Posts Tagged ‘London’

Tango Siempre at Royal Festival Hall

January 2, 2011

Tango Siempre performed one set this year at the Royal Festival Hall from 6pm to 7pm on the 28th December 2010.

A lot of dancers turned up for the live music but we all agreed it was too short. Last year, Jenny Surelia was involved and also gave a performance and it was a whole afternoon of very good tango.

They played a good number of very danceable tracks, I personally don’t like dancing to live music as music as recorded golden age tracks but Tango Siempre are one of the groups that play danceable music.

A lot of people turned up for the event, not only dancers but the general public and it was clear that everyone enjoyed it. Lets hope that next year there’ll be another set and whole afternoon of fun again.

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Homer and Christina talk about floorcraft …

April 25, 2010

Whenever I think of Nuevo Tango, I always think of couples dancing large, kicks, lots of cool moves but not very social and very bad floorcraft.

I’ve always considered Homer and Christina nuevo teachers and only ever seen them on youtube.

They were in London recently teaching musicality and like most teachers, they explain a concept and then get the student to dance a song with that concept in mind.

After dancing just one song in their musicality class, they paused for a bit and mentioned two things about floorcraft:

  1. Always try to reach the corners of the floor and not cut corners (or the corners of your lane)
  2. When entering the dancefloor, try to get eye contact with the couple you’re going to dance in front of, let them acknowledge that you are there and they’ll give you space.

Obviously theres a lot more to floorcraft but it was a lesson on musicality and after just one dance, they had to stop for a bit to make these comments.

I guess I’m wrong about Nuevo teachers not caring about floorcraft. Now I hope some students got the message and try a little harder to maintain good floorcraft.

Why we need good DJs …

February 10, 2010

Was dancing on Saturday night on a very crowded floor. Actually, the number of couples on the floor itself wasn’t that many, it was the fact that there were at least five couples dancing large, some more skilfully than others. It was almost impossible to avoid them and the music was something upbeat, probably D’Arienzo and so they were probably getting more excited than normal.

While dancing, I was really hoping that the next tanda that would come on would be a DiSarli or something a bit calmer so that the dancers won’t be as wild. But instead, a milonga came on which was even more upbeat. But instead of it being a total derby, a lot of people in London don’t dance milonga and the DJ knew this, the floor started clearing up leaving plenty of space for those unscathed from the previous tanda.

A good DJ not only knows good tracks to get everyone dancing, but also when the floor is a bit chaotic and puts on the music that was allow it to settle down a bit. Good to know that there are some decent DJs in London.

Color Tango

July 15, 2009

I enjoyed Color Tango over the two nights they were at Negracha. I’m not a fan of live music, they never seem to get it right for dancing but this group is just a step above the rest. Their music was danceable.

As expected, it was impossible to enjoy dancing on Friday, so I enjoyed Thursday night much more. The music seminar on Thursday was very good, well worth the £10 (seminar only) or £25 if you paid for the whole night. If you missed out, then you can order it from various websites such as dancetimes or tangodance101 but its more expensive (I haven’t found a UK based site yet so if you find it please send it to me).

The seminar goes over music from different eras and highlights certain artists. The DVD is similar format to the one presented on Thursday night, various band members would speak and then there would be an English translation.

Dancing on Friday was impossible not because it was packed but because of a couple of couples exhibiting poor floorcraft and crashing into people and knocking them out of the way. Dancing on a packed floor is not impossible, its just more difficult, but when you have a couple of insane dancers (maybe 3% to 5% of the total number of dancers), that makes it impossible. I remember sections of the dancer where there were no insane dancers and the dancing was brilliant. But eventually as I flowed in the line of dance I encountered those couples and had to dance very defensively as it just got stressful.

Stop bashing the London teachers

March 31, 2009

There seems to be a lot of bashing of teachers in London. If you dance in London, you can see that its not brilliant and you could direct fault at the teachers. But I don’t think people should. I go to several teachers and they are all lovely people, both on and off the floor.

They all have good posture, musicality, leading, floorcraft, knowledge of tangos and milongas and so on. Unfortunately their students may not.

But then whose fault is that?

If someone drives over the speed limit and crashes, who do we blame? Do we blame the instructor? No.

Our teachers, like driving instructors, over a period of time pass on everything they know to their students. The students, being adults take what they’ve learnt and apply what they’ve learnt in the real world without the instructor.

I’ve been asked to return to the line of dance in class when I’ve strayed a little. Whenever a sequence is taught, we’re always told to start and end with the line of dance, listen to the music and look after my woman.

When a kick/gancho is taught, we’re always taught to look out for the space around us.

We’ve all had another couple crashing into us. We’ve all been kicked. (I’ve even been kicked up the bum on a crowded floor!)

I’m sure the perpetrators know exactly that they’ve been doing.

When we drive we know what the road rules are. We may get fined when we break them. How come some don’t on the dance floor? What can we do to get people to remember what their teachers say in class and not just the sequence that was taught? If we come across a crap driving instructor, we find a new one. If you tango teacher is crap, then why are you sticking with him/her/them? There are plenty of good ones in London. The questions then might become how do we know a teacher is crap and why are you still with them?