Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Pedro again!

It's the 75th birthday of Pedro Sanchez on August 27th. Feliz cumpleaños, maestro!

& to judge by a couple of recent videos he's in fine form. One video is an interview, a 'Pedro talks' in his upstairs room, but there's no translation with it. & then there's also a brief, all-too-brief, video of him dancing. I love this: it's probably totally incorrect to laugh while you're dancing, but you can laugh after you finish, so why not during the dance itself?

Great video. Two people really enjoying themselves. A pity part of it shows waist level, rather than heads or feet, and mirrors are an opportunity to show the full picture in a confined space, but it's one of the most joyful tangos I've seen.

& when I found this I also came across the teaching videos Pedro made in 2005. I heard about them a few years ago, but couldn't get hold of them. I meant to ask in Buenos Aires, and completely forgot. Anyway, they appeared recently on YouTube, which is great news. However, I can't help feeling that they're a bit limited since Pedro teaches without a partner. It's actually a bit frustrating, trying to work out what he's leading, and where he's leading his invisible partner. I guess it's possible to work it out, but it could have been so much clearer if she'd been visible. I just wonder if he could be persuaded to revisit with a partner the material he covers in those videos, because it would be incredibly useful. It could be slotted into the existing videos, or uploaded as a separate piece. His explanations are simple and clear, and really deserve a more complete translation, and with a visible partner this could be excellent teaching/learning material.

There are also three wonderful dances with TangoCherie, but I don't think they necessarily cover what he taught in the class sessions. Probably not: more likely he's responding to the music, and would find it hard to dance something to order. It really is great to have the three classes, and three more tangos from Pedro available to watch: there are too few.

&, as ever, what he says is wonderfully clear and to the point. He starts the very first class by saying, first of all, feel emotion! Tango milonguero is very emotional! Emotional, not theatrical! & then he starts to talk about posture, very simply and straightforwardly. I assume that when he says the dance is very emotional he means that it is a response to all the emotion in the music: I hope someone out there can clarify this. To me, emotion distinguishes the golden age tango.

& this is what I was trying to clarify to myself in an earlier post: we are not so familiar with the emotional language of tango music, the 'cadencia', so this emotion tends to be lacking in European tango. You can be taught steps, but '...nobody can teach you the feeling', as Gavito said. But at least it can be pointed out. Unlike Pedro, who talks about it at the beginning of his first lesson, most teachers don't even refer to emotion. Many of us are drawn to tango because of the music, but responding to the emotion in the music isn't so straightforward, particularly if it's not pointed out to us as really important. Pedro's dance is clear and doesn't look elaborate, but one of his regular partners told me that there's constant flow of emotion in his lead. Or perhaps that should be; his lead is a constant flow of emotion...

These are the teaching videos: tango 1, tango 2, milonga. & the dances are: tango, tango vals, milonga

Video thanks to milongueromateo. & the classes were uploaded by Macfroggy. (Macfroggy? I wonder who that could be?)


tangocherie said...

Hi TC,
Thank you for commenting on the videos I made with Pedro in 2005. Yes, I'm MacFroggy.
I first met Pedro here in 1997, at a time when he had hardly ever danced with foreigners and wasn't comfortable dancing with women taller than he, but he's overcome both of those hesitations!

Tangocommuter said...

Thanks, TC! I watched him dance often with Ali, who's quite a bit taller than him. I was always impressed how he seemed to know exactly where her weight was, so he could move her apparently without effort. He made it look very clear, almost logical: there's something almost judo-like about the ability to keep a partner's momentum going - and 'con emocion' too!. It's not always easy leading a taller partner, but sometimes it can work surprisingly well.

Thanks again for uploading the videos!


Tina said...

I miss Pedro! He really is a gem.
I recognize the girl in the video from my regular milonga in Buenos Aires.
What a pleasant tango that was to see!

g.t.walzer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
g.t.walzer said...

Actually she is not laughing the way someone is laughing when he is listening to something funny.She is smiling ,a wide smile perhaps but definitely a smile Pedro is also smiling and I think there is nothing wrong with it.It happens to me and my partner quite often when the music,the lady I'm dancing with, and the environment helps the take off.It's a sign that we are having
great time I don't believe argentines consider it incorrect either