for more feminity in a woman. And in turn woman's feminity supports man's masculinity.

Tango is an incredible remedy to raise both. In the best sense.

2008 November 6

I have seen Forever Tango show today in the old romantic Post Street Theatre in San Francisco. The whole show of dancing, music, singing is about nothing but Tango. Can any ballroom dance boast of it? Just one more proof that tango is not yet another dance, but rather a lifestyle. I've seen everything there: marvelous music of Orchestra Tipica, street tango, salon tango, men's club tango, playful tango, love tango, feeling tango, simple tango, angled tango, tragic tango, athletic tango, vampire tango, cumparsita, jealousy, the whole world of tango. Everyoung Marcela Duran with Carlos Gavito performed by Jorge Torres.

To my astonishment I have recognized one dancer as a dancer from a video clip I have found couple of years ago to make a point that Orillero dancing is alive. It is Aoniken Quiroga. I would never suspect the dancer I've seen dancing on the streets of Buenos Aires appear in this show. And he has.

I looked at people - most of them sit, enjoy and do not suspect that just several block away, in actually many places tango is alive and danced, not performed. They do not suspect that after the show they can go and dance themselves the whole night long and meet and with some luck even dance with the dancers they've just applauded.

Indeed it happen ! After the last show on Sunday, the group of dancers appeared with visit at Studio Gracia. Aoniken was among them - young, full of energy and charm attributed to argentine dancers. What can be more wonderful proof that tango is well and alive than dancing among the best dancers. Long Life Forever Tango !


2008 November 3

I remember one riddle I have heard somewhere sometimes in my childhood:

An evil king, I do not remember the name for sure, sniffed out that a poor fisherman has a beautiful daughter and asked her to come to his ball not dressed but not naked otherwise he will take her freedom. So she came in fishing nets..

By the way, fishnet stockings were called "Tango" when they first appeared in the turn of 20th century, weren't they?
Revolutions and wars shake our planet since then, millions perished in fire, empires raised and fall, but fishnet stocking survived and prosper. So, there is still hope for the future..


2008 October 31

A new virtual community of tango-discussion lovers: El Tango. It looks credible.

2008 October 29

I have spotted a link to a tango movie "Max, professeur de tango". You know in what year it was shot? 1912. You know where? In Berlin. Here is a quite extensive list of information about this comedy including in Russian and French.

There were earlier tango films including "Tango Argentino", 1900 and "L' Habanera", 1900.

Tango on the carpet

* * *
Johanna Siegmann recently put a new website called "Tango Data Base" with a large collection of links including those to tango movies.


2008 October 19

LUIS BRAVO’S FOREVER TANGO will again sizzle the Post Street Theatre for 16 Performances, Nov 5 - 16, 2008. They have asked me to put a link to the website, so here it is: Post Street Forever Tango. This is a must-see show for the tango aficionado. It all started with this show when Carlos Gavito danced with Marcela Duran there. Right now they carefully preserve the choreography. Jorge Torres is playing Gavito.

2008 October 13

Tango and a rose - Ivan and Nina

Nina is in Buenos Aires now. Here are her letters from Buenos Aires.

2008 October 6

Tete - Tete, a very famous Tango dancer visited Palo Alto recently. Here is the page with Tete pictures.

2008 October 6

Orlando Paiva II & Laura Tate demonstrate Apilado Tango position :

Orlando Paiva II & Laura Tate.

2008 October 5

"I believe that reality is a sublime comedy staged for my education and amusement, and that there is a benevolent conspiracy to liberate me from my ignorance and help transform me into the unique masterpiece that I was born to be." -- Rob Brezney

2008 October 1

Jorge Nel and Milena teaching Tango in Palo Alto - Jorge Nel was visiting us. He and Milena gave us an amazing workshop. Here you will find the pictures of the event.

2008 September 30

Some dancers concentrate on external look without much attention how it is done internally, how it is felt for a partner.

Others are concentrating on internal feeling totally ignoring the look.

