Sunday, 8 February 2009

Where the tango was

I took a class with Adrian and Amanda Costa last weekend. It was about milonga traspié, and Adrian was teaching us to listen for the beat of the bass and dance with it. There is a point where it stops, for a moment, and he wanted us to learn to respect this in our dancing.

This is a paraphrase; his English is not fluent, my memory is not perfect. But it went something like:

“I loooovve this milonga. When I was three years old my grandfather had a game, he used to make me listen to it and I would be an aeroplane [leans forward, makes aeroplane wings] with the bass. Pom, pa-pom pom [walks forward, wings moving with bass] - and it stops - the plane is falling it's falling! And here it is again! Pom, pa-pom pom Pom [wings return to rhythm] ...”

A French three-year-old, his Grandad and a record collection.

I nearly cried.

I'd like to illustrate that with Adrian and Amanda dancing milonga later the same evening, but nobody's posted that video yet, so here is one from Paris.


Arlene said...

Hi H,
I have witnessed their Milonga class and thought they explained it in a way that anyone could understand. A&A are very articulate instructors and to watch them dance is a joy. They just float across the dancefloor.
Lovely to see you last night. I just loved your outfit.

msHedgehog said...

Hi Arlene! Thank you! Thank goodness for tit tape is all I can say. You had an elegant red dress on - which reminds me that Amanda Costa's outfit for the performance was a masterpiece. I wish we could see it better in the pictures.

I do think they're articulate, and they're a great team. I could watch them for hours as well. I was tempted to analyse the video, but perhaps that's not for today.

I'm sorry I rushed past, I would have liked to sit and chat, but I was trying to make sure I delivered a promise, it really winds me up when other people promise and don't deliver.

Anonymous said...

Just for clarity, are you talking about the moments at 25 and 45 seconds or something else? Thanks.

msHedgehog said...

Hello Ghost - Unfortunately I don't think this is the same milonga he was using in the class. In the class, it wasn't a silence -the melody was still doing its different rhythm, only the bass stopped, so it was quite challenging. We were asked to discriminate, and dance to the bass alone, as an excercise in musical perception and understanding in order to get more control of our dance. For a fair example of the principle he was talking about, have a look at 00:35 - here, he is representing one of the instruments and she is representing a different one. I found it interesting to watch that a few times over and distinguish the sounds. 00:25 and 00:45 are two examples of respect for a brief, complete silence - 01:36 is another. 01:14 is a nice illustration of choosing to go with the melody. For the exercise, there, we would have gone with the other sound.

Anonymous said...

i count myself as extremely lucky to know about A&A costa so early in my tango journey their musicality is just pure quality.
Thank you very much for sharing that clip wih us i've not seen it before....

Anonymous said...

Thanks. So it's similar to JA's chapter 8, particularly the video clip?

msHedgehog said...

What we did in the class was not like ch8 but like the very first exercise in ch7. Both partners were stepping to the rhythmic base alone. It was very simple to lead, the hard part was hearing the pause and doing it and not carrying on mechanically.

I think the example in this video from 00:34 to 00:43 is like ch8, although here both melodies play at once rather than being like questions and answers like the ch.8 example. What it has in common with the class is only the distinction between different things going on simultaneously in the music.

Anonymous said...



ad said...

Soooo beautiful! Thanks for sharing the video.