A Tango Video in Words

Posted on Updated on

(Originally appeared on Tango In Toronto  in an interview with Lydia)

In this blog’s last post, I asked Toronto’s Isabella Szymonowicz why dancers should experience the teachings of Buenos Aires tango instructor Alicia Pons when she visits our city early in March. In her reply Isabella included a video of the two of them dancing. Knowing that this blog’s readers have varying levels of tango knowledge and varying levels of ability to relate to a video, I asked Isabella to put in down in writing what is happening in the video. Here is her response to that challenge.

Alicia was asked last September to do a series of classes at La Milonguita which is a popular milonga a tiny bit out of the downtown core. The idea of the class was to do something simple, elegant and with the music.

During this clip Alicia and I are demonstrating the concept of simple weight change as an actual step. At about 28 seconds she verbalizes that we are only changing weight. The follower is simply walking backwards and the leader (Alicia in this case) is walking on one side of the follower and then on the other side of the follower. With great fluidity and ease the leader keeps hips level, leaves feet a bit open at times, and changes weight when he (the leader) hears it in the music. This is all done gently and with great precision. It sounds and looks so simple but really it is challenging.

The soft quality of the steps here follow the beautiful stunning music of this Osvaldo Fresedo piece with Ricardo Ruiz vocals. The music and lyrics bring forth a mood of gentle, sad, long forgotten promises never to be brought forth. The marriage of music, dance, partner, fuses into something incredibly haunting and unforgettable.

Despues del Carnaval by Osvaldo Fresedo with Ricardo Ruiz vocals.

… Fue una noche que
lloraban los violines
un triste tango de
promesas olvidades…
mientas la luna plateaba los jardines
un beso ardiente en la noche palpito.

Mas el encanto
de aquellas horas,
al morir Momo
si diluyo.
Y con mi dolor
a solas
LLore la muerte
de mi ilusion….

Another beautiful example of tango as danced in the milongas with simplicity and weight changes is this clip of Cacho Dante. He and Alicia performed and taught together.

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