As soon as inside feeling is the most important, the first approach is misleading, but if one does not look good, it inevitably reflects wrong technique and understanding of movements.

But what does it mean "to look good" in tango? One lady said about a professional dancer: "I do not feel I like the way he looks". He danced in Orillero style. Kenji Tokitsu said (about kendo, but I am translating it to tango language) : "I asked him [a master] why I felt such joy looking at his dance. He then answered me with a smile: "It is because you have made some progress in tango. Someone who has nothing will feel nothing.."

2008 September 29

Gavito himself was saying all the time:
"I lead, but I follow".

A man follows more than a woman.
When one is so insisting on "A Man leads only", it is a signal to me to doubt his dancing skills.
Of course this: "A man must lead" is true.

( But even more important: "A man must DANCE" ! )

I have to tell you that a woman leads in her own way too. It is extremely boring to dance with a woman who is doing things on her own. She misunderstand what is "To Follow". A woman must follow, not dance on her own, and the "follow" is a synonym of "lead" in feminine sense. For women the Gavito's saying will sound like this: "I follow, but I lead".
The simplest way it is done - is a perfect follow. It mean she does everything closely matching a man. It is some sort of a lead. Yes.

It is all paradoxical, but true.
Both lead, both follow, otherwise it is not tango !


2008 September 27


KGO-TV published an article by Heather Ishimaru saying: "Supporters also point out worldwide there has been only one fatality on any high speed system -- that was in Germany where an old bridge was to blame -- versus about 43,000 vehicle deaths a year in the U.S. alone. "

Here is the account of the accident. Shortly, it is not the bridge, it is a sophisticated wheel broken.

I am very touched by the plans to build this railroad. It definitely will strengthen the state economy and improve quality of our life. It gives a wonderful sense of doing something large together, as one of the engineers said: "Let us make this railroad!" We are a part of one and we are building a better world for ourselves. What can encourage the heart better !

Buenos Aires also builds its high-speed railway ( for 4 billion dollars ).

2008 September 24

"A Tango Trilogy" in San Francisco, 2008. A last "Leading Ladies of Tango" concert is cancelled. I am sorry about it. That is the one tango dancers would be interested most..

2008 September 19

Omar Vega died in Buenos Aires. "Omar has been suffering from very bad asthma for some time.."
Zina had asthma also.
Omar Vega is a very talented argentinean dancer who planned creating a dancing school here in Bay Area.

2008 September 17

Today I have danced in my dreams with Zina.

2008 September 15

Here is a dance an artist makes with a brush on the canvas: Ian Ross Art Video.

2008 September 11

About Hospitality.

Today, my friend, a tango teacher felt himself very sick. On our way home from the workshop we stopped by a hospital. They asked him to sign empty paper that he is going to pay all the expenses. He refused. Now he is going back to his own developing country to get free medical advice.

Some time ago I felt very strong pain. I was rolling about the floor, literally. I did not know what it is, so I called ambulance. They came and brought me to a hospital. They made some blood analysis. It was a kidney stone. They gave me a shot of sedative and I spent 2 hours on the bed in the emergency room to get to the state I am able to go home.

I have received a bill from the ambulance service. It was $250. A bill from the hospital was $5,000.

It is September 11.

Enough about it !    Let us come back to tango.

2008 September 5

I have conducted myself a little competition among videos. Who are the most fabulous Tango Salon style dancers of all times ( known to us). Here are the winners: Gabriela Lopez y Diego Ladeveze.

2008 September 5

Check out these tango musicians: Corazon al Sur. They have a fabulous singer and are scheduled to perform at Alberto's on Sept 21.

2008 September 1

Cadencia - rhythmical pattern expressed in a body. (Tango rhythmical pattern, if we dance tango)
Do I understand this word in relation to tango correctly?

2008 August 31

"An artist can not judge. An artist can only have compassion" [ translation].

