My name is Igor Polk. I am dancing and teaching Argentine Tango in San Francisco..
Index of this page:
Computerized dance: Nobuyuki Hanabusa;
2013 December 16
Knee-lock should be avoided, hip-bump, which has similar machanizm is encouraged.
"Asiana Airlines pilot was ‘nervous’ about landing before deadly San Francisco crash caught on camera"
My own observation. At this day, I was driving across San Mateo bridge. I did know about anything. And I saw fire near the west side of the bridge and firetrack were there. I do not know what it means. But it felt strange right away. The fire was on the dam. What can burn there? It was on the line aircrafts fly along to approach the landing strip. Why, I asked myself.
This is the article.
This is another, much better video of the crash.
2013 December 7
Annual Tango Party at Palo Alto JCC on January 4, Saturday !
Dear dancers and future dancers,
Welcome to our tango classes today !
Let me remind you how our lessons are built. The first class is for people who want to learn or refresh the basics and figures of so called "social dancing". This class gives more than you can see at the average american dance floor.
The second class is for the more advanced part of students, including me and Cecilia. The goal here is to convey you the theory of tango dance without reductions. The same simple parts of the same theory without any compromise is given at the first class. The difference is that the second class is more intense. The class is always build in such way that the more advanced part of students understands it completely. If you do not understand it completely or feel difficulty, it is ok, what you practiced is good for you. In some time you will appreciate it.
I want to convey the idea of my classes very clearly. These classes are not for quick jump to the social dance floor. It is to learn the real Argentine Tango the way it is and was danced by the best dancers of modern and ancient times. To the best of my knowledge.
Let me give you the schedule, based on my intuitive experience, how soon one is able to start dancing Argentine tango.
This is for men. For women it may be less, but to become a good follower, it will take you more knowledge than to become a decent leader. To become a leader, it is 3 times more difficult than to become a follower. To become a good follower, it is 3 times more difficult than to become a leader.
How to become a good leader sooner? The efficient way is this: to learn follower part and be lead by an experienced leader. Learn followers part diligently. Come to me after the class and ask me to lead you. Use this rare opportunity! One of the paradoxes and truth of tango is that a good leader follows his partner and a good follower is active in relation to her partner.
A simple advice to learn efficiently. Do not try to learn. Do not try to memorize anything. Just try doing it and do it! What the body is able to get it will get. Next time it will get more. Practice as much as you can with the best and do not expect miracles. They will happen themselves.
About me. I took more than 5 classes a week and I started to dance in 6 months. Then it took me overall 2 years of everyday classes, practice, and dances to become a decent leader. And it took me 10 more years of classes, workshops, festivals, video watching, milongas, teaching to understand the basis and theory of Argentine Tango and being able to incorporate it in my body. I have written what I know in a book: "Twisted Body" Dance Theory;
Welcome to our classes !
2013 November 19
Must see ! Cuban Tango: "Son cubano par Carlos Rafael Gonzalez et Marie Line."
It seems to me the secret of this magestic dance is that, besides that they are great, in very good leading and especially following. This is probably a choreographed dance, but it looks so natural, because she actually follows her partner instead of just dancing herself to the beat. Look how light and sensible the lead is! No excessive arm movements, no pushing and pulling. Feelings. Pure pleasure !
My older video about Right Turns. Plenty of molinetes, turns, sacadas and the like. Available only from this page.
The next is an improvisation on topic of barrida. Cecila makes a big technical mistake here. What? ( Check the answer below). This is a private video available only from this page, but you can link to it: http://www.virtuar.com/tango/tango_weblog2012.htm#barrida
Cecilia's mistake is that she bends her knee too much. It makes her not on axis. As the result, the boleo and barrida are done with the unnesessary effort, including from my side. The knee should be only lightly "unlocked". But not more. Torso must be forward and head back.
The next video shows how to dance in line, how to make crazy boleos not hitting anyone, and it illustrates one of numerous reasons why 8-count basic is imporant. Link to this video is http://www.virtuar.com/tango/tango_weblog2012.htm#inline
Some variations on Ocho Cortado with boleos and barridas. Link: http://www.virtuar.com/tango/tango_weblog2012.htm#ocho_cortado
And finally for today, a demo after a Left Turn lesson. With barridas. Link: http://www.virtuar.com/tango/tango_weblog2012.htm#left_turn
If you want to get notification messages about my classes, pease, specify it in your e-mail.
2013 November 11
"As much fun as (tango) is, when you can stay on the rhythm, you step into another world – a magical world where (tango) becomes like heroin. No accomplished dancer wants to descend back into the rhythmless muck. No matter how good you are otherwise, without rhythm, dancing with you will be like a trip to the dentist for a partner with rhythm. And yes, it is that bad. You will see for yourself once you cross over."
