Thursday, March 31, 2016

2.75 giros in 8 steps - how do they do it?

There are two reasons I posted the last video with Carlitos Espinoza and Noelia Hurtado:
1) to find out whether you prefer their previous way of dancing or this “newer” one,  

2) and today’s topic:  to study a 9-second segment, and see what’s special about it.  

Look at the segment at 1:38-1:47 in the professionally shot video of this performance we already looked at in my last blog post.  Here we see a nicely executed multiple giro of 2.5 or 2.75 turns, depending on where you see the giros beginning and ending. (One could say the sequence begins with
the pivot at 1:38 or the step at 1:39, and concludes with the step at 1:44 or the end of the pivot at 1:47).


("Rondando Tu Esquina" by the orchestra of Osvaldo Pugliese, with Roberto Chanel singing.)

Now look at this amateur video, shot from a different angle by a festival attendee.  Here we can observe some specific things about the same segment, at 1:19-1:28.

(Same performance as above, different view.)

In this version, on my first viewing I find found the giro segment rather extraordinary. I thought "What beautiful giros! Let's see that again!"

I watched the sequence many times. The first giro initially disturbed me because it started when Noelia was far from Carlitos (1:19). In their first 3 steps their feet are far apart. Carlitos takes giant steps to enter with his first two sacadas. (A giro with the man's walking sacadas is an old, traditional form.) 

Note that Noelia’s first 3 steps make only half a giro, yet with a total of 8 steps she completes 2.75 turns. 

What changes in the second part of the giro sequence to let her make 2 full giros in just 5 steps?  
Can you tell the difference between the first 3 steps of the giro and the next 5?

When I figured out what was going on, I was no longer disturbed by how they launched the first giro.  I now see that they’re using two different giro techniques.  Let me know what you observe, and we can discuss it below!

I think the effect in the second part is beautiful, and I’m sure the physical sensation of changing from the first technique to the second is rather thrilling for the woman. I'm definitely going to work on this next time I practice with a good partner.

So tell me:  can you recognize any difference in technique or execution of the first giro and the second? Please comment below!

24 comments:

  1. It seems to me she starts the giros with a molinette for the first 3 steps, then Carlos is pivoting her when she takes her side and other steps to come completely around so she doesn't have to step so much.

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    1. Thanks for your observations, Tom, and for being the first to post! I'm not going to respond yet. Let's see if we get few more thoughts, and then I'll get back to everyone.

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  2. Sorry, I had a quick question - is Carlos doing in the last 5 steps what is called the Milonguero turn?

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    1. Ask away, Tom . . . any time! However, I don't know what a "Milonguero turn" is. Anyone?

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  3. Did he do a whatchamacallit in the second (third) giro? You know, a sweep, where the man sweeps the woman's free foot to a new position. It almost looked like that in the second video. I could be mistaken since the second video is dark and not of the highest quality. Or is it simply the motion of his foot? In the first one, it almost looks like she's going around him in two steps. He took a huge step for that first sacada though. That's confidence for you.

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    1. A barrida or arrastrada, Robert? Hmmm. . . I don't see one there. I just see sacadas. (Did you enlarge the dark video to full screen?) Funny, in the first one, I wrote that it takes her three steps to get only halfway around, but I see her going 180 degrees around him in single steps later. We'll talk more as more people post. :)

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  4. Hi! I saw that in the first one (first 3 steps) they are moving to the same direction, but in the second one (with sacadas) the move in different directions so they are pivoting 180 degrees to complete the gyro.

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    1. Hi Anonymous! Are you also the author of the next comment? Your comments are very similar. :)

      I'd like to understand: What do you mean by "moving in the same direction" or "different directions"? It's always a giro to Carlitos' left.

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  5. Hi Helaine! My thoughts about the gyros are:
    1) In the first gyro, they start the gyro moving in the same direction
    2) While after the first gyro the next ones they are moving in different directions so their pivots are soooo long as 180 degrees.

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    1. Hi Nalekith.
      I can't tell whether you're also Mr. "Anonymous" in the previous post, because your responses are similar! As I asked in the post above, "What do you mean by 'the same direction' or 'different directions'", since they're both moving around Carlitos' left side?

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    2. I posted twice by my fault. What i meant is that at the first gyro Carlito's side step leads him to same direction as Noelia's back. Instead of second gyro he leads Noelia to left gyro but he goes forward, so the have opposite directions.
      Hope this time to be clear.. :)

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    3. Sorry, Nalekith! I forgot to respond last month. Thank you for clarifying!

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  6. I feel as if you’ve given us the first part of the answer when you mention – “In their first 3 steps their feet are far apart. Carlitos takes giant steps to enter with his first two sacadas. (A giro with the man's walking sacadas is an old, traditional form.) “ So the first three step are a much larger diameter turn or giro. After these first two sacadas they bring themselves closer together & Noelia picks up with front, side, back, side, steps to go around Carlito. Effectively they take themselves from a large diameter giro to a much smaller diameter giro., The last half to three quarters of turn is a beautiful almost independent pivot for both Noelia , & Carlito, though the pivot is coming off the last step. I’m not at ease using the word “pivot” but I’ll stick with using it for the moment. Greg B

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    1. Sorry for getting back to you so late, Greg. Very good observations! Why do you not feel at ease using the word "pivot"?

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    2. Carlito & Noelia have such great energy the word pivot, at the time struck me as an over simplification. Though as you've shown us with other couples such as Adrian & Amanda Costa, simple can & does remain as beautiful as anything else. Actually - thank you for showing us these two couples - they've become some of my favorite, & also give a considerable amount of inspiration. Peace & Hope you're doing great!

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    3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and appreciation Greg. I hope you'll continue to share your opinions, ideas and questions, too!

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  7. Hello Helaine, do you know what brand of mate Javier Rodriguez drinks?

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  8. They were using two different molinetet dynamics here. In the first 3 step the man stay in the centre of a circle while the woman molinetes around him; this means 4 or more steps would be needed just to do one revolution. In the next 5 steps the man travels; this is a side-effect of the sacada and back crosses. Effectively he moves the centre of revolution such that every 2 steps of the woman completes one full revolution, hence resulting in 2-1/2 turns.

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  9. This reply came as a private email to me on April 19. Hugo, the author, gave me permission to post it here, and it just slipped out of my sight! So sorry, Hugo.

    Dear Helaine,

    I agree with all your comments.
    But, I am going to give you the way I see it (or the way I describe it).

    I think there are two way of doing this.

    1.- ONE AXIS: Going around and very close to a single central axis, shared for both partners.

    2.- TWO AXIS: Each of the partners moves to the place the other one leaves, and there each one turns around pivoting over his/her own axis.

    In fact, Carlos & Noelia are mixing both ways in this "molinete".

    Waiting for your reactions to my "contribution", I look forward to your reply.


    Hugo J. Pérez / Caracas, Venezuela

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    1. I had responded by email:
      Hi Hugo!
      Thank you for your insights on this giro.

      I agree that, as you said, they are mixing dancing giros with their axes very close, and taking each other's places, especially with Carlitos' sacadas. I don't really see an example of what I call "a shared axis". Can you tell me a moment in the video where that occurs, by your definition? Then I'll better understand what you mean. :)

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    2. And Hugo replied:

      I see a kind of a shared axis from Nohelias´ steps 4 to 7.

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    3. I don't understand which steps you mean by 4 - 7. :)

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