What you taste like… when you dance..! Not as horrifying a question… push Hannibal Lector away (haha)… when you think of the taste, the impression, the sensation you get when you dance, when perform a move.
After last week’s Mid-week Tango practice I got a very interesting question on the Youtube chat, that went something like this:
What textures in the music fit well with doing cross in the dance?
As you will see in the link I attempted a quick answer, but now it is the time for an answer that goes more in depth.
So lets pick a song, for example “Comme il faut” by Carlos Di Sarli start with the basics, and gradually go deeper and probably more subjective
Basic “movement structures” suggested by the music
I am sure we have all heard of linear, and circular structures in Tango, and how they match the music. But I would like suggest one more structure the circular progressive. We have therefore 3 movement structures suggested by the music , linear, circular progressive and circular:
Step #1 therefore would be to identify these structures on the music
Try to go through the song identifying where the music suggests linear structures, circular progressive and circular. For example, the song starts linear till about 0:15 when things start to change to circular progressive until about 0:33 that we start going back to linear until 0:45 where circular comes in briefly etc.
After spending some time to identify these structural qualities in the music then you can start matching steps to it. At that point, the first thing one would think of doing, of course, is walking on the linear, ochos on circular progressive and giros on the circular. Great choice for a start..!
What happens in between..?
What happens in between though? This is one of my favourite themes, the transition..! The in between, when we are shifting the weight or pausing?
Those moments, need to match the music of course, but not only in terms of timing but also as a preparation for what is coming afterwards and also in terms of texture.
The cross step is a beautiful example because it is a shift of weight which includes a small twist to it. That makes it a beautiful opportunity to either transition from linear to circular or to create a linear step but with a little taste of circular from the cross and on top of those two options add a change of sensation.
Another example could be any pause during a dance. How you hold the embrace, the space between you and your partner has a quality, a texture, a taste. That of course depends on the music and your partner as well but primarily depends on you..!
Texture is subjective
I don’t like using the word musicality because there are so many things involved when using this word, so I have been carefully avoiding it. I have also been carefully avoiding to speak about the beat, the rhythm, the tone etc. and generally the technical aspects of music.
Though these are requirements, they are fundamentals, this post is not about that. And so I will similarly avoid talking about the cliche phrase “We all hear differently”… Well yes and no but let’s instead talk about how we all respond differently to what we hear. I would think we can all agree to that.
Going back to our song Comme il faut and after identifying those movement structures we can start exploring past that and try to find qualities of movement.
How would we go about to that?
This is what I usually do, but I am sure someone else might follow a different process. While listening to the song:
- I write down words that come to mind that would characterize what I am hearing. Some examples, dynamic, playful, delicate, passionate, flowery, colourful, embellished
- Then I write down sensations, for example it smells like Spring, has like a little breeze to it and tastes like a sweet spice
- Lastly I dance to the words above. Aside from linear, circular progressive or circular how does the movement feel
It is highly likely you will come up with a different list of words. That depends on your personality, your previous experiences, your expectations, goals etc.
So this is a second layer that allows you to filter the music through your body, mind and soul and express yourself not through different movements but different textures.
Is there an easy way to practice this?
Practice I am not sure if it is ever easy but if you are struggling with finding the beat or the rhythm, it is likely that the dancing part of the above bullet point list might be a bit difficult and frustrating.
So I would like to suggest we take a step back and become creative in a slightly different way… Here you go, give it a try..!
(Spoiler, it is kids friendly and you can try this with multiple different colours too)
For more practices check this link: Musicality games