Strongly said, isn't it? Do you understand me now? This is said about Salsa. At this site. Thank you!
2013 Novemeber 7
Gustavo Naveira y Giselle Anne, Vals. ( Link to YouTube ) 2011
I wish everyone dance like this... It is not that difficult, only one has to understand tango principles: step out on 1, land on 2 in a single step. Arrepentida on 1. Twist pelvis. Pause on end of the phrase. Practice good turn. That is about it. Let us do it, ah!?
Well, that is us in 2010:
2013 October 29
Alice Francis - Shoot Him Down
2013 October 28
At today's class: "At the Level 2 class we'd like to exercise the follower's principle of gifting energy."
It was a brilliant brilliant brilliant lesson ! People went home smiling. It was about "gifting energy" by woman. And man. About exchange of energy. About how to dance The Tango. It is not about fast and big steps, quite contrary. Read the article "China's ancient wisdom says" below. It is how woman makes herself the most desirable dancer on the floor. It does make her The Dancer. Concept has been proved. I was gifting energy so much, so I was totally exhausted.
Come to see me to learn more..
2013 October 26
Energy, lead, body, sensitivity, beauty, all that.... If one would ask me to express in one sentense what is the most important in tango, I say: Rhythm and Music in you. Because, if no rhythm and music in you - nothing matters. If there is right rhythm and music in you - all mistakes may be forgiven. I do not say "musicality" it is not the same as "music". Music is what makes a song out of the pure rhythm. If one does not have musicality - it is fine. Musicality is a little thing. But if one does not have the basic music - that is fatal. Rhythm becomes boring. I wanted to say it short, appears long... Rhythm and Music !
2013 October 25
"Кто сказал, что демократия - это власть народа?
Другой анекдот. Ну не мог не стянуть:
"Мужик в 3 часа ночи звонит соседу сверху, весь в слезах:
2013 October 25
Have fun: http://youtu.be/qXowYIZpYpo
2013 October 24
Mark Gerry on my yesterday's workshop "Amazing 8-count basic":
"Fantastic Job Igor Polk!, like A Professor of Martial Arts You broke down the 8-count basic with amazing explanations of body mechanics, clear and insightful demonstrations of your understanding of the movements, yet Never saying that this was the only way to interpret the Dance. You made my students feel comfortable the 2 1/5 hours you spent on the 8 count basic and every 30 minutes you would ask them if they wanted to stop, and all thou they were tired none of them even stopped to rest fearing they would miss something........ You are a Professor of TANGO . Thank You For Your Time!!.......PS....You guys missed out! 8))". Link to Facebook post
2013 October 24
Not all organics are true organics. One the left - companies who tried to finance ( in disguise! ) a compain against GMO food labeling in Washington. On the right - who are for. Click on the picture to get a large readable poster.
2013 October 24
"Режиссер подобен Колумбу. На корабле Колумб единственный, кто хочет открыть Америку. Все остальные хотят побыстрее домой"
Energy! That is what is important ! That is of utmost importance.
I give you five apples, you give me five apples - each of us has 5 apples. It is exchange.
I am talking about something which can be called "vital energy", "life energy".
People generate energy. It can be anything like cooking, moving, active life, ability to talk, enjoy, dance. If we all generate energy in communication, we charge, because human energy is multiplied during exchange. People come to dance to exchange energy and therefore get charged with energy.
Some people consume energy. They are energy sink. I.e.
I give you "five" energy, you give me nothing ( zero ) - I have 0 zero energy. Because it is multiplication. You have sunk my energy.
Generating energy, vital energy, is a top tango skill. That is why it is worth to dance with some beginners, because they generate energy out of new emotions, impressions, natural expressiveness. Dancing with them is pleasant, and "charging" even though they know nothing. Some beginners do not generate energy. Nobody want to dance with them.
With time, some, mostly women, lose the ability to generate energy. They become used to take energy from a man, since they are used to dance with more advanced dancers. They become "energy sink". It is good for them, since they get their energy. But it not good for their partner, since he is loosing energy.
That is why it is important to dance with someone who you like to dance with and who likes to dance with you. Because you feel that you charge each other.
Any idea how to teach people to generate energy? Is it possible?
One way to learn to generate energy it to lead. A leader must be able to generate energy by default. That is why learning to lead is so difficult. But it is very rewarding at the end.
For women it is often opposite. If they learn passive following which happens at many classes and at many beginners classes where they put emphasis on teaching leading, they gradually loose the ability to generate energy. "Women has to do nothing, just follow" - you hear this words? Go away immediately ! These are evil words !
