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Friday, August 30, 2013

Back in Nelson 1 September

Hello everyone,

We are back from a wonderful holiday full of surprises and fun.  We saw whales breaching and dolphins playing, Hula girls a-hulaing and 8 sting ukuleles going off in between the cocktails on the beach with the sun setting ...... blah blah!

Classes are due to recommence this Sunday at 4pm at St John's Hall in Hardy St.  I'm really looking forward to seeing you all again and to having