2008 August 30

I was talking to a woman 92 years old. When she was young, she danced in many folk groups. She danced hungarian, jewish, russian, italian dances. She said: "Back in those days dance was mostly a man's thing. Men danced ! To show themselves off !".

2008 August 26

Congratulations to all who fight for their independence and gain it !

It is truly an achievement since suppressors use all the weapons available. Including the most powerful one: lie.

2008 August 25

We have Ruben "Milonga" coming soon: . More details.

2008, August 22

Igor Polk & Teressa dancing Milonga for you. I value your opinion, it'll be published right here.

- Here is the page with our best tango videos.

2008, August 16

- Ernest Williams and Maricela Wilson photoalbum

2008, August 4

Listen to these tango musicians !

2008, July 30

"..It wasn't a machine. It was alive. Like a dance of light !" -- from the movie "Abyss".

2008, July 26

From a russian caricature site:
а чем вообще определяется понятие "мастер"?
1.) отменная графика( несомненным достоинством которой является то, что сами герои нарисованы уже смешно( вне зависимости от идеи)
2.) Смешные, часто философские идеи.
3.) большая творческая плодовитость при стабильном качестве.

As a translation to english-Tango language it could be:
What the term "Master" is defined by?
1. Excellent technique and element execution. Each step and figure is good itself independently of the dance idea;
2. Interesting, captivating, often philosophical ideas of the dances; Briefly it means each dance is unique.
3. Big creative productivity with the stable quality.

I can add only one thing:
4. Spirit

2008, July 23

Ernest Williams and Maricela Wilson, workshop on Canyengue at our club in Palo Alto!!! They have more this Sunday 27th at Alberto's ( see the same link )

Fantastic !!!
Bravo !!!
Looking for more !!!!!!!

There going to be 2 more workshops at Alberto's and around Bay area.
Video of the performance at Alberto's


2008 July 21

As an answer to as widely perceived as fruitless discussion "what is tango" some people come with an idea that everything a dancer is calling "Tango" is Tango. I do not think this idea is fruitful.

2008 July 21

I have feeling that there is a common misunderstanding of a woman's role in tango.

This misunderstanding is that she is "a follower". Men, a woman does not have to "follow" YOU in a dance. SHE should DANCE ! Your goal as a leader is to create maximum opportunities for her to express her dancing.

A woman is the most important part of a dance. She is who totally defines it. A couple can not dance better than a woman does. A good man allows his woman to dance to the maximum of her abilities and desires.

2008 July 15

Levels of a tango dancer ( a man, obviously):

1. Can not do anything with a partner;
2. Is able to walk around a room;
3. Is able to walk around a room with the main beat; ( no matter how many and what other figures he knows. )
4. Is able to make a circle around the dance floor at a crowded milonga keeping the main beat always;
5. Knows the tango rhythm more or less, dances figures to the rhythm, and interprets melody feel. Is able to make turns;
6. Is able to dance with a woman with higher skills and make it interesting for her;
7. Is able to lead a woman not experienced in a dance and make her feel dancing;
8. Ladies are in line to dance with him;
9. Musicians pay attention to his couple while playing;

2008 July 15

What is dancing? As in all arts, it is when spirit dances.

2008 July 12

Natasha Ragozina, the world's top female boxer is talking about her success: Question: "What you can do as no one in the world?" Her answer: "To move... Legs save me. If you stand - you will get beaten. I move as if I dance."

2008 July 12

Jose Limon and Ernestine Stodelle danced in a ballet piece called "Tango" in 1931. Photo.

2008 June 24

I have made some images of Brigitta and Homer from a performance at the Palo Alto Elk's Lodge final milonga.

More photos:

Robert Hauk

Luis Bianchi & Daniela Pucci

Robert Hauk:

2008 June 17

Every day, every tanda, every dance I find something new. New elements, new moves, even new classes of elements. But it never crossed my mind that I am inventing something new. I am discovering the dance. It is a nature of improvisational dance.

2008 June 16

Here you can find a nice description of what Tango syncopation ( syncopa ) is from a musician's point of view ( fifth question ).