This is the solution to a puzzle I was trying to decipher for the last 10 years. Why some women are so wonderful as the beginners and they totally lose it after some time of taking classes. - They lose the ability to generate energy which they naturally possessed before coming to evil tango classes or dancing with boring leaders. This may be an answer to another question which puzzles me greatly: why the average level of women is significantly lower than average level of men: some lose ability to generate energy, some feel it and just leave: "No one to dance with! ".
2013 October 23
Beauty and Energy
"China's ancient wisdom says:
I have met very few women like this. These women are as rare as good tango dancers.
Speaking of which... that is the perfect description of an advanced women tango dancer. IT IS HER ENERGY FUELS THE DANCE ! Man just leads.. If it is not this way, but opposite - it is just not as good as it could be.
It is HER BEAUTY which a man in the dance recognizes, cares, adores and helps to become more beautiful. It is HER ENERGY which fuels a man in return. In Tango a woman is dancing for the man. Not opposite. A man can dance for a woman to satisfy her. But he is landing his energy for her expecting to be paid back. If she is not recognizing it, he does not return to her.
A man may dance for the audience. During which he expects a flow of energy from his partner woman. If she fails to deliver it - he fails to astound the audience.
[ Energy can be of any sort ]
Man's role is domination. If a woman gives her man good energy, he has strength to dominate outside. If she does not give him energy, he is left alone and hardly can dominate outside. His domination is turned inside - on his woman. So, either you give your man energy, or are subdued to domination !
There is another way. If a woman is strong and her man is not. Than instead of giving him energy to dominate outside, she subdues him to her domination. The result is the man runs away or searches the refuge outside: in alcohol, other women, his work. Woman is left dominated... at home to wash the dishes.
2013 October 20
"8 count basic" is a jewel of tango. Why not to believe the countless argentineans who believe that this is a basic step. May be some research is needed, don't you think so? If many respectable people say it is a basic step, may be we should trust them.. Unfortunately, the theoretical explanation of "8-count basic" is lost in the dark past. One has to get there himself ( or herself ). But people d...o remember that "this is a basic tango step". And we must trust them. I have found it researching this wonderful combination. May be there are more secrets behind it, but there is something I have found. 1-st, it is one single figure which contains most of the staff. 2-nd it can be danced in many various ways. 3-rd, it carries the right tango feel. It contains a cross and a step outside, which are characteristic for Ar.Tango only. 4-th, it is relatively easy. People can learn many important things practicing it. It is much easier than turns, and much much easier than a "simple" walk, which is the most difficult tango figure. 5th, it contain useful parts, and can be easy modified into many other figures, which makes it a perfect basis for the whole dance choreography. 6th, it is a dance in miniature: It contains beginning (Salida), development, and ending ( Resolution). 7th, it is universally recognized around the world, and serves as basis of tango vocabulary. 8th, once one gets to advanced level, I mean dancing with body, one will feel the fantastic changes in this figure. Gavito said once "You do not need to know anything, but 8-count basic". I do believe him.
- "Who told you that 8-count basic is danced in Buenos Aires? It is not danced here and never was. "
To me that is a sign that BA slowly loosing tango to ... whatever. How about Pupi Castello? Juan Bruno? And many many other masters of the past? I do not want to say that there aren't other basic tango figures. There are and many. 8-count is not THE tango figure. I want to say that this figure is very important and useful, and undeservedly is obtaining a bad reputation. From people like you, for example ! In my view this is definitely the best tango figure to start with for inexperienced people, and please, help me. I do use this figure to teach advanced dancing because it contains so much ! We do not need to bush something which was perfected by generations. 8-count is the most useful tango figure in education. While on the dance floor, the most useful tango figure is right-turn. Without it no line of dance can be maintained. Tell me how many people know right turn ? And nowadays even less people learn 8-count. I do not think it is good for tango..
8-count has a bad reputation nowadays, and it grows. This happens because of inability of many teachers to convey the correct technique and what is behind. Some of these so called teachers plainly have no idea, others are not able to express what they are doing in terms accessible for students. Yes, it is so plain: there are good teachers and bad teachers, and bad teachers can spoil everything anyway. Do you think bad teachers teach "a simple walk" correctly? At least teaching 8-count they teach the correct sequence to meaning of which a student can come himself. But not... It is not fashionable any more... How many people make cross? How many people many cross well ? If they do not, they should go back to 8-count. What else?
2013, October 20
There are several things in tango which all are called, by different people, "lead". Let's consider them all.
1. "Leading" with pushing in arms. This is not leading. It is manipulating. Some women, do require this and do like this because they do not know how to follow. It is a set of tricks, along with other tricks which an experienced dancer can use to "make" any woman dance. It is useful, but it is no way a true leading.
