Thursday, 17 June 2010

Bridge to the Tango 2

At the beginning of April I posted about Daniel Trenner's blog and new website, and about his great series of videos, which he is currently re-releasing online. Later in April he uploaded some samples on YouTube. All go back to the late 1980s and early 1990s, and there are some well-known names among them. His videos are now the only record of some of the dancers who learned in the Golden Age.

The one-hour sessions seem expensive at $65 as downloads. I bought the two VHS cassettes of Tete and Sylvia a few years ago, and they were cheaper, even with postage and packing. However, Trenner says he also has hours of interview material as well, which is of little or no commercial value, and that the sale of downloads of the class material will go towards the free release of the less commercial material on YouTube and on the itangocafe website. If this includes translation and sub-titling, it's excellent value. & he points out that these prices are in line with the cost of private lessons.

If you search YouTube for itangocafe you'll find a number of recently uploaded extracts from Tete and Sylvia, Tomi O'Connel, Rodolfo and Maria Cieri, Juan Bruno, Pupi Castello, Victor Romero and Norma Galli, and Omar Vega, all well worth watching. The format isn't ideal: translation, rather than subtitles, adds to the length, but there's some inspiring material there.

I'll embed just one, the late Tete. It's said that he was dissatisfied with the two one-hour sessions. The setting is certainly strange: the potted plants and pseudo-Greek columns, a Buenos Aires studio, no doubt, an atmosphere miles away from the comfortable relaxation of a milonga. & there's a telling moment when Trenner asks him to demonstrate a step without music. 'Sin musica?' asks Tete, looking really puzzled: to make up for the lack of that essential ingredient he sings to himself as he dances. But if he felt that his 'performance' is lacking, at least the video is extremely clear, and the tangos danced in between the teaching demonstrations show something of the energy and musicality he is remembered for. This is one of them.

PS. 1.21 to 1.30: just what does he do there? But it's a totally unhurried lead, virtuoso without the slightest sense of a display, and Sylvia just continues with a couple of untroubled ochos.


Simba said...

It looks like Trenner got some interesting material, but it is very very expensive. I mean, seriously, USD65 for one hour download only?

Tangocommuter said...

Tell him!

Yes, I agree. True you can pay that for a private lesson: I paid between $US50 and 75 an hour in BsAs, which included a local partner, but in a private class you have contact with the teacher, the teacher watches you and gives you feedback. Otra vez! Bien! Non! However good a download, that's just not there. & a certain amount of the hour goes by with Trenner translating what's been said in castellano. So, yes, expensive. Maybe the price makes sense in the US, but not here. Glad I got hold of a few of the VHS versions three years ago.

Simba said...

Hmmmm, maybe I should.

I don't see the relevance of the price of private lessons. That's a completely different product. In fact, that he is trying to excuse the high prices shows that he knows it is expensive.

He needs to take a look at the competition. Youtube got a lot of material for free and I just checked the dvds with Pepito Avellaneda at and they are in the range of ~10 to ~20 dollars.