2008 June 16

I was introduced to Orillero style very early in my tango life. 2001-2002. And practicing it since then. Here I have a little article about what is Orillero Tango. Details? Come to us.

2008 June 11

This is one of my tango milestone dates...

2008 June 9

".. Dancing is releasing and flowing..trusting something more profound than 'thinking' .. One can 'dance' the slow tango without really dancing. The Milonga is much harder to fake.. ..and doesn't lend itself well to being engineered.." -- Mario

2008 June 9

Tango poses are important. But have it crossed your mind that a pose can be in movement?

2008 June 8

About what is happening 'between the steps", micro-tango movements, flights, splashes of energy, tensions, releases and oscillations.

There is a sea of these movements. Underlying tango structure is just a shore of the sea. Once we reach it we swim in these sea of these incredible movements.


2008 June 2

      A little bit about open embrace vs close embrace.
      Both embraces are important to learn 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 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.


2008 June 2

What is tango scent? What perfumes were popular in Buenos Aires at tango times? In Paris? Is there any specific scent popular among tango dancers? Please, write me if you have some thoughts about it.

2008 June 1

A woman should have a good embrace. If her embrace is bad - she can only dance what she can. If her embrace is good - she also can dance what good men lead.

2008 June 1

Our new video: little Milonga performance - Igor with a dance partner.

2008 June 1

A week with Rober Hauk has passed. 6 workshops+ 2 lessons. 11 hours of diving into tango with one of the best American tango teachers has made an incredible impact on us. We never are going to dance in the same way, and some jumped right from the beginner to intermediate level - they started to understand tango ! I am so happy that I has invited Robert Hauk to San Francisco. Thank you Robert, and thank you everyone who participated in these wonderful workshops !

Robert Hauk, a milonguero

Complete course of Tango Milonguero
 in Six Workshops, May 24-28

Igor: "What is so good about Robert? He is dancing like an Argentinean, but he is not an Argentinean. He understands us and knows what language to speak to us like no other Argentinean would never dreamed of ! Robert knows how most of the best dancers in whole America dance in close embrace. Learning from him we became a part of local community of the best dancers. I've seen many who might have great ideas, or not, beautiful dancing style or not, but no one of them could give a clear, precise teaching on how to become among the most popular tango dancers in America and Europe - our great local tango festivals. How to enter this circle. And Robert does !!!" - ...

2008 May 26 - And he proved that once again!!! Workshops with Robert were so good. I am amazed with his level of understanding of tango, body mechanics, and teaching skills. Targeting improvisation and great feeling of the dance Robert was able to give in six hours of workshops enough material for 5 years of dancing and practicing. Even the raw beginner started to dance after the classes. More advanced dancers jumped over 2 levels up !!! It is incredible how Robert was able to explain and teach half of the tango in such a short time.

Through away all your business and rush to our today's, Monday's workshop ! We have a special class for you at 7:30 - review of the previous material. Only $10 !

2008 May 8

Feelings of a Tango Dancer: Tango "Loca" Libertad Lamarque (no dancing).
This is the way to dance tango.

2008 May 7

Here is our Wednesday schedule:

Close Embrace with Igor Polk & Teressa
Cubberly Center - Auditorium
4000 Middlefield Rd.
Palo Alto, CA

8:00 - 9:00pm - Close Embrace Apilado classes with Igor Polk & Teressa. Int-Adv.
9:00pm - late - Practica.
$10 for everything, $5 practica only.
Who is Igor? Check

Igor & Teressa are among the best real-floor dancers in San Francisco Bay Area. Our classes pursue "effortless mastery". We teach "real staff", the way people dance around and in Buenos Aires. But we emphasize perfection as the way to highest levels of pleasure in dancing.


Rober Hauk a milonguero workshop: Tango Milonguero
May 26
8:30 - 10:00 - A fifth in the series of 6 workshops on Tango Milonguero by the famous tango teacher Robert Hauk. Robert is bringing a spirit of the best US tango festivals to San Francisco Bay Area !
10:00 - late - Practica $5 ( free for students ) - more information.

