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v Different tangos

Ballroom tango

I am real interested in seeing the differences in the
rhythms in the International Tango bronze syllabus,
could you post that? ... I have always assumed that
beginners in ballroom tango are taught the same *sorts*
of moves in both Am and Itl style, with the *style*
being the most noticable difference ...

Actually, the fundamental basic rhythm is the same in both American and international style - QQS, with the two quicks sometimes being replaced by a slow. The basic figures are definitely different, though.

In American style, the defining figure is the "tango close", where the gentleman steps forward with the left foot (Q), sideways with the right foot (Q), then drags the left foot in towards the right without a weight change (S). Usually, this is preceded by two forward walks (SS), producing an eight count basic (SSQQS).

In international style, the defining figure is the "link"; in the basic ('progressive') link, the gentleman steps forward on the left foot (Q), then side and slightly back on the right foot while turning the lady to promenade (Q). This is usually followed by a step with the left foot to promenade (S). Since the figure goes from closed to promenade, there is no repeatable 'basic step'. Other basic figures include forward walks, two of which typically precede the link, and the closed promenade, which continues after the link with a second step to promenade on the right foot (Q), a side step on the left foot, closing the lady (Q), and a foot closure with a weight change on the right foot (S).

Links always appear in international style tango, and rarely in American style; the tango close always appears in American style tango, and I've never seen one in international style.

Warren Dew psychohist@aol.com

Argentine Tango

There has been a resurgence of interest in Argentine Tango in recent years. It is addictive and is a social (participatory) dance rather than a stage or studio dance. There is a resurgence in Argentina as well.

Yes, they are completely different dances. One would recognize that they are all tangos, but the lead and follow, the stylizations, the rhythmic sense, the steps themselves of the Argentine Tango are very different from the American or European or Vintage Tangos.

Argentine Tango is a social dance (i.e. lead and followed, not choreographed). Argentine Tango has very few of the lunges and dips, nor do partners stride across the room with arms out and a rose between the lips. Instead, partners are almost completely in a close, closed posion, very inward in attitude, trading footsteps and decorations.

The Argentine basic steps are built out of grapevines, figure eights, turns, and walking, to which are added dramatic pauses, quick steps, syncopations, foot decorations and leg hooks, to mention a few. One wierd and wonderful thing is that the dancers may walk in crossed feet (left with left) rather than the mirror we are used to. While the leader "walks" the follower around, the leader's feet may pause, switch to crossed feet, step into the stride of the follower, or appear to displace the followers footsteps.

It takes a while to figure out the basic "walk around the dance floor," but when accomplished, the same lead-and-follow translates to Foxtrot, fast waltzes (there is also an Argentine waltz and the Milonga), blues, country Western... Shade, the pop singer, serves as great tango music, purists notwithstanding! [Tom Stermitz stermitz@ragtime.org ]

A tongue-in-cheek view

The forms of Tango are like stages of a marriage. The American Tango is like the beginning of a love affair, when you are both very romantic and on your best behaviour. The Argentine Tango is when you are in the heat of things and all kinds of emotions are flying: passion, anger, humor. The International Tango is like the end of the marriage, when you are staying together for the sake of the children. (Barbara Garvey in the Smithsonian Magazine.)

> Head snaps

> Tango in movies

> Books about tango

> History

> Related dances

This file is part of the FAQ list for the newsgroup rec.arts.dance. The FAQ list is being maintained by Victor Eijkhout (victor at eijkhout dot net, talk about vanity), who appreciates being sent additions or corrections on the material in this collection. Copyright 1994/5/6/7/8/9/2000 lies with the maintainer and the contributors of various parts.

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Last modified on: 2000, Saturday August 5.