2. Leading with body. This is true leading which requires for a partner to be a true follower. This is the very best leading and this is the essence of learning tango. Leading with body ( and following with body ) is the reflection of correct tango body movements, correct dancing technique, understanding of the dance overall. It provides 1000 more opportunities for a couple than any other way.
3. Leading by pressing a woman in certain parts of her body. Usually certain places in the back. It can be other places, like pelvis, hips.. This is done by a very experienced leader to facilitate correct body movements on an able, but not truly masterful woman. It does work and it does work well. Before I did not believed it is possible even though I have witnessed some old famous teachers have taught it. Now I know that it is possible, I know how to do it. In order to do it well one has to know the mechanics of woman body very well.
4. There is one more good way to lead. I will keep it as a secret for now at public media...
2013 October 8
2013 October 6
From a letter to me:
"..You have Modern Dance in your genes..
Man’s task is “to let you go”. A man must “create space for woman to dance”.
It does not mean that she does not follow. She does. But doing so she does what she wants. He makes it like that.
On another hand that is what makes tango so difficult to practice for a woman. And that is why she must strive for to be a better dancer. If he “takes her”, but she does not go, or when he goes to micro, and she falls away – this is it. He will not do it any more, and a woman looses opportunity to practice it with him at this tanda.
Woman is a dancer, but a man is still a choreographer.
Well, I did not want to finish on this note,
PS. “making space, creating space” does not mean “disconnection” or “opening”. Not at all. He still can be in the tight close embrace.
2013 October 3
"N has a friend who is a professional dancer. She told him that she was going down to Buenos Aires to ace dancing Tango. She came back and said that she could not. I understand this. Not only was I out of shape with my dancer body and just my posture in general with all of my injuries and aging, I did not know any thing about dancing with partners. Couples dancing is something you do not get in stage dancing. You do dance partner dances but they are choreographed. This is different.
Most of the dancers that I see do not even understand their own posture. They do not know about technique and they do not even have a clue that they need to learn any basic posture technique. They just want to take classes and look great right away. I have news for all new students and even old students, this will not going to happen right away. The students that have been taking for years, need to go back to the basics and get their posture aligned and learn to lead. The leading needs something to be desired as the following does as well. This is where the teachers need to hone their teaching skills. They need to be able to zero into issues, explain and dissect the movement they are teaching and convey it to their students.
Chico in that video I send you hit on many great points. As you, I do not really know how he is teaching but if the video is anything like his classes, he knows how to take movement apart and communicate it to his students. I give him a plus for what I saw there. He was instructing advanced students and this is what they need. It would be difficult to teach beginning students because they are all about steps. The steps thing is getting in the way of really understanding what dance is about. But really, this kind of exercise is what they need and maybe in the beginning of every class until they get the purpose of the exercise/warm-up. PURPOSE of a movement sequence is something to pin point when teaching a class.
The whole sensing personal body space and then partners connection is a plus and Chico could really be the only tango instructor that would dare to do this exercise. This is the exercise that I knew was needed when I first took tango classes. This would be a great thing to do before starting a class in any movement or dance style. This gets a body charged up faster that anything. It connects the body and the mind together. This is where the body and mind connection starts. It is a great teaching tool and dancing tool.
Taking tango is really making me understand what I really went through in my degree. It is showing me my strengths and weakness and what needs to be done in the tango community. My degree not only allowed me to understand my body but it also has gotten me to see what is needed and start to communicate what I see in an effective way. Studying tango has made me more of a well rounded dancer and keeps me in the discovery of what is next with dancing for me. ALWAYS STANDING IN THE POSITION OF WHAT IS NEEDED TO IMPROVE AND GOING FOR IT.....IS THE KEY.
People in other classes love the way I dance. They think that I have it. However, they do not understand the dancing is a study. It is a vast study and tango is the most extensive couples dancing out there. TANGO IS A VAST STUDY. It has HIGH standards for the dancers that start along the path of learning tango. Tango is "a long and winding road" for sure. It takes study and investigating what your body needs and having ones mind open for weakness and attempting to correct the weakness. This could be the most important part of tango or any type of movement or dance. Staying open is the most important thing a student can do for themselves. Also to understand that we are all students and never to forget this. These concepts can help us also in living our lives. STAYING OPEN & WORK IT.....THIS IS THE KEY.....NEVER SHUT DOWN......STAY OPEN TO LEARNING...
2013 August 22
Tango "Cafe Dominguez" by Osvaldo Zotto and Lorena Ermocida
2013 August 2
"I hate what they've done to my child...I would never let my own children watch it."
- Vladimir Zworykin on his feelings about his children watching television.
"The switch. The switch to turn the damn thing off."
- Vladimir Zworykin on his favorite thing on television.
Vladimir Zworykin is one of the founding inventors of television.
