Maestro El Pulpo applied the rules of barrida to the entire leg, creating a delicious and surprising system of play for the partners’ legs. Because of the softness and twisting interplay that results from these movements, El Pulpo was named “the octopus”.
El Pulpo’s system generates strings of ganchos and double-ganchos, accompanied by voleos, soltadas, ordinary barridas, and anything else you can find. Pulpo plays with these movements in long sequences, but they can be used in a more subtle way as well.
- Decelerate the revel into the gancho and receive her leg with softness in your own so you can grab her leg with the friction of your touch.
- Keep the base legs very close together. When transitioning from one gancho to another, think about where you need to step so that your base’s next position will be close enough.
- To prevent the revel from exiting the gancho, use conservation of co-contraction.
- Go all the way into the gancho, then relax your leg and wait for the exit mark. Do not take your leg out automatically and arbitrarily. Do not grip the mark’s leg during the gancho.
- Keep your knee and hip joints very relaxed, but maintaining external rotation. If you let your base leg’s hip joint into internal rotation you will feel stuck.
- When you feel something strange happening, first turn your obliques in the direction you feel. When you reach the limit of where you can easily move, then send your free leg gently in the same direction.
I have identified five tools that Pulpo uses to create transitions (all of which are fundamentally barrida).
1. Mark’s sandwichito of the revel’s thigh: this has the result that the Revel transitions her free leg from a front to back gancho or vice versa (or to double-gancho). The easy case of this starts with her gancho to the inside of his leg. It can also be done when she is in a gancho to the outside of his leg, but it requires a soltada.)
2. Revel’s sandwichito causing her to step across the mark’s leg: this has the result that the revel transitions from a front gancho with one leg to a front gancho with her other leg to the same gancho hole. (Or, with soltada, back gancho to back gancho.)
4. The pass-through: very similar to a standard barrida which sweeps the revel’s leg from front or back step to side step, but the mark wraps his own leg around the revel’s calf or thigh. This can be done to the outside or inside of her leg. Can be initiated by a mark’s gancho or patada.
5. The pick up: Rather than marking the gancho with co-contraction, the mark uses barrida to pick her leg up and wrap it around his.