Tango Dance | A few common Rhythms
© by Cosima Diaz Campos , 2 December 2021
The word rhythm is close to the ancient Greek word rhythmos, which is derived from the ancient Greek rhein, “to flow”. The ancient Greek concept of rhythmos probably refered to the momentary positions taken by dancers during the course of their performance.
Nowadays, in its most general sense, rhythm is an ordered alternation of contrasting elements. The philosopher Matila Ghyka synthesizes as follows:
“Rhythm is the experience of orderly flow of a movement”.
Rhythm in nature
the rhythm of our breathing and of our heart beating, our circadian rhythms, the circle of the earth around the sun (night and day), the circle of the moon around the earth (tidal ebb and flow), etc.
Rhythm in arts
music, dance, poetry, performance art, painting, drawing, sculpture,...
27 October 2021, by Cosima Díaz Campos
In tango, as in nature, we root down in order to rise up. And we also rise up to root down. It's a two way stream.
Our tango embrace is build from the ground. A grounded stance is so important: we root to rise! From a solid, balanced standing position we can embrace each other in a free and comforting way. Without a good fundament from the body, the embrace will be easily used to correct our own imbalance or postural problems.
In our classes we emphasize how we use the connection to the floor to rise in our upright posture. The idea behind the phrase 'root to rise' is that every position and movement is built from the ground up.
Pada bandha (foot lock) is a yoga technique in which the soles of the feet are placed on the ground so the weight is evenly distributed in the foot. This pada bandha connects the body with the earth through the...
Photo taken during a performance for the opening of the cultural season in Amsterdam (Uitmarkt, main stage), during the time that I only trained solo. Photographer: Bert Verleur.
20 October 2021, by Cosima Diaz Campos
This blog is about what solo tango training means to me, and why I think it is so important for every tangodancer.
Why I started solo tango training
At the start of my tangolife I trained solo. Mariano had a dance partner with whom he trained at least three times a week for a couple of hours, for their theatre shows, and he did not want to train with me. He only danced with me at milongas. He had taught his ex-girlfriend tango from absolute beginner to professional, and he did not want to fall into the same trap again. So his plan was to never dance professionally with his girlfriend. We all know that plan failed, but let's save that story for another time. In this...
12 October 2021, by Cosima Díaz Campos
El Molinete is the name of the 'windmill' figure in tango. Classically, the molinete consists of a side step, front step, pivot forward, side step, pivot backward, and back step. The molinete can start in any of the four directions. When four steps are made around, we get a giro (full turn). When only three of the four steps are being made, we usually call it a media luna (half moon).
Although there are also combinations in which the leader walks the molinete around the follower, in most variations the follower walks the molinete around the leader in tango. The leader is in the middle, and can dance many different variations while the follower walks the molinete. The leader invites the follower to dance around him by continuously keeping the rotation in his spine to one side. The leaders' steps are build from combinations of changes...
1 October 2021, by Cosima Diaz Campos
In memory of the legendary tango singer Ikuo Abo (20 April 1937 - 1 September 2021).
Today I invite you to listen to the tango En Esta Tarde Gris (in this grey afternoon) played by Orquesta Típica Masaichi Sakamoto with singer Ikuo Abo, recorded in the 60's.
Ikuo Abo did not speak Spanish. He learnt all the lyrics of the tango phonetically.
His pronounciation is amazing, and his phrasing is impressive. Phrasing in tango singing is one of the most difficult aspects, and also one of the most important. The orchestra also plays impeccable, their timing and phrasing, their accents, the play with volume is wonderful.
26 September 2021, by Mariano Diaz Campos
"When should we start teaching navigation on the dance floor to our beginner groups?" This is a question we regularly get from Tango teachers who join our lessons. Navigation on the dance floor is a special skill to learn, that can be supported by the teachers.
For us the answer is undoubtelty: from the very first step. With an elegant balance and a caminada the navigation can be practiced really well from the very beginning. The caminada helps to dance in the ronda, and the balance is great to use to dance on the spot. Next is the cunita, a simple turn on the spot. This is useful for the leaders to learn to scan the dancers around them, and get a sense of the flow on the dance floor. Depending on the flow of the group of dancers, the leader can decide to walk forward, or to stay on the spot (turning or not). It is just as important to be...