2006 May 4

Ney and Jennifer are welcoming you into their new studio: "Tango Vida" in the heart of San Francisco.

Jennifer Ney

2008 May 3

Stanislavski: ".. An enormous amount of work will be done before the treasure is obtained. This enhances the appreciation of its value and the further men penetrate the greater their amazement of its extent."

2008 May 3

This is a green website - no animals were harmed during its creation;
This is a blue website - check my virtual tours - and you will notice the California color;
This is a red website - Red and Black color of these words make it Tango.
What about the yellow? Yellow of Sun is in the beginning of everything: green leaves, blue sky.
Human blood is red. Mixed with yellow it makes the color of Tango: Orange.

20008 April 23

Here are golden words :

"> Beginners should be taught the line of dance.
How about: Beginners should learn the line of dance.

> Beginners should be taught that tango has pauses.
Beginners should learn that tango has pauses.

The essential objective of education is not teaching, but learning.

> How will beginners learn about tandas and cortinas?

The essential /process/ of education is not teaching, but learning."
-- Chris

Nobody can teach you a dance, unless you learn yourself!

2008 April 18

Just came back from the Tango Evolution concert with Daniel Binelli, Eduardo Isaak, Eroica Trio and Miriam Larici. There were performing pieces of Binelli himself, Piazzolla, and other composers.

Any tango aficionado holds his breath with the magical music of Maestros Binelli and Isaak. Binelli shows the incredible abilities of bandoneon, depth of sound, humanly breath of this nostalgic instrument. The perfect duo of a virtuoso guitar player and a bandoneonist is accompanied by the romantic Eroica Trio of beautiful women in red. Complex and interactive Binelli's arrangements will call emotions in anyone: classical, jazz, or tango music lovers.

If you do not know what is a bandoneon - it is perfect opportunity to experience its soulful sounds: Maestro Binelli is called the best bandoneon player now in the world. Not only player, but accomplished composer and arranger, and this kind of people is a pure rarity these days ! Now I understand why so many call a bandoneon a living being !

As for what makes the concert truly unique - it is the generous dance performance of incredible Miriam Larici. What are you waiting for, rush to see her !!! This is a life chance ! You will not see these kind of dancing anywhere, not in ballet, nor in Las Vegas. This is a show called Tango!

Here is more information about the performance and other 2 tango concerts in the series.

2008 April 19

"..the observation that movement or posture that feels comfortable is often wrong from a structural standpoint, and though it arose as a consequence of the body's appropriate adaptation or accommodation to an injury or bad shoes, it progresses to feeling comfortable and natural through months or years of habitual repetition. The instructor's role then becomes a bit more complicated and difficult, in bringing the dancer's attention to the issue so they can correct it if possible." - Jay at

Any activity body is involved in regularly like sports, kind of work, lifestyle brings an imprint on body and its moves. A tango dancer must develop its own type of body - tango body. Then all the right tango moves become felt natural and correct - "like in Tango". It is a great mistake to think that "walk in tango is just a regular walk". It is not. It is usually said to let students get rid of another problem - overdoing things, exaggerating due to their beginner's perception what is right in tango, what they've seen in the shows. Which is often wrong.

I remember my teacher told me: "Walk like this! They [Argentineans] really are walking like this in the real life! .."


2008 April 12


Perfection is an incredibly powerful thing difficult to achieve. One slightest error, aberration - and it is not. That is why a very simple dance made perfect is tremendously better and memorable than any other dance with more complex elements.

2008 April 10

Tigers, Muses & Jasmine. Can not resist of posting this drama performance.

"..uncannily conjures the political and social instability of the Weimar Republic"?
Oh, really? What about France of the period? Russia? Britain? Yes, yes! And.. US? The whole world was heading toward the second great war - as if too little people have died in the first one. 1,000,000 prostitutes in France alone. Why? NOTHING TO EAT !
And it was only about 80 years ago.