2013 July 29
Someone told me that in ballet the "movement starts from pelvis goes through the body and end with arms".
2013 July 26
"Кстати, о новых названиях на бывших окраинах Советского Союза. Я ничего не имею против того, чтобы бывшая столица Казахстана стала в Казахстане называться Алматы, а азербайджанская в Азербайджане - Бакы. Но в упор не понимаю, с какой стати поменялись эти названия в русском языке???? Ведь не называем мы столицу Италии Рома, а Франции - Пари, а Грейтбритна - Ландэном. Да и окружающие в своих окружных языках как только не называют нашу Белокаменную - и Москау, и Москоу, и даже Моску, про Китай вообще молчу. Так что я хочу на пенсии как-нибудь проехать по маршруту Москва-Алма-Ата-Ташкент-Баку-Киев-Рим-Париж и вернуться обратно, пусть даже через Кокчетав... "
2013 July 25
Regarding tango rhythm. I say that it is very very important to understand that in tango ( either tango, vals, or milonga ) a dancer steps NOT ON ONE ! Under "a step" I understand "touching the floor with the stepping leg". It touches the floor a little later ( 1/8 later in case of tango ). I have met many beginner students who do not understand this extremely important concept. By the way, the second step of the two-step measure touches the floor on 3. What happens on one? The energy wave to make a step starts on one. That what happens on one. This is crucial to understand the rhythm and feeling of tango dance.
The reason for my writing is that I have looked through the recent book about tango where "shoes" where drawn at the beat 1. I am not quite sure what the author meant. Very respectable musician though, but it gives the wrong association that the actual Step, the way most beginners think of happens on 1. Which is a mistake. What worth talking about musicality if he can not make a simple first step right !
It takes me huge effort to convey them the idea of "energy on one, not floor touch"... It may take years to absorb that principle. And I am very disappointed that there one more yet obstacle I have to cope with - that book. Tiny thin book for $40. ( Just to mention, no any dance technique whatsoever)
This book is accompanied with a dvd. Dancers are pretty good there, if you already have it, look very carefully at their dance. Let us take as an example the very first video. When he is stepping forward his foot touches the floor NOT ON CLAVE CLICK !!! Watch very carefully, you will see it. May be the dancer was asked to "step on beat". But he actually does step later, and that is correct..
The author corrects himself in the chapter about syncopation: "The syncopation produces an increase of energy when we take a step with it..", "We can express the syncopation with our bodies just by making the step with more energy..", "I can express syncopation simply by adding more energy while taking the step where the syncopation is..", "The points of increasing energy could be placed on ... the first and third beat".
"The points of increasing energy could be placed on ... the first and third beat". And immediately he says "as happens with Osvaldo Pugliese orchestra of the late 1950s". This is a little misleading. It happens in ALL TANGO, not just Pugliese's of 1950. Syncopation is the way of playing all tangos. As all tangos are played with syncopation, ALL TANGO should be danced with syncopation. Tango is a syncopated music and dance.
So, does a foot ever touches the floor on beat 1 ? Yes. In other elements, like Corte-"Rebote"-Arrepentida.
The book in my view contains numerous other mistakes in interpretation of tango music and dancing to it. It is clearly visible in examples where dancers dance correctly but the accompaning clave rhythm is clearly off the dance. I do not want to talk about it here. Come to my class.
2013 June 28
Moon - Solo Dance by Yang LiPing:
Jiri Kylian - Six Dances: Funny, but a little boring to the end - too long, but I understand the author.
[ Counter Pulse, SOMA in San Francisco, theater, dancing, renting, Daria Kaufman ]
2013 June 27
A relatively new beautiful website about tango in San Francisco: sflovestango.com.
2013 June 23
Jomar Mesquita e Juliana Macedo 9º Dançando a bordo - "Modern Tango". Do watch it !
And some others..
"This is all nice, but this is not the direction where tango is going since all these people do not dance tango, because
They never learned it. They thought they are good dancers, so they do not need all these subtleties. They took couple of workshops, “got it all” and made their own dance. This makes them very interesting, but not quite so for a tango-dance trained eye. As modern dancers they are powerful with all their beutiful technique, artistry, inventivenness, I even would say professionalism. But they did not danced tango. They have danced a modern dance on the topic of Tango with borrowed elements developing them outside of tango boundaries.
There was easy to make this mistake of missing the truly important staff of tango since EVERY ( I am not afraid to say it, since I witnessed the result where they tried to do it: it is always rejected and not understood by students ) tango teachers do not explicitly address ( if they ever knew it) correct tango technique and rhythm.
