Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Es una pasión...

This might not be very fair... but I clicked on a video and this is what opened: I hadn't watched it in a while. For a few moments I thought it was the same music that Osvaldo and Enriqueta were dancing to, but it's Bajo de un cielo de estrellas, and a different orquesta (Miguel Calo): the two pieces are very similar, both in melody and feel. But the dance is worlds away: reminds me what's lost. Tete and Silvia at their very best, absolutely on fire with a favourite piece of music, and it's so good to remember them together like this. Tete, totally intent on the dance, and without that irritating arm-flapping or the very unconvincing change of roles (he always looked as if he was leading anyway), dancing here as if nothing else existed except each other and the music and the dance. (Forget the floor once in a while!) 'Sin miedo', be fearless, was his advice: go for it! Silvia, in brief glimpses (the video quality isn't great) looks as if she's laughing with joy. The conviction and energy, the sheer life force of it, the physicality of it, and at the same time the control and attention to the music, like almost nothing else and reminding me why I found tango so compelling, why I wanted to visit Buenos Aires in the first place. It blows almost everything else away, certainly the narcissistic elaboration of a lot of contemporary tango, always conscious how pretty its feet are... Not many dancers are so extrovert in their wholehearted passion for dance and music, and it's so good to be reminded.

It's often struck me that I've never heard Argentines describe tango as an addiction: when asked how they see tango they nearly always say it's a passion, '...es una pasión!' Videos like this give us an idea what 'una pasión' can mean...

19 comments:

Chris said...

"the control and attention to the music, like almost nothing else and reminding me why I found tango so compelling..."

This is vals not tango, TC :)

"Tete and Silvia at their very best..."

Agreed. Glorious. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

wondeful - watching this reminds me why i love it- and makes me want to go back to the floor again after months away ..

jantango said...

Forget the floor once in a while? Who gives that advice. That can be done when a couple has the floor to themselves, but not at a milonga. I asked a friend what he's thinking about when he dances. He said, making certain he doesn't touch anyone.

I viewed the video again and noticed how Tete loses the beat in several places while he's running and changing directions -- impossible on a crowded floor. It's not a simple task hanging on when he decides to let go of his partner.

RealityPivots said...

Wow.

Tangocommuter said...

Tango outside Buenos Aires can often seem like playing around to tango music. I wanted to draw attention to a sense of the passion for the dance and music, and I think that's probably more evident in this video than in many others.

Thanks for the comments.

Chris said...

I think you succeeded, TC, but I have to agree with Janis. Tete was often great fun, but I recall it being no fun at all for myself and the other guys having him careering around the floor late at night at midweek El Beso.

Anonymous said...

Probably you didn’t realize, but it was a performance. And most of the time the performers are alone in the dance floor. Almost certainly he loses the beat more than one time. Who cares about? Tete had something special in his dance that made him one of the best milongueros. Passion, energy, a beautiful embrace, great musicality. He was an extraordinary dancer, a very well known teacher and an even better person. If your only comment is he loses the beat and takes too much space in the dance floor,….well, I am sorry for you. You are missing something here.

Tangocommuter said...

When I commented above I meant to add a 'don't try this at home' warning, although late at night, or early, before the milonga has really started, there's likely to be room.

I'm not so certain there are places where Tete 'loses the beat'. You usually dance the beat, but there's also a 'compás' in the melody which isn't always the same as the beat: the rhythm in the melody can slur over several beats, and it happens frequently, it's very much part of the rhythmic complexity of tango. Music that doesn't have this kind of complexity is pretty boring. As a lead you have a choice of how you interpret, stepping with the beat or the melody. As anyone who took classes with Tete will probably remember, he emphasised the pauses, he made a point of pausing. (I remember him sitting by the floor and shouting out 'Pausa!' to me, emphasised with a pointed finger, 'Right here!' as I danced by...)

& it is a performance and it uses space, although the space here is actually quite limited. & Gavito didn't invite them to dance in a corner. But nothing they do here needs a lot of space. He takes big steps, but most of the turns are relatively compact, and could have been more compact. I've watched him on a very crowded floor at Maipu 444, and also been on the floor at the same time, and I'm sure he had just as much concern not to touch other people as anyone else. He could dance a tanda on a 'baldosa', on a single tile, but give him a bit of space and he might use it, which could be disconcerting. On a crowded floor you make your own space: if you don't move much other people use the space all around you, if you are constantly turning and moving, people allow you more space. It's normal.

Thanks for the comment, Anon. Since you mention his 'beautiful embrace' I take it that you danced with him.

I'm not trying to say Tete was without fault, and I didn't intend this post to be a post-mortem: as I said before, my aim was to draw attention to a passion for the dance and music, which I think we should be aware of outside Buenos Aires.

Chris said...

"the rhythm in the melody can slur over several beats, and it happens frequently, it's very much part of the rhythmic complexity of tango."

Again TC you're confusing two different kinds of music. Yes, what you describe is characteristic of tango, but not of vals. And it is vals that Tete is dancing.

"Music that doesn't have this kind of complexity is pretty boring."

On the contrary, milonga and vals that doesn't have that particular complexity of tango makes an exciting contrast with it. That's why milonga and vals are used as breaks from tango.

Tangocommuter said...

Listen to the violins at 0:07, 0:34, 0:41 or the bandoneons at 2:11... The melody isn't always the compás, and you can choose which you dance to!

& are you saying that you dance tango vals without pauses? No, really?

Chris said...

"Listen to the violins at 0:07, 0:34, 0:41 or the bandoneons at 2:11..."

I've already done so, thanks - hundreds of times.

"are you saying that you dance tango vals without pauses?"

No - I said nothing about pauses, TC.

And nothing about "tango vals" - since that does not exist, except as a misunderstanding propagated by class teachers who think vals is a kind of tango because they know nothing about it except what they were told in "tango" classes. And who have insufficient genuine interest in the music to bother to look at the recordings.

Tango is tango; vals is vals. They are very distinct and very different.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,

If your arrogance is at the same level of your dance, I am sure you are an incredible dancer.

I am sure TC knows well the difference between tango and vals. You moved the discussion to a semantic level, when the point here is your lack of sensibility to appreciate a great dancer.

Can’t you enjoy a beautiful dance without any derogatory comment? Try it. It pays off.

Chris said...

"You moved the discussion to a semantic level"

Correct. I am sorry that you apparently have a problem with that.

Anonymous said...

“the point here is your lack of sensibility to appreciate a great dancer.”

I am sorry for you.

Chris said...

"the point here is your lack of sensibility to appreciate a great dancer."

Anon, you clearly failed to read the first comment to this post.

Cinderella said...

All the anonymous commentators seem to have failed to read the whole entry, the orignial post and /all/ the comments. So they are the ones who seem to have missed something here.

Great video! Here I can feel real 'quality of dance', something I didn't find watching Enriqueta Kleinman and Osvaldo Natucci, even though Tete's and Silvia's dance is also a show.

Anonymous said...

What I read here is you can't enjoy a good dancer without any derogatory comments in the context.

Still sorry for you. Arrogance and lack of sensibility is a very bad combination for tango dancers.

RealityPivots said...

My body is keeping a memory of watching this video. I can feel the joy of Silvia's Free Leg sweeping like a pendulum slowed, accelerated, brought to rest in response to the music.

Chris said...

Here's a favourite T&S video of mine: Dancing the vals "Claro de luna".

I wish I could find a higher quality recording of this Canaro performance than the one played here and present on the only commercial rerelease I know - Reliquias Porteñas - Vol. 5. If anyone knows of one, please do say.