Illusions? Illusions help only if you are already disillusioned.

2008 April 9

What is the difference between art and craft? Art is created by movements of spirit. It is difficult or even impossible to re-create the same piece weather it is painting, writing, singing, or dancing. A craftsman is moved by "instructions" "how to do". Experience plays huge role but the roles are different. Spirit moves chaotically. Systematically? May be, but chaotically for sure. So, now, if you see the sequence of dance patterns one by one and clearly defined, you can firmly be assured - this is a very skilled craftsman presenting his product..

Why does spirit move chaotically? Because it is in unknown ! Craftsman stops when he does not know what to do. And this is the heaven time for an artist.

2008 April 5

Art of Tamara de Lempicka - Dancing Russian Waltz of 1938. ( Here is another example of old russian Singing vals: "На сопках Манчжурии", 1905. An example of more folk Russin style of music and voice.)

2008 April 3

One thing tango is excellent is saving from loneliness. How many times one wakes up in the morning and regrets about hours in the last evening so stupidly spent against a muttering TV "relaxing" or rather lowering in a chair? Wouldn't be so much better to put on a nice shirt, jump in a car, get to the Milonga, and circle around embracing beautiful people?

2008 March 30

"Peahens do not prefer peacocks with more elaborate trains" ( a very scientific article ). Anyone who saw them noticed that they are sort of dance. May be hens choose roosters because of their elaborate DANCE ? And then the male is judged by the movement of the tail, how well it is used in in the dance?

2008 March 29

"..there are as many paths to life as there are variations on steps in Tango. Tango is really a beautiful metaphor for all of this because it is filled with contradictions and forces the mind, body, and spirit to cooperate with each other.Thought, matter, and breath are called into harmony--through music--which activates the senses of hearing, touching, seeing, tasting, and smelling. So dancing tango can actually resurrect a person to fully being alive to have the experience of feeling fully alive." - Joy


2008 March 25

-Yuki and Chantal dancing Tango.

2008 March 21

On March 19 we had a workshop "Action and Reaction" with Luis Bianchi & Daniela Pucci. That was a wonderful evening full with joy and excitement of Tango. Luis and Daniela are very deep, focused, thorough teachers and amazing improvisational performers. They explain the technique on the level very rarely reached by other teachers .Their YouTube video is in my list of the best tangos, but what I saw at Alberto's on Sunday, they performed three dances, supposed to be in the list of the best performance art ever. Bravo!

2008 March 15

Has known God,
Not the God of names,
Not the God of don'ts,
Not the God who ever does,
Anything weird,
But the God who only knows four words
And keeps repeating them, saying:
"Come dance with Me."

The poem "The God Who Only Knows Four Words."
Hafiz, great Sufi master, from Persia (c. 1320-1389)
translation by Daniel Ladinsky

About another poet: "Jalal El Din Al Rumi, a thirteenth century Moslem Sufi poet, is currently the most popularly read poet in the West. Norman M. Brown, the leader of the Community Unitarian Universalist Church in Daytona Beach, Florida, has an interesting theory regarding Al Rumi's popularity. As he argues, most people, whether conscious of it or not, have spiritual needs and desires. The rational outlook of twentieth century Western civilization suppresses these types of needs and desires, does not give them the opportunity to express or fulfill themselves and, as a result, many people become spiritually frustrated (Brown). The minority who are conscious of their spiritual frustration turn to various religions in search of some type of fulfillment. However, few, if any, of these religions provide such fulfillment. The exception to this, according to Norman M. Brown is Sufi "mystical" Islam which appears to address both human spiritual needs and emotions on one hand, and the human respect for rationality and intellect, on the other (Brown). As Brown argues, Sufi thought, combining between philosophy and spirituality, and concisely expressed in the poetry of Al Rumi, satisfy the inborn human spiritual and intellectual desires and, in this, lies the popularity of the Sufist poet in the West.". Link


2008 March 6

"La Cumparsita" by Juan D'Arienzo, the true and only "El Rey del Compas" !

