The Tango Muscles

all the muscles still

Orange/Stabilization Chain Teres Minor & Infraspinatus: Shoulder stabilization by external rotation Triceps: Elbow stabilization Transverse Abdominus: (not in the image, near the spine) stabilizes the spine Piriformis: stabilize hip rotation. Quadriceps: stabilize hip flexion. Peroneals: Ankle Plantar Flexion Blue/Directional muscles used during Mark’s Intention for Projection Lateral Projection: Oblique muscles: Rotate the spine for projection […]

Balance is not a character virtue

Argentine Tango Balance

So many students say “I have bad balance” as if they are describing their shoe size or model of smartphone. Balance is not an innate character virtue or flaw. It’s a skill. Importantly, tango balance is not the same as ballet balance, because in tango we build our balance with our partner, not alone, and […]

Partners

hands toward dancing

The deepest desire of human beings is not to be alone. Whatever our individual pathways toward or around this issue, tango has given us a way to experience partnership. I believe that it is this aspect of tango which is most compelling. Despite the thrills of sensuality, tenderness, attention, celebrity, and musicality, it is the […]

Divine Time Machines don’t pivot alone

transparent ganchoi swirly

To reveal more to herself and to her partner, the Revel must abandon the safe ground of knowledge, prediction, sequences, familiar movements, and righteousness. Crucially she must abandon her surety that the best thing she can do is to pivot. Pivoting is how we try to be good girls doing the hard work… But if we abandon a claim on certainty, avoid arbitrary endings and stay open to the previous movement continuing to unfold, then we offer ourselves to divine creativity.

Improvisation

Argentine Tango

We can dance the same songs every night for years because of the possibility to discover new relations between movement and music. We can do this because each dance is unique, because we create it anew each time. Argentine Tango improvisation must be authentic and spontaneous or tango becomes rote and dead. Either partner can kill it: The Mark through routine and the Revel through automatisms.

Where does rotational power come from?

Oblique muscles for tango

This is a very simple and crucial question. And understanding it makes dancing so much more straightforward. Marks tend to yank or hurl on their limbs in order to create rotation, destabilizing themselves. Rotation around our own spine is controlled by the obliques, shaded light blue in the image at right. Muscles work most strongly […]

Flexion, extension, and muscle contractions

Argentine Tango Technique Joint Motion

In 2011 one of my students confronted me about using animal metaphors. She said “Vio, I don’t know what it would be like to have a tail.” I stopped cold and realized I didn’t either. I decided that day to stop using metaphors and study anatomy so I could explain tango technique in objective terms. […]

The Embrace

tangoforgelogo

Tango offers diverse delights for various tastes and fascinating paradoxes for debate, but it is uncontroversial that the best and most essential of tango’s gifts is the experience of what we call “The Embrace”. Those who have experienced a real sublime Argentine Tango embrace are both blessed and cursed. They are blessed know that it […]