So, these dancers do not dance tango, they dance Modern Dance as you correctly said, adopting some elements and figures from tango. This is the direction where Modern Dance is going, but not the direction where Tango is going. Hell knows the direction where Tango is going since there are not that many truly advanced tango dancers nowadays. But this is definitely the direction where modern dance is going, since it enriches it with many things invented in 150 years of tango development."
After this I feel the need to say what is the most important distinction of tango from other dances. These two I have mentioned, come after these, in the order of importance:
1. Being with a partner, no matter what. Perfect leading and following skills;
4. Perfect tango rhythm ( that is not the same as being with music. Being with the music is easier. If you have been to my lessons you know what I mean. Perfect tango rhythm is a sign of ultimate mastery. While "being with the music" can relate to any music, possession of perfect tango rhythm is related only to tango );
2013 June 6
2013 April 27
Thank you dancers for participation in the party ! There was so many good dancers which ensured very nice dancing feeling. Dancing on stage is a fabulous experience, besides it is a very large professional dance floor. "Redwood Tango Ensemble" and Marcelo Solis as a DJ and a dancer ensured success. See you next time.
2013 April 20
..Exactly, it is more obvious, but never the less it is important.
Well, deep inside there is technical difference between Orillero and Salon. In Orillero the main driving force comes from pelvis. In Salon – from torso. Salon is more difficult. Significantly more difficult. Still pelvis must be used correctly in Salon, otherwise the dance will not work. For Orillero, torso does not have to be used at all. That is why so many Argentinean dancers look ( and feel, believe me ) like a piece of rock above the waist, which to me is not a pleasant experience at all, I have to tell you.
As for Nuevo, it is not the same like its origin – Orillero. It is full of mistakes, since it came from people who did not know tango well when they started. But those mistakes turned into opportunities allowed creation of styling and figures absent in original tango. And that became Nuevo style...
Tango Nuevo gained popularity in the world outside of Argentina because of the excellent teachers coming with this style. No one of traditional style teachers ( those who come here) came even close to that level of theoretisizing, teaching and practicing. They all either just a bunch of anecdotes, tricks or "memorize-the-figure" ( Zotto-school ) teaching styles. Oh, these Zotto-style dancers and teachers... and some others. They are all EXACTLY the same. Run away from them! Tango IS an improvisational dance. A dancer who does not do it in EVERY dance or especially a performance is not a tango dancer yet.
I understand frustration I have witnessed in many traditional argentine teachers observing nuevo dancers: they can see the technical mistakes, but are not able neither to formulate them logically nor to fix them nor to convey systematically what exactly is supposed to go in the body. And their teaching skills are a way inferior to what Nuevo teachers express at their workshops. The best what they can do: is to adhere to the strict rules and figures hoping that some day, after thousands of repetitions ( no kidding ) the enlightenment will descend on a student and he will become masterful.. Aha..
2013 April 17
Tango Nuevo is dead?
2013 April 7
Maya Plisetskaya - Bolero (music Maurice Ravel, choreography Maurice Bejart ):
2013 April 5
Some nostalgy (not tango):
Remake of a famous song by Duet W; To make such clips is a whole bunch of work as well as promote the duet. Indeed, music industry is industry not less.. I like guitar solo.
And here is the original performance: The Peanuts ( of course, they are originally not Peanuts, I do not know how to write in english russian translation from japanese. Wiki ) - The performance was a great hit which shook Europe, Soviet Union and me too. One of my most favorite songs. This song was published in Soviet Union in Japanese and translated to russian as well, I know the words. The song name might sound in english like "Koi no Vacance" or "Кои-но-Бокансу" and russian version is called "Каникулы любви".
And this is the street interpretation from a famous Soviet movie Nezhnost' ( Uzbekfilm, 1966) I am sure all of us russian immigrants are delighted to see it. Why? Would someone argue.. It is very personal. The song captures the free winds of the epoch and nostalgic experience of youth. Numerous singers performed this song.
2013 March 30
- optical illusion dance or Mind Blowing Girls Dance
2013 March 24
Andrea Monti and Gato Valdez. A fabulous portrait !
The chapionship was good this year: we had interesting show competitors, salon dancers were good, and performance by professionals was wonderful.
2013 March 4
To understand past, look into present.
2013 January 19
Cecilia just came back from Buenos Aires. Here are some photos:
Cecilia and Juan Carlos Copes:
By the way, here is Copes with Liza Minelli dancing tango ! Would I imagined watching "Cabaret" 25 years ago back in Soviet Union that I will embrace a woman who was embraced by a man who embraced Liza Minelli !? Truly the world is tight, especially in Tango.
Cecilia and Anna Maria Shapira:
Cecilia and Tango:
2013 January 19
A frinedly link: New Delhi Tango School from Kiran Sawhney.
2012 December 30
Not related to tango.
