Sunday, September 25, 2011

A knockout simple tango, and why you should care

Last week I sent my ezine readers this video from France of Amanda and Adrian Costa's beautiful, simple tango. I was surprised to receive quite a few thoughtful comments about it from my readers!  Here it is:

Note:  At 1 min 14 seconds - 1:14 - someone finally turns up the lights, but before that Amanda's white skirt helps us see their dancing. They are improvising here to the Orchestra Tango Tinto. (Anyone recognize the name of the piece?).

I want to tell you what I love most about this tango, and how close to something like this you may already be!  I'll explain why. 

First, my main points about this piece:

1) Adrian and Amanda are simply and beautifully walking what I call "the Rose Vine", the walks simple, but varied, like the interesting segments of vine (with multiple stems of different shapes and thicknesses, with some leaves, maybe with some thorns) between roses or clusters of roses on a trellis.  The "roses" or "rose clusters" are all stationary figures in which one partner walks around the other, with the central person doing something interesting.

2) Like with Sebastian and Maria Ines' example in my post just below, the beauty of Adrian and Amanda's tango comes not from the execution of acrobatic tricks and complex figures, but rather from their mastery of the basics, and from their precise and deep-feeling attention to the music and its nuances.

Now, back to you.  My third point is:

3) YOU CAN DO THIS.  Here's why:

- All of my intermediate men students (6 mos. to 2 years experience) know AT LEAST 80% of what Adrian is doing.  The elements they don't know are almost all turns, especially "enrosques", the turns in which he displays his greatest skills - and my guys will start learning enrosques within the year.

- All of my intermediate women students (6 mos. to 2 years experience) know, and do quite well, 100% of what Amanda is doing!  What they don't know are her exquisite adornos (embellishments), which are uniquely hers and which she does with great attention to the music. Ladies, as long as you have a mastery of your axis, which all of my students do after just a few months (except when you get nervous), you can start learning to do similar embellishments.  The challenge is doing them, not mechanically, but with meaning, both in interpreting the music and in communicating intimately with your partner!

* * * * *
An assignment for you to enrich your own tango:
I'd like you to take a few minutes to watch this video againand break down the vine and the roses, noting which components you recognize, and which you don't.  We could create a whole program about reconstructing a tango like this, and prove to you, if you're anything like my students of all ages, that you do have the knowledge and the skills.  With only a mastery of the basics of Salon Tango, you'd just have to expand your vocabulary about 20% and keep honing those basic skills. . .  and your knowledge of musicality. (See me for that! My "6 Building Blocks of Tango MusicalityTM" will ensure you can interpret a tango much like Adrian and Amanda do this one!)

* * * * *
Bonus!  Here's another beauty with Adrian and Amanda for your enjoyment:

They're dancing at Sunderland in Buenos Aires, to Osvaldo Pugliese's "Pasional". 

Your comments are always welcome!  Please tell us your thoughts below.

Note:  If you would like to work on any of the skills or qualities you see in this article or in one of the videos, talk to me and we can work on it together in a Private Boot Camp or VIP day!


  1. Seth Halpern, Santa FeOctober 3, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Thanks for posting all those gorgeous videos. As an aspiring lead, I love the way the guys use the floor and stay so sensually grounded. I have a bad knee so playing exotic games of twister is risky for me, and it's a great comfort to know I don't have to swing from a chandelier to look good and relate musically to my partners.

  2. Glad you find these videos so satisfying, Seth, and it sounds like you understand the essence. All the tangueros I choose to showcase here are SIMPLY POWERFUL . . . and so are you! I hope you're beginning to see how close you are to being this kind of tanguero. It's about slowly mastering simple basics (simple, but not always easy) and connecting with the Man you really are. If you love this stuff, I invite you to try my free e-course for men at
    P.S. Nothing in tango should put your knee at risk, not even fancy enrosques.