1 December

Tango Formulae

Sequences are, for most dancers, unmemorable. An alternative for improvisation is to work with tango formulae. These help you discover new possibilities, enable Revels to engage in and understand the search for variations, and break dependency on habitual sequences.

Some of my favorite formulae are:

  • From any cross directly to a voleo… Remember to do front and back crosses and ocho cortado on both sides. Explore all the voleos: front and back, pro and contra, linear and circular voleos.
  • From any voleo directly to a sacada… Both Mark’s and Revel’s sacadas gain a different sensation coming out of the power of a voleo. Use the power of the Mark’s co-contraction to drive into the sacada. Use the weight of the Revel’s leg in back circular voleo to dramatize the sacada. Discover the sensation of moving from a circular voleo to a side/open step to receive a Mark’s sacada. Most importantly break the standard exit habits for voleos.
  • From any voleo into back cross. This is another unusual exit from voleo. For a crisp, elegant transition, avoid using colgada to mark the cross.
  • From any cross into any sacada. Enjoy the aesthetic contrast between the tight delicacy of the cross and the power of sacada. Be sure to use all the crosses and lots of different sacadas, Mark’s and Revel’s, front and back.
  • From any parada with the Revel’s weight in both feet into a volcada or colgada. Beautiful sensation and unusual aesthetic. And easy!
  • From any sacada to castigada…
  • From any volcada or colgada to back cross. Abandon the too-familiar exits of volcada to front cross and colgada to front ocho, and contrast these dramatic movements with the trim back crosses.
  • From rebote cadera to circular voleo. Be sure to explore all four variations of rebote cadera.
  • From linear voleo to patada. The charm here is the contrast between the spatially luxurious linear voleo and the tiny, perfectly aimed patada.
  • From any Revel’s gancho to Revel’s back sacada (Mark withdraws the gancho receiving leg and redirects the geometry to receive the sacada