I have bumped into this tango photo:( white legs are the man's legs)
Do you know who are they?
2012 December 27
Quick links for today:
2012 December 26
A man in tango is leading, a woman is following, isn't it? We all have heard it many times.
To me it means: A man is dancing tango and a woman is dancing with him.
I enjoy this too: A woman is dancing, a man follows.
So what is dance? Dance is BEAUTIFUL, INTERESTING, OSCILLATING, MOVEMENTS TO MUSIC.
2012 December 12
It is 12.12.12 today. That is the date to celebrate, isn't it? So I went to Coco's with my girlfriend specifically to celebrate this fancy date. We ordered some food, wine, beer. And that with tax came to $36.00 even. This is incredible !
2012 November 22
This is a very powerful idea: teaching others to dance with !
2012 October 21
I have found a key to Barrida !!! It took me many years of doubts and enlightenments and more time than mastering the most complex tango figure: Forward Walk.
2012 October 19
All respectable tango teachers of the past will say like one: “wow steps are nothing”. They are no more than a tool for perfecting “simple” things or attracting beginners. I am following their way diligently. I am not able to teach “wow” steps because these “wow” steps are all done wrong if taught to beginners. I can not do this.
In fact, all “wow” steps are very easy when you know technique. They do not have to be taught at all. They just happen, if you move right. The most difficult tango figure is a forward walk “inside”, facing the partner. Forward and Backward part of it. This is what old master practice themselves diligently and for many hours. I want to give a workshop on it. Sometime. It encompasses all tango sources of movements and can be understand on-fly only by people with the most advanced body development and moving experience. All we do at our Monday class – is a preparation for the Forward Walk.
And the most difficult and important part of tango is Leading & Following skill. Absolute leading and following ! And understanding of music – its rhythm and phrasing.
2012 June 23
Антрополог предложил детям из африканского племени поиграть в одну игру.Он поставил возле дерева корзину с фруктами и объявил, обратившись к детям: "Тот из вас, кто первым добежит до дерева, удостоится всех сладких фруктов". Когда он сделал знак детям начать забег, они накрепко сцепились руками и побежали все вместе, а потом все вместе сидели и наслаждались вкусными фруктами.
One anthropologist offered children from an African tribe to play in a game. He put a basket with fruits near a tree and said to children: "Who is first to run to the tree, will get all the tasty sweet fruits!" When the run commenced, the children took their hand together and run all together. And then sit down and enjoyed the tasty fruits. Stunned anthropologist ask them, why they run together? The winner could have all the fruits for himself? The children answered: "Obonato". Which means in their language "I exist, because we all exist"..
Only with age one starts to understand that dad's "beating with a belt" was a friendly cheering up patting.
A man's character is like a tree and his reputation is only its shadow.
April 29, Sunday Today !!!
2:00 - Workshop 1, $10
During this time I wants to present principles of tango systematically in all its aspects: rhythms, movements, structures, elements, lead-and follow, energy and space considerations. All what makes tango tango. We also discover major difference between styles. Figures are used only to illustrate the underlying principles of tango. During this time we will learn how to construct figures in time, space and feelings.
The idea of the 3-hour boot camp found a lot of interest among my students. Other dancers are very welcome. I very appreciate your opinion, discussions.
I hope to address these questions:
Note that my theory is significantly more complex than tango nuevo theory and it is based on the same principles like ballet and martial arts.
Partner is not necessary.
2012 April 27
Redwood Tango Ensemble performed at Magdalena. Check them out ! Wonderful, wonderful performance ! A relatively new group of professional musicians play with the great understanding of music. All soloists ! How about 2 violin lines? Plush bandoneon, bass, and piano. They are going to play again at Magdalena on May 4 as far as I know.
We have many good tango groups in Bay Area: Trio Garufa, performing mostly in Nuevo style, Tangonero, performing mostly in traditional style with splashes of jazz harmonies, Seth Asarnow Sexteto in perfect D'Arienzo style, as if he's got alive. Redwood Tango Ensemble stands out as a great arrangement group performing in what reminds me of Pugliese. One more interesting new group: Open Embrace lead by Lena Grozman. Surprisingly they specialize in russian and brazilian style tango music with wonderful singer soloist: Irina.
2012 April 9
In my view, many local (US) dancers make a mistake. They think mistakenly what stage tango is. They think that whatever fancy you do will impress judges. Well, it will not ( and the results of the our last competition shows that ). Let us look what constitutes "Salon" tango. In the rules they say: "a foot must not go above a knee. A couple who allowed it, will be immediately disqualified." Something like that. And there are good reasons for this harsh requirement. Well, it means that stage dance is the dance when a foot is allowed above a knee. This is it ! This supposed to be the same dancing, Argentine Tango dancing, not something else. With just a little bit more freedom..
