About a year ago I sent my readers a video featuring the young winners of the 2010 World Tango Festival "Tango Salon" competition in Buenos Aires, Sebastian Ariel Jimenez and Maria Ines Bogado. Sebastian was only 18 years old! While competition is not a big part of our tango culture, and many people contest that it even goes on, this annual event is highly respected and I always enjoy watching both the Salon Tango and Stage Tango performances.
I've been watching this couple lately on Youtube and I wanted to share with you how they're developing. They are examples of my favorite style of Tango Salon, called "Villa Urquiza" style. I call it "Rose Vine Tango" for reasons I describe in the article at the bottom of my home page at http://naplestango.com (scroll down one screen).
First, here's last year's video from the moment they were announced as First Place winners. Watch and see if you can identify the segments of "vine", and where the "roses" erupt! At one point they earn surprising applause and it's hard to see why at first; Sebastian is quietly doing some amazing turns! This you'll notice at at 2:24-2:30 (applause follows); it's just before the variación, where the orchestra "speeds up" or plays in "double-time" and he shows off his turns with speed!
They are dancing to "Raza Croilla" by the orchestra of Osvaldo Pugliese.
Next, please enjoy a more recent performance, and see how they have taken their simple and elegant tango to new creative heights, while still doing variations on walking and basic figures. The virtuosity comes, not from a myriad of figures and tricks, but from applying a mastery of simple things, with great sensitivity to nuances in the music, and from having enough absolute fluency in the basics to be able to do them easily with speed. For me, the fascination of improvisations like these come from the extreme contrasts of slow and fast, inspired and guided by the music. (Musicality devotees: Notice too how they walk the syncopations starting at 1:26 and at 2:40.) The explosions of speed happen in the second half, so watch till the end!
The music is "Te aconsejo que me olvides", played by Anibal Troilo's orchestra, with Francisco Fiorentino singing.
Let me know what you think of these! Is it clear to you why I insist it's so important to really master the basics?