Thursday, February 18, 2016

9 ideas from Adrian's tango - pick 1!

I haven't posted a "pure" "Rose Vine Tango" video in a while, and I just came across this classic "Rose Vine" performance by Adrian and Amanda Costa, to Di Sarli's "El Ingeniero". The occasion was last month's New Year's festival in Taipei. (I hope you'll read my short article defining "Rose Vine Tango".)

Javier Rodriguez, whose video with Moira Castellano I posted on Sunday, also comes from the "Rose Vine" tradition - my name for Villa Urquiza style tango. Villa Urquiza is the neighborhood in Buenos Aires that gave rise to Salon Style Tango. It's far enough from the city center that its milongas were not as crowded and the dance floors allowed more movement, and in particular, more walking.

One thing that Javier Rodriguez and Adrian Costa have in common is that they both had training with maestro Jorge Dispari (Geraldine Rojas' stepfather), also from Villa Urquiza. Javier became more of a showman and stage performer. Personally, I love Javier's artistry that he combines with his rootedness in the milonga tradition.

But today I'm here to talk to you about Adrian.  I like to post videos of Adrian and Amanda to inspire you, while showing you a model for what YOU can do. I can't usually ask you to emulate Javier. (Adrian can be a skilled and artistic showman too, especially when he and Amanda dance to Pugliese. But that's not his main thing.)

I'd like to suggest to our tangueros that you watch this video, and, if you like Adrian's dancing, choose one thing that you can adopt from him and actually implement this week.

If you're concerned that if you emulate Adrian, who's known for his elegant simplicity, that women would get bored when you dance with them, watch Amanda's facial expression and her engagement. Or show this video to any tanguera and ask whether she would like to dance with someone like Adrian.

Adrian and Amanda often do long, beautiful walks, mostly frontal to each other and in parallel system. Simple, simple, simple, yet very beautiful. Perhaps that's not an aspect that you can adopt now, because it's rare that you'll find a milonga in which you can do much walking.  But what else can you model after Adrian?

Here are at least nine ideas. Choose one, or come up with your own (and tell us about it below!):

1) Can you simplify your tango by being more selective about where you insert figures? 

2) Can you simplify by being more selective about which figures you'll use?
3) Can you slow down?
4) Will you focus on becoming more grounded in your walk? 

5) Is there anything you'd like to adopt from Adrian's embrace?
6) Is there something you particularly admire about his lead?
7) Can you pick up one thing from this piece about how Adrian interprets the music?  (I'd listen with a headset to help you hear the music accurately as you watch.) Consider where in the music:
   7a) - he pauses,
   7b) - he syncopates his walk,
   7c) - he walks, versus where he inserts a figure.
8) Will you decide to master just one enrosque that Adrian uses, to bring more sophistication to some of your giros?
9) Will you choose one of his walking variations to make your walking repertoire more interesting . . . even though your walks in a not-too-crowded milonga must still be short?

In another post I'll come back to this video and talk to our tangueras about some lessons we can learn from Amanda. (But before that I'll post the article I promised about the unusual music in Alicia and Luis' video from two weeks ago.)

Please share in the comments section below what you think of Adrian and Amanda's performance in this video. I think many of us would also love to hear what you've chosen to study from Adrian that you can implement this week!


  1. Lovely. I've always liked this couple for their simplicity (only apparent) and elegance. Very restrained but full of feeling. I think 1, 2, 3, and 4 can be implemented almost immediately by anyone if they've the will to do it. And they alone can often transform how you dance. And, of course, the music here lends itself to this kind of stately simplicity. You can see some of Dispari in Adrian's walk and in his enrosques. His lead (much like Dispari) is so very smooth and fluid. I think that's part of its beauty. Not always that easy to put into practice but very much worth working for.

    1. I read your comment yesterday, and it gave me goosebumps, Robert! It moved me. What do you mean by "They alone can often transform how you dance"?

  2. An aside. In that other Taipei video, I noticed they've adopted a kind of "full-on" milonguero abrazo. Nice to see that their style works nicely in both forms.

    1. There were 6 Taipei New Years videos, 3 performance pieces on each of two days. I watched all of them and figured that you were talking about this one, with the "full on" milonguero embrace. #1 on Day 2 Yes, a milonguero embrace, but nothing else about their dancing is, to me, milonguero style. :)