Congratulations to all winners ! I liked the champions, both couples, very nice dance. The last year champions performance was fantastic, and the master's dance of Patricio Touceda y Eva Lucero and Claudio Villagra y Romina Levin made everyone jump up the chairs.
2012 April 2
I am asked what is the difference between my Level 1 and Level 2 classes.
Level 1 class is headed toward simple social dancing. It is not necessarily a beginner's class, but it is tailored with new people in mind. Advanced concepts are presented also when I feel this is the most productive way to enter the social dance floor.
Level 2 class is headed toward most advanced tango known to me.
At the practica, I am happy to practice with everyone including men and answer any of your questions. I am available till 12, use this time !
2012 March 30
My friend asked me to publish this about my tango classes:
"YOGA OF TANGO
2012 February 27
Argentine Tango USA Competition is coming ! I've been there last year and I have to tell you it is A LOT OF FUN !
ARGENTINE TANGO USA IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR COMPETITORS: Attention Competitors 2011 and potencial competitors 2012!
Sign up & support the only Official Tango Event in the US: special workshops with stunning Tango Masters great milongas with show and live music in a superb venue overlooking the bay, and the first official competition in the USA sanctioned by the Ministry of Culture in Buenos Aires, Argentina + USA Official Champions 2011 and placed Third in the Word at Tamgo Buenos Aires Dance World Cup last August: Brian Nguyen & Yuliana Basjmayan will perform and crown the Champions 2012!
-- Andrea Monti
2012 February 14
A concert on Valentine's Day with Forever Tango musicians and dancers at the 10th floor of Marin Memorial Theatre and Hotel in San Francisco. Wonderful unforgettable evening. Being so close to the virtuoso musicians and tango dancers, drinking wine, dancing on the same floor, seeing friends. Thank you Raul Bravo for deciding to use only acoustic sound ! See you the next year !
Here is a short description what we are doing written by one of my dedicated students:
"THE YOGA OF TANGO
The result of 12 years of research is beginning to crystallize and I invite you to jump on the bus and learn an ultimate tango. Welcome !
Because, your body will stretch and find inner energy sources. You will experience nirvana in your movements and healing effect, no doubt is there.
The answers to the question WHY have been found. Tango is tango not because of "traditions" and memorization of the certain figures, but because tango steps, movements and concepts come naturally from the well developed moving body. Everything comes together as a puzzle and forms a system. You will see that all tango elements and figures are not a fruit of an extraordinary creative imagination, but come as a logical result of our perfect body design in action.
I have received a letter from friends in Russia. Here is a little story about tango in Rostov translated to English. Rostov is an industrial center in south Russia at the Back Sea. I have been to Rostov and Krasnodar mentioned in the article.
"In Rostov tango started to develop 7 years ago. In 2005 the first club has opened with the efforts of Konstantin Kumi. Even now it is the largest one in Rostov. I came to him to take lessons in 2006 and since then I befriend with tango. We with the wife Katherine already for 6 years dance and receive from this hobby that which makes our life bright, full, and interesting. We work at our major jobs in day time and in the evenings work at our small studio where we teach people dance and continue to cognize tango x
Nowadays in Rostov there are 5 clubs (schools) of tango. The largest one is BaileVida. We learned in it and then since 2009 taught for 2 years as ones of the instructors. And since 2011 we decided to work independently.
Weekly we have 3 city milongas, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This is good ! If you come to Rostov, it would be a pleasure to invite you to any of these milongas !
We like your view on tango, and on the dance and on the dancing world. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and impressions about tango-life. Until the next letter ! "
Игорь Овсянников и Катя Чеснокова.
2012 February 9
2012 January 28
Here is my explanation what Molinete means in Tango:
In a dictionary we can find that a Molinete is a drum of a capstan or winch [Nuevo Diccionario Cuyas, Prentice Hall, US, 1972]. This is very perfect and multisided explanation of what is going on in the right turn. Looking at the picture you will find everything: direction of the turn, forces, relation among partners, twists inside a central ( man ) body, even the position of the right leg at the beginning (look at the end of the rope). Interesting that turn to the left is called Contramolinete [ most recently - Mariana Ancarola, but I've heard this term before ].
2012 January 25
"Демократия — это когда два волка и ягненок голосуют насчет обеденного меню. Свобода — это когда хорошо вооруженный ягненок оспаривает результат такого голосования"
Вчера в тёмной подворотне встретились Николай Валуев и Мэрилин Мэнсон. Обосрались оба…
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My name is Igor Polk. I dance tango in San Francisco.
Argentina Tango, Argentin Tango, Argentinian Tango, Tango Argentino
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