There is a modern group of musicians called themselves "LOS REYES DEL COMPAS". They very good.

2008 March 4

A Master is able to do and does more than he knows.

2008 February 25

Very recently I was at a workshop where "exotic" figures were taught. There were many students there most of whom could not even make a regular walking step nicely. As I felt, only one woman was able to do the "exotic" element nicely. I asked her:
- Do you have experience with other dances?
- Yes. I did ballet.
- For how long?
- 25 years.
- Have you ever performed?
- It was my career.

2008 February 21

Dedication. It is a magical word. I've seen people very talented who tried tango, and of course it did not work for them right away. Disappointed after several lessons, they drop: too hard! No immediate profit! On the contrary, people, so to speak, less talented, come and practice every time and they do improve ! They might not notice it, but I see that with every lesson, every dance they do. Little by little they are getting there. And they will dance! They are dancing !

And they will surpass "talented ones" because there is very little difference between a natural talent and a trained one.

Or may be they have that internal Drive For Dancing? They have Will To Dance? If so, Will beats the Talent.

Masters have both.

The Drive For Dancing is the feeling of the dance, enjoyment of the dance they experience even in simplest movements. Can you imagine what it will be like when they start dancing well?


2008 February 20

My letter to BATango:

Igor Polk is dancing Canyengue for 5 years on the dance floors of San Francisco with people like you!
Igor Polk has learned this style from Martha Anton when most people never even heard about it.
Last year Igor Polk have taught Canyengue workshop series at Palo Alto JCC Tango Club with great success. Yes, people learn Canyengue very fast and enjoy it !
With Igor you will dance Canyengue right here in San Francisco very soon!
Beginners are welcome !
Igor Polk
PS. Yes, this is my favorite style !!!


2008 February 19

Tango is a theory. No, it is a whole science.

2008 February 15

How to dance Juan D'Arienzo ? "El Rey del Compas" ? May be this record will give you an idea: LOCA. :)

2008 February 14

"8-count basic". That is a figure everyone should know and no one should dance. Is it so? It depends.
It is definitely an artificial figure. No one knows who invented it, but the rumors are that it was used in 50s to teach american students tango by such people like Copes.

It is a masterpiece of condensed information about the dance. The truth is not in meticulous repetition of it, but in ability to variate it.

2008 February 12

What is the difference between a lesson and a workshop? A workshop is tailored to the topic. A topic should be covered more or less completely. A workshop should be tailored to the best students of the level. While a lesson is tailored to an average student of the group. A teacher should pay more attention to students at the lesson. A lesson usually imply that there will be other lessons to cover and review material missed, and a teacher will be available to correct the students later. A workshop is usually unique. Workshops are especially important to address topics of style and those which are usually scattered across many lessons: workshops summarize material.

2008 February 4

Brigitta Winkler in Palo Alto, January 30, February 3, 4. Classes and Workshops - " Brigitta is one of the world's most praised teachers and innovative dancers of tango". Click here for Information

2008 February 2

A friend of mine, Judy Maxon from Portland, a wonderful dancer herself, have an interesting business. She sells.. buckles. Yes, buckles for dancing shoes which fasten themselves. I bet you will find it useful at milongas. Here is the flyer, click it and you will get to Judy's website:
 Judy Maxon's Magical Buckles

2008 February 2

The ability to improvise a great dance keeping the feeling of the dance with absolute unison with unfamiliar music with an unfamiliar partner in your own style is considered a mastery in tango.

2008 January 21

--> What is choreography

2008 January 5

Tango should be advertised to intellectual men, who are tired of all that dumbness in surrounding surreality, hectic pace of life. They appreciate tango most - as a deep intellectual, artistic, and spiritual experience.
..With a pleasant lady in hands.

2008 January 3

I have selected the "Sources of Pleasure in Dancing" into a short separate article. This list was deep into other things, now I am making it explicit.


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

Copyright©2008 Igor Polk
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