21 September 2021, by Mariano Diaz Campos
Update 26 September 2021
And the winners are...
Tango Salón: Barbara Ferreyra, Agustin Agnez
Tango Escenario: Emmanuel Casal, Yanina Muzyka
The 18th edition of the world championship tango is held from 16 - 26 September 2021. This festival is organised by the government, and the first edition was held in 2003. The championship consist of two categories: Tango Salón and Tango Escenario.
12 Sep 2021 by Cosima Díaz Campos
Merceditas - Tango
Orquestra Símbolo Osmar Maderna
Direction: Aquiles Roggero (originally violinist)
Singers: Adolfo Rivas & Raúl Aldao
Composition & lyrics original chamamé: Rámon Sixto Rios
Arrangement for tango: presumably Osmar Maderna made the arrangement
Recorded in 1958.
Tangomusic & tangodance aficionados alike love the tango 'Merceditas'. The intro of this tango starts with the intense descending glissando by the violins, to continue with the peaceful and calming melody of this piece in e-minor. If the melody would be a landscape, I would see fields of granes waving in the wind.
After this intro the beat is picked up by the whole orchestra, with the sharp sounds of the bows of the violins on the string, to emphasize the rhythms. In this part, the violins continue with fast and accentuated...
Pugliese & Chopin
7 September 2021 by Cosima Diaz Campos ©
Osvaldo Pugliese loved Chopin's music. His wife Lydia Pugliese told us in an interview that he would practice Chopin's piano solo work daily. We asked her about Osvaldo's daily life routines. After breakfast he would go for a walk in the park with his wife every morning, and the rest of the morning he would play solo piano work from Chopin, before the rehearsals with his orchestras in the afternoon and the concerts in the evening. Pugliese gave concerts with his orchestra untill he was above 80 years old, a remarkable achievement.
Osvaldo Pugliese & Astor Piazzolla
6 September 2021 by Mariano Diaz Campos ©
Mariano is a certified journalist who writes about tango culture & history.
Musicians mentioned in this blog:
George Gershwin (1898 - 1937)
Julio de Caro (1899 – 1980)
Osvaldo Pugliese (1905 - 1995)
Anibal Troilo (1914 - 1975)
Astor Piazzolla (1921 -1992)
If you bring two of the biggest names in tango together, you are writing history. That is what Luis Aravena, musician, producer and theatreman, thought when he brought the two maestros of the Epoca de Oro of the tango to Amsterdam in 1989 to share the stage together in the Royal Theatre Carré. The only place and moment in history, where these two legends shared the stage. A unique event in the history of music & tango. The title of the concert was Finally Together.
1 September 2021 by Cosima Diaz Campos
The tango Amurado is composed in 1927 by Pedro Maffia & Pedro Laurenz.
The lyrics are written by José De Grandis.
Below in this blog you can listen to different versions of this piece.
Both Pedro Maffia and Pedro Laurenz recorded this composition with their orchestras.
Carlos Gardel recorded the piece as well, completely sung, in 1927.
Julio Sosa (1962) and Roberto Goyeneche (1990) recorded this piece completely sung.
Julio De Caro made an instrumental arrangement of this musical gem.
Osvaldo Pugliese (Decariano), arranged it for his orchestra later, also instrumental.
The version that is played very often for tango dancers is the version by Pedro Laurenz and his orchestra. Pedro Laurenz was orchestra leader / composer / arranger, and he played in his orchestra as a bandoneonist. He...
Octeto de Buenos Aires
26 August 2021 by Cosima Diaz Campos
When I studied the year at Rotterdam Conservatory (tango violin) in 1996 my violin teacher gave me casette tapes with Troilo, Pugliese, Di Sarli, D'Arienzo and more great maestros from the Golden Era. Also a casette with Octeto de Buenos Aires. I loved the classics of the golden era immediately. But Octeto de Buenos Aires was not so easy for my ear, especially the electric guitar. I listened to all the cassettes a lot, every day, to really feel the music, and eventually I learnt to appreciate and love the music of Octeto de Buenos Aires. And of course especially the genius interpretations of violinist Enrique Francini (also wellknown for his own orchestra Francini-Pontier). The sweet and passionate sound of his violin is just incomparable. Always when I hear Octeto de Buenos Aires it brings me back to those days, and I...