"House That Milonga Built" in Nevada City: March 2013
"The House That Milonga Built"
Foundations + Innovations for Tango's
Most Accessible Dance
Debbie Edwards & Stephen
Tango Workshops + Supervised Prácticas
226 Broad Street, Nevada City
Saturday March 9,
Session 1 - Foundations:
Rhythm, Structure, Improvisation - 12:30 - 2:00 pm *
Session 2 - Innovations:
Syncopation, Rotation, Traspié - 2:00 - 3:30
* Each Session: 60-Minute Workshop - followed
by - 30-Minute Supervised Práctica
Single Session $15 / dancer ... Both
Sessions $25 / dancer
Click here for TangoMango
listing + link to Google Map
The topics + examples in both Foundations
- Be tuned to the needs + interests of the improvised,
social dance floor.
- Explore concepts + ideas that work well in both closer
+ more open embraces.
- Readily adapt and apply to tango + vals
situations ... just as easily as to milonga.
- Tap into + reinforce familiar "Core Principles"
of Tango by helping dancers recognize and apply these
in fresh + novel ways.
Background on "The House That Milonga Built"
Milonga in the Old Days Known for its Fun & Accessibility
During the "Golden Age" of the 1930s and '40s, milonga,
as both music and dance, played a distinctive role in tango
culture and helped create the overall shape of an evening of
For example: Despite its faster tempo,
milonga typically offered dancers in this era
a welcome chance to "relax" from the more challenging
and intricate demands of tango:
|Milonga provided a predictable,
even beat that invited a simpler dance vocabulary, a straightforward
connection between partners, and plenty of energy and motion
qualities which magnified its lighter, "happier"
As tango began to re-emerge in Argentina in the mid-1980s,
older tangueros brought their "Golden Age"
experience back onto the dance floors of Buenos Aires, reviving
milonga as a playful and easy-going interlude
within the greater evening of dancing something that
even newer dancers and beginners could find enjoyable and readily
In Session 1 - Foundations: Rhythm,
Structure, Improvisation, we will take a closer
look at this traditional single-time approach to milonga
reconnecting with wisdom and insights of our tango
"grandparents," and tapping into how they used this
distinctive music and the movements it inspires to introduce
a generation of newcomers to the sensibility, techniques,
skills and pleasures of dancing tango.
The topics in Session 1 - Foundations
- Be fully accessible to beginners and newer dancers ...
- While laying essential groundwork + honing key skills for
the more challenging options we will explore later in Session
2 - Innovations.
Milonga in our Own Time a Reputation as Fast & Challenging
As the 1990s dawned, tango was once again on the move
with innovative and progressive dancers creating new shapes
+ relationships, and pushing the boundaries of the form.
Among these were milonga specialists like Pepito
O'Connell and Omar
Vega who, along with other dancers, increasingly began to
experiment with traspié literally,
"stumble foot" injecting rapid double-time
steps and syncopations into milonga's more traditional
single-time interpretation, and exponentially increasing both
the potential and complexity of the dance.
|Inspired by this creativity, other open-minded
dancers picked up on the new possibilities, and milonga
traspié grew more widespread, gradually becoming
a dominant form, and something we can see unfolding on dance
floors all over the world.
As a result, while offering unique challenges, opportunities
and rewards to more experienced dancers, today's milonga
can often seem dizzingly fast and daunting to newer dancers.
In Session 2 - Innovations: Syncopation,
Rotation, Traspié, we will build up
an array of these new possibilities from the single-time Foundations
that we explore and develop in Session 1 adding
fresh layers of interest to this otherwise "simple"
dance by playing with angle changes, spirals, torsion and
timing to help us catch the surge and flow of milonga
music, and to revel that much more in our own spontaneous
creativity on the dance floor.
The topics in Session 2 - Innovations
- Develop and extend the material + ideas presented earlier
in Session 1- Foundations
- Therefore, experienced dancers with an interest in exploring
rotation, syncopation + traspié in milonga
are encouraged to attend both Sessions if they can.
More on Milonga: The Music + the Dance
The syncopated, up-tempo 2/4 beat of milonga
is the rhythmic foundation of all tango music, and it dominated
the sound during the 19th Century when the many overlapping
threads of modern tango were first coming together.
Through the related forms of candombe and habernera,
historians now trace the driving beat of milonga
directly to West Africa in the areas of present-day Congo
and Angola where this distinctive rhythm is said to be
more than 1,000 years old. In these cultures, the syncopated
pulse of milonga still means what it always has,
quite literally: "Get up, and dance!"
In our own culture, the challenge for dancers is to match the
vocabulary and movements of tango to the pace and energy of
this music to create the style of dancing we call milonga:
Of course, in addition to a particular kind of music and the
dancing that it inspires, the word "milonga"
also refers to a gathering of dancers who come together to enjoy
tango. So it's entirely possible to "Dance a milonga to
a milonga at a milonga" quite a wonderful thing.
For links to additional samples + background, please visit our
on Tango Music ...
For Information about Learning + Dancing Tango in Nevada City:
More About ...
More on the sensibility and practice
of Argentine Tango, insights into its improvisation and creativity,
and links to online resources for additional background and perspective
Debbie Edwards + Stephen Bauer
More on Debbie + Stephen
as dancers + teachers ...
Past Workshops + Events in Nevada City
Rundowns on some of Debbie + Stephen's previous Tango offerings in
Mid-Winter's Tango Lab Nevada City, December 2012
- Introduction to Milonga Nevada City, September
Patterns - Your Tango Beyond the Numbers Nevada City,
Mid-Winter's Tango Lab Nevada City, December 2011
the World in 180° - Tango's Media Vuelta
Nevada City, November 2011
on a Dime - Compact Rotations in Vals Reno, Nevada,
+ Turnado #759 (A Dynamic Turn to the Right)
Nevada City, July 2011
to Tango in 30 Minutes + Supervised Práctica
Nevada City, March 2011
to Tango in 30 Minutes + Supervised Práctica
Nevada City, December 2010
Exploratorium - Workshops & SYRCL Fundraiser
Nevada City, Sept. 2009
Exploratorium - Workshops Grass Valley/Nevada City,