Monday, 25 June 2012

Eleanor Powell

Eleanor Powell (1912 – 1982) grew up as a ballet dancer and gymnast, but found work hard to get, so she took up tap and became one of the most successful US tap dancers, starring with Fred Astaire in a couple of 1940s films, like Broadway Melody. Because she came from the aerial style of ballet and gymnastics, she found that learning tap wasn't easy, and according to IMDb '...she learned to tap by wearing army surplus belts with sandbags attached, to ground herself.'

Well, a good many Profesors de Tango Argentino also come from a ballet and gymnast tradition, and even seem to regard it as a recommendation for teaching tango. Maybe we need to start an international fund to buy them army surplus belts with sandbags attached, so they too can learn to be grounded, and leave that aerial style outside the milonga.

PS: Just how athletic she was, just how much she needed those sandbags, might be clear from this, but the action doesn't start until about 1.30. & an incredible sense of timing, too.


AlanJonesj said...

Each to their own style of tango...I asked some of the 'tango mods' why they enjoyed this type of dance.One told me that it was good 'workout' for exercise(yes,really),another that she could do 'more' with it,I presume more decorations, and the other told me that tango had to change.Into what?,I asked her,but sadly she couldn't really answer! Kind regards,Alan Jones.

Dieudonne said...

Thank you the smile! You may find many donors to such a fund :)

Janis said...

Those who dance tango for a workout are missing the point. Some jump on the bandwagon of whatever everyone else is doing without any real commitment.

Yes, tango dancing is changing. It's being homogenized into an exhibition dance were every couple looks the same. The world tango salon championships are a perfect example. This is the way to dance tango. Train with Mario Morales or Carlos Perez and become the next champion.