Tango Argentino > Stage Performance Tango.

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by barrefly, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    My daughter just started taking privates in Stage Performance Tango, and I would like to hear your thoughts on Stage Performance Tango. Is it taken seriously, or is it more of a novelty type tango? Who are some of the big names in this...so she can look at clips?

    She has only had one private so far,....but it was extremely technical. The instructor used a great deal of ballet terms as well as tango terms. It looks like he is just teaching her Argentine Tango at this point,...so, it seems that S.P.A.T. is just A.T. with lifts and tricks. Correct?

    Mods...if you can edit the title "performance", I would appreciate it.
  2. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    It's called Fantasia. Stage tango. Meh. I think of it as AT for non-AT-dancing audiences, as in, if people knew what they were looking at they wouldn't need all of the additional stuff thrown in there to make it exciting. But there's a market for that sort of stuff, so whatever.

    It's real tango, or is if it's being taught correctly by someone who actually knows real AT. I've never heard of anyone just teaching "performance tango" and that makes me doubt the authenticity of your daughter's teacher. Seems a better way would be to learn AT, period. Specifically learning "stage performance tango" makes me think that what's being taught is more flash-n-trash, more style than substance.
  3. Me

    Me New Member

    I know what I am about to say does not answer your questions, but I feel compelled. :)

    My completely honest opinion is, if she is not taught tango, the fantasia will look bad to dancers who understand tango. You sound familiar with ballet, so I will ask you - How many truly miserable Sugar Plum Fairy routines have you seen? Dancers who do not understand ballet technique, but have memorized and can "make it through" the staged routine. Well... that is what the fantasia will look like if she has zero background in tango. She will make it through the routine and be respected for that, but that's about it.

    I think the below video is a solid example of the very best stage tango.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2017
  4. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    Performance Tango or Showcase Tango. . .

    Here's a video of Jenny and Ricardo (one of the best couples in the UK) doing a showcase for a MJ audience.

    They both trained as contemporary stage dancers before becoming involved with AT.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2017
  5. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    lf your child wishes to specialise in show tango then it make sense to go to such a teacher. If at some point, she wishes to discover ordinary social dancing then yes, she will need to learn that too - perhaps from another, perhaps not. We have teachers that have performed and have settled in London with their own schools teaching ordinary social tango. (Dare I say it, they tend to be the better teachers - Leandro and Romina (Tango por Dos) as well as David and Kim spring to mind).

    "Me" says: if she is not taught tango, the fantasia will look bad to dancers who understand tango. Eh? Disagree entirely. I understand and teach tango, have never danced fantasia tango but can still appreciate the ballet strokes, the artistry, the creativity, the athletcism that is performed. This is a skill, takes years. That one may not like that style of dance (Peaches/Me) does not warrant it being rubbished. (I haven't a clue how Da Vinci did his paint strokes but when I go to Paris and stare at his paintings at Le Louvre, I'm spellbound).

    Ending: I wish your daughter all the best in her stage pursuit. (As an ex-performer/choreographer...there is a real buzz about being back stage, peeking through the curtains, seeing the waiting faces, taking that deep inhale and...stepping out. (And then you can't see anything anywayfor the lights) But also, I do hope that one day she will seek out the social side also. Not to make her dance complete (because stage is stage and social is social - two completely different principles and so negative comments cannot and should not be pronounced one or the other) but just to experience another side of tango altogether. Variety is the spice of life and all that. :eek:
  6. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Beautiful to watch but this is very much on the level of the dancing one usually sees on a normal night (space permitting) at the top clubs like Negrachas (post midnight), Corrientes or The Dome here in London where the more advanced social dancers frequent and so wouldn't consider it a fantasia type performance.
  7. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    I was not suggesting it was a stage performance - it is what in WCS circles is known as a 'showcase' performance, two dancers showing off :)

    I was trying to draw a distinction between 'stage performance' and 'performance dance' if you understand what I mean.
  8. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    It's a sub-variation of A.T, perfectly valid but not social-oriented, as opposed as what 99% of A.T dancers do.

    I know a tango school in BsAs, they have 15 classes a week, and one of them is performance tango. I attended one class, there are all the usual elements of A.T (in particular there is a lead, which surprised me because for I thought that the lady was supposed to remember her part of the routine, but no, she follows just as in social tango), but everything is sharper, faster, and you take care to keep facing the audience, and yes there are some additional acrobatic elements.
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    It is taken seriously by performers, and works well as an entertainment for the general public. AT afficianados can appreciate it as one of many syltes of AT. It can be very spectacluar to watch, and also rewarding and a bunch of fun to learn.
    The caveat is that it is not social tango.

