by Igor Polk, June 5, 2016 - May 19, 2014
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There are six aspects of tango which define the dance. These are the rhythm, structure, movements, energy, space, and interaction between partners. Each of these aspects has its own terms and system structure that influence and depend on each other.
Music rhythm defines timing of elements and the overall dance structure guided by phrasing. Movements are the source of dance outline, they range from change of poses to arrepentida and multi-steps. Movements are done with energy. Energy has its own rhythm. Static energy is accumulated in poses and then released into movements. A dancer dances interacting with a partner. It greatly intensifies an improvisational nature of the dance as well as its social and meditational outcome. A dancer moves in all directions in space and in all possible mutual positions with his partner. Small dance elements form the larger ones creating a hierarchical structure which is aligned with music rhythm. All six aspects of tango are important in studying the dance and emulating improvisational dance by an AI system.
Talking about any slice of the dance as a system, it is necessary to see how these six aspects are interwoven. This book only outlines the whole picture. It is an attempt to establish common grounds for the further, deeper analysis and synthesis of the dance. It is an introduction of the main concepts, techniques, and terms for students. It is an invitation for discussion and creative collaboration on the dance floor and in scientific research.
What is next. There are very many figures and even elements of argentine tango undescribed here. The book became quite large, it is time to finalize the publication, so I hope to cover the missing in future works. I think provided theory covers enough to start designing an Artificial Intelligence program to perform dances in an improvisation way. Hopefully, interested Tango dancers will be able to learn the missed figures with application of the internal technique knowledge given in this book and using videos which are abundant these days. Better yet, if armed with the knowledge, they will find ways to broaden what they see in videos.