Thursday, 11 February 2010

Bit quiet, sorry

Sorry it's a bit quiet round here, although the commenters are amusing themselves on my last post - dip into the comments, if you don't normally, they sometimes get more interesting than the posts. I've been a bit busy learning to work some technology I don't normally use.

Tangocommuter has some interesting things going on: Dreaming about the perfect milonga, Why Tango, and an absolutely charming short film from his recent visit to Argentina, An Asado with Pedro Sanchez, which deserves more attention. Go on, leave him a comment if you like it.

[Edit 2012: I can no longer recommend the following website, because the interesting content is no longer prominent. Updating because this is a relatively popular post.] Also, I've just got round to updating the link on the right (sorry David), jivetango is still there and aimed at jivers but most of it is now on a new site 'learning tango'. Although 'class notes' are included as well as the handy list of classes it's still very much peer-to-peer mentoring - Chris is giving me lots to think about with his zenlike 'tango of zero' series about various breakthroughs and revelations, all greeted with tail-wagging, head-slapping enjoyment.

[Edit: as always, there's lots I disagree with - for example the music links and some of the venue reviews (not all) are as far as I can tell from the point of view of someone who doesn't actually like tango music or dance and is sometimes confused by the fact that that's apparently fine with them. I feel it's still essentially jivetango and what you're getting is people's experiences and adventures, not expertise.]


David Bailey said...

Thanks for the link :)

I'd agree that there's still some JT-y elements to the site, yes. We'll see the content move on and develop throughout the year - to be fair LT's only been up for a month so far.

And yes, the range of reviews is eclectic, and views are inconsistent compared to (say) yours. What can I say, life is mess :)

msHedgehog said...

@David - well I think it's quite good to have some inconsistency - at least people can tell they're not getting some sort of party line. They can pick the writer who's serving them best. But as a part of that, I'd like to see your other reviewer get his own name-brand like TangoPanda has. Then people can see what to compare them with - his reviews are quite consistent among themselves. And I also think peer-to-peer is a good thing.

msHedgehog said...

In fact I like the jivetango idea, personally, it does what it says on the tin rather well.

David Bailey said...

I know what you mean... sometimes a Certain Person comes across as being a bit, um, grumpy. And that's _me_ saying it...

Oooh, I just thought of a metaphor. It's like the early days of Sinn Fein and the IRA; everyone said "Ah, they're just the same thing", and it's true, there were a lot of dodgy undercover links between the two. But in the end, Sinn Fein developed their own identity.

Hmmmm.... that analogy sounded much better in my head...

ghost said...

To me the interesting thing with JT and LT is going to be in about 5 years time when (hopefully) we actually do know what we're talking about. At that point I'd like to go back through the Beginner's Section, Unlocking the Milonga etc and correct them.

So why not wait till then?

Well to be honest, by that point we'll have forgotten what it was like to be beginners. I want to be able to look over my notes and go "ah right, that's what I found hard" or to be able to write "it may look like milonga is just faster, but actually it's..." etc.

Hopefully it's clear where we are at the moment and people read it appropriately. I'd worry if you agreed with everything!

As for Ken, he does like tango, he just doesn't like trad music. About three years ago there were several places in London that regualrly played just nuevo and good quality at that. Now there's just Negracha and the quality there varies considerably. Ken's reviews are probably more useful for Jivers or people at the nuevo end of the spectrum, just as Panda's are much more at the traditional end.

msHedgehog said...

@Ghost - It would be nice to see your 'about' bit on the site as well, I think it makes all of it easier to understand. Maybe there isn't quite enough stuff there yet for it to be clear, as DB says, it's only just started. And yes - I'd like him to say that upfront though, if it is the explanation, because otherwise it's very hard to make sense of what he is actually saying. (I think it would be quite a good thing if there were 1 or 2 good 'nuevo' venues in the sense you mean. It might be worth someone's while to teach to that audience, too. Why do you think they stopped doing it?)

ghost said...

Ken started a venue a bit before Christmas which played exquisite nuevo music. He's closed it for the time being while he figures out the logistics.

One Organiser I asked last week said they've no plans to re-start because "too much hassle, not enough money" :(

I think apart from the recession, the other problem is that the market is changing. People are becoming better informed about tango. I think we're beginning to transition away from the days of defining nuevo as
"Open embrace tango to modern music with lots of moves"

Ivan certainly used to explore nuevo concepts at Negracha. I suspect the challenge at the moment is for teachers to work out what an actual structured nuevo course would be?

msHedgehog said...

I find that plausible. I think of it as pure-dance or modern-dance stuff, where you have to be interested in dance for its own sake as an art, rather than as just a social thing or a musical thing. Because it requires such a lot of technique and physical work to do that well (as opposed to just faking it) there might not be enough people with both the right ability and the right interest to make it worth someone's while to do - at least not for someone who knew and cared what they were talking about.

David Bailey said...

"@Ghost - It would be nice to see your 'about' bit on the site as well"
- I'm happy to add something to the About Us bit; thr tricky part is to phrase it so that it doesn't read "We don't know what we're talking about, but hey, read on anyway..." :)

David Bailey said...

As for "What is nuevo"... my feeling is that it's a fundamentally a dance based on the pivot, with some correlation to embrace (more open) and music (less traditional).

But that's just my opinion. And I know nothing :)

ghost said...

"We don't know what we're talking about, but hey, read on anyway..." :)

Let's face it, 99% of Forums and Blogs come under the same category. At least we're honest about it, have a good Humour section and no Trolls :o) And it's comforting to know you're not alone.

It's worth noting that a lot of what's written probably is right. I tend to pull either from things I've been directly taught by teachers or from things I know about very well, or just out and out say "I'm guessing". Looking back over my threads on the Ceroc Scotland Forum, they've stood the test of time. Indeed some of the ideas are that were "revolutionary" or "impossible" depending on who you talked to at the time are now commonplace. Likewise "Einsteinain notions" look to be working out pretty well.

How about
"Ghost is pretty sure he knows what he's talking about - expect for the stuff he isn't"

Hopefully the next Edition of the Ghost Guide will make it a bit clearer where everything currently is in the scheme of things.

There's a pretty open offer if anyone who actually does know what they're talking about wants to correct anything I've written. I've changed a few things because of this :flower:

msHedgehog said...

"We don't know what we're talking about, but hey, read on anyway..." :)

I can't see a lot wrong with that, as a trust-builder.

ghost said...

1 year later…

Turns out "Well to be honest, by that point we'll have forgotten what it was like to be beginners." is a bigger problem than I expected. I can now do things easily that I couldn’t do before. But that means correcting what I’d written becomes problematic. I can do what I can now because the foundations are in place. But it’s no good giving people advice based on where I am now, when they’re not as it won’t work for them. It’s like saying to a primary school child who’s trying to work out the area of a shape on graph paper by counting the number of squares in it “Oh, just use calculus.”

So instead of waiting 5 years, I’ve done all the corrections now. The About Us section has been changed to reflect this and does indeed include the line “We're not just guessing, but we might be just wrong.”. The videos in the 2nd Ghost Guide give a good indication of the level the articles are pitched at.

In the end the reviews were done by quite a wide variety of people giving a broad range of viewpoints.

Ultimately I’m happy that it now does what I wanted it to do. The About Us sums it up well and I feel it delivers on this. Or as I said back when we started this, “While it’s a good thing to learn from your own mistakes, it’s much less painful to learn from others’ “