    Pablo Veron is one of the big names. His dancing is featured in the film "The Tango Lesson". Sony Pictures has a site with clips from the film -http://www.sonyclassics.com/tangomovie/stillsandclips/clips.html

    Veron also appears with Geraldine Rojos at the end of "Assissination Tango", a film by Robert Duval. If you rent the DVD or see clips of their dance, be sure to look for the one that is featured as an "extra" on the DVD. Credits role over the one in the film itself, and the music is not synced with the dancing.

    There are also excellent performances in Carlos Saura's "Tango".
    http://www.sonyclassics.com/tangomovie/stillsandclips/stills.html No clips here, but just looking at the stills makes me want to watch it again. (I have the dvd.)
    If your daughter is interested in performing, I think she may like it, since it is a film about making a film about Tango.

    I have mixed feelings about your description of the instructor, but it would totally depend on the individual, so I don't want to generalize, and they are clearly NOT teaching social AT.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2017
  10. Shandy

    Shandy Member

    Heather - Gosh, if that's the level of dancing on the London scene not sure I'll ever get up the courage to venture to any of the clubs you mention. Is it easy to go and just watch - rather than go and not get asked to dance. (I know there is a difference, just not clever enough to express it well in words!)
  11. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    That's about right. We who frequent Negrachas and The Dome are just a bunch of show offs Ha, ha, ha.
  12. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Real? What is "real" today? As with each passing minute, hour, day, year, decade things change, the original soon becomes communal and the communal introduces a change. And so the cycle recommences.

    To the virgin eye it would be wrong to lump stage stage tango with milonga tango. It would have to be explained that one is purely for the stage and the other has its roots borne out of the traditional albeit it too has taken on a few changes since, say, the 1900s. It doesn't make one good and the other bad, one wrong the other right. And truthfully, there is so much "wrong" tango that I see in a social setting compared to that seen on a London stage.
  13. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Wow. My post merited two direct replies!

    I think I've been misunderstood.

    Yes, Fantasia is/can be a perfectly valid form of tango. And I appreciate that tango evolves, very much so. In a sense, we agree. Stage tango is a perfectly valid style of tango, but it's still got tango at it's root.

    My point was only that if it's AT being taught as Stage Performance Tango, it concerns me that the fundamental principles are not being taught. There's plenty to appreciate about it--the athleticism, the performance, yada yada; that I, personally, don't care for it is a minor issue all my own. But good stage tango should still have the basic technique and fundamentals of social tango, because IMO it's all basically the same thing...just different styles. I, personally, have never heard of anyone teaching pure stage tango as a way to be introduced to it. (Not) Knowing that, and knowing that the OP's daughter is involved with many different sorts of dancing, and knowing that there seems always to be people around who will "teach" AT when, really, they don't have the first clue...it just makes me suspicious, is all. The concern is that she's going to a ballroom or salsa or ballet teacher who has seen a video or two and will teach AT.

    Edit to add: Regarding the "what is real" question, I think the fundamental technique and movement and character of AT is what is real about it. It's not a question of style (stage is no more "real" than nuevo, which is no more real than salon, which is no more real than milonguero). It's not a question of music (perfectly "real" AT can be danced to the most unusual and non-traditional of songs). It's not a question of the steps, or the embrace. But there's something else there, which I can only think of as the fundamental technique and movement which is so crucial to the dance, which makes it "real."
  14. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Disagree. So much of the fantasia contains ballet, contemporary jazz along with the ganchos, boleos etc. Who knows, maybe some day it'll incorporate hip-hop and back flips. Dances are constantly reincarnating and taking on other principlds. And the paying public want to be excited. Why pay £50+ to see something you can do yourself. And really, I don't think the general tango public are as critical The shows here continually getting praised by members of our community here in London (it even gets advertised on TV) and so I really don't think they are sitting in the theatre disecting every lift, move, kick etc. (That's my job :))
  15. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Tango Fire is currently in London, several clips can be seen on Youtube.
  16. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    As with everything - all depends on the audiences experience and understanding.

    I once wowed (more or less unintentionally) the clientele of a night club in Northern Ireland with a demonstration of modern jive.
  17. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Yes, there are some highly skilled dancers here but are mainly seen at the clubs that I mentioned (they tend to come out of their coffins well after dark). Never make it stop you from visiting, if only as you say to just sit and watch. Warning: Be prepared, however, to get asked to dance. Believe me, that does happen. The good dancers have nothing to prove and so...:eek:
  18. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    But isn't it the case. Read again:

  19. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Good catch. I stand corrected.
  20. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    At one point in a performance of "Tango Forever" here in Portland a few years ago, there was a very "round house kick" looking movement with the partner ducking under the kick.
    Marital arts? Lindy Hop? ???

    No back flips, though.

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