What is Tango improvisation?

Everyone who understands tango knows that it’s not about steps. It’s about the experience of flying, embraced, inside music. (!)  We know that the embrace, like any good hug, is beautiful on its own. But the embrace alone, standing still, is not yet tango. It is when we touch the notes with our steps, or our flying legs, that we experience the miracle of connected motion: This is Argentine Tango Improvisation. 

We are thrilled to announce the next step in our work to encourage Real Improvisation from the Elements: A video series in YouTube which shows the systems of variations for every tango movement. Today we launch our channel of 1-2 minute videos showing variations of every element in the Tango Lexicon. Technique instruction is still found in the KnowledgeBase and MasterCourse.

Music by Cuarteto SolTango.

If you prefer VIMEO (we do), it’s here: //www.vimeo.com/channels/TangoForgeElements
 
You can watch the whole playlist right here or go to the channel on YouTube: //www.TangoForge.com/Tube.
 

Why is Improvisation important for Intermediate and Advanced Dancers?

In the same way that physical disruptions of the embrace can disrupt the experience of connection, so can too much repetition of sequences. The delight and charm of tango do not arise from mere mastery of a physical relationship or good choreography, but from taking a wondrous journey together.

The wonder is improvisation: the discovery of sympatico relations between Argentine Tango improvisation and music.

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.

Are you improvising or trying to memorize?

Most Marks are frustratingly stuck with a small number of sequences. Most Revels realize this after dancing several tandas with any given Mark. No matter how much she enjoys the sweetness of his embrace, or his technical skills, the wonder fades away.

Argentine Tango improvisation
TangoForge ICC sessions. Camera //thomasconte.net/tango/

Most Marks berate themselves for inability to remember new sequences from their classes, and may give up on classes because they feel it’s a waste of time. Most Revels stopped going to classes a long time ago because there wasn’t much in it for them.

In truth, keeping Argentine Tango improvisation alive is not about memorization. For Marks it’s about using variations of the movements they already know. For Revels it’s about moving in a way that makes space-time for your partner to think and change.

The current historical moment says that Argentine Tango Improvisation is considered less important than elegance and social behavior.  But we are all getting bored of dancing only ochos, giros, and crosses and to achieve the psychological state of Flow we need a strong compulsion to mutual concentration, which wanes when we only dance familiar routines. 

To restore our inheritance of the complete repertoire for Argentine Tango improvisation is a communal project. Marks can’t introduce new elements unless Revels work to be ready. You can be part of this global movement to restore our beautiful tango to its full glory. 

Stop memorizing sequences* and start improvising from the elements of Tango

*or being annoyed with yourself for not being able to remember them.

Take our Lexicon Self-Test, then use our Impro Workbook to structure your development.

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What is in the MasterCourse?

The MasterCourse includes a total of 16 videos, covering the 25 Elements of Tango. The total time for these 16 videos is just under 10 hours.

MasterCourse enrollment includes full access to all resources in our Digital School, immediately, for a period of 18 months:

  • The Mastercourse 25 Elements of Tango in 16 videos (EN/DE)
  • Exercise Center with muscle diagrams and pilates-based exercises on video, to learn to control the 10 most important tango muscles. (EN/DE)
  • Home Solo Practice Courses for both roles and a Pair Practice Course. A total of 30 video session sfor home practice. (EN/DE)
  • KnowledgeBase Encyclopedia, hyperlinked for quick research with text, images, and video clips. (EN)
  • Access to all of our live workshops during your enrollment period. If you have any questions we will answer online and in person at no additional cost.

For more information about the MasterCourse or our DIgital School please feel free to contact us by email to Office@TangoForge.com or using the chat box in the bottom-right corner of your screen.

 

Our Work

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About

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2020 TangoForge

6-19.February Wellington NZ
7-9 February Bruges Neo Tango

…DISTANCE…

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Exercises from Maui

Books

Power is the courage, confidence, and competence to make things happen. I want to create in a way that’s incomparable and define my own compensation package. You too?

Syntax of Power is a raw, potent, and spare revelation of how I got to where I am and how I take on the struggle every day.

This book is not about tango, it’s about everything else.

It’s about stepping into the darkness of change, learning how to take care of yourself, and making things happen.

Dyv stands for Duro y Vio. We were inspired by a 2007 conference at Harvard University about tango as a transnational culture. Also we wanted to create something that would help people to imagine a queerer tango. We forbid ourselves to use the word ‘passion’ and instead tried to articulate the experience more precisely.

Argentine Tango is more than an elaborate and difficult dance, it is an international culture of intimacy, desire, and dignity. No mere romance or memoir, the intricately woven stories evoke tango’s true mysteries … the elation, the frustration, the compulsion…

We published the book in 2009. Dancers asked “how did you know what I was feeling?”

Silences in history. Silences by code. Silences of fear. You already know that Tango’s silences can be sublime and they can be devastating.

What I do in my blog is use myself as a lens – sometimes a microscope, sometimes a telescope. I try to be as honest with myself and you as words concede. Then I try to find a deeper meaning and imagine a pathway for us.

A blog post can be a fragment, a wisp of inspiration, an outline for thinking. A book must complete and reconcile it all. Now I drag the social scientist to the scene to enumerate the facts of the case, the mystery which brought both stardom and tragedy to my life.

We didn’t start online education in March of 2020. We started in 2014. Learn more about our Digital School