3 elements to walking as one - practica session notes

Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 15:11
This the first posting of my session notes for the guided practica I've started giving at Povey's dance studio in Southampton. (Essentially for the first hour I work around a theme and share related ideas, principles, examples and exercises to help people develop their tango.) They're fairly rough, as notes go, but I hope someone might get some use out of them. Eventually they may all get distilled into a new book on tango next year. This first session I over planned slightly and only ended up getting 2/3s of the way through.

'3 elements to walking as one.' given on 20th Sept:


Objective: share some ideas that may help you to connect more deeply and consistently in your tango, which will improve confidence and creative potential. The elements are: smoothness, opposition and density.

participation - question: what can you do with these principles that you couldn't without them?

sub-themes: patience, respect

1. smoothness
forget about the step. frame.
contrast with stepping as an autonomous action
"what do you need to do to make it smooth?"
tips: rolling weight from foot to foot. gripping the floor. quick movement of trailing leg. (straight back leg for style and avoiding leg clashes)

2. opposition (or resistence) in every direction
exercise: two forward steps followed by two back steps. play with level of oposition
ideas: mirroring, frame, innertia. (respond to push with push, pull with pull, like moving through water, it resists in all directions of movement)
application: secarda chain - try with and without opposition. (with, typically feels much nicer for everyone, no rush, more controlled and flowing)
question: how does it feel for leaders? how does it feel for followers?

3. density - level of opposition
dynamics.
intentional change in opposition or resistence. adds expressive dimension.
question: how can you lead it? followers, how do you understand when it's being led, what do you feel?
compression to increase density: leader adds compression to frame. follower holds their frame and translates the tension into legs to create more resistence. keep shoulders back and down. channel resistence into floor, not shoulders.
relaxation to decrease density.
game: stop the leader

any questions?

what observations or discoveries have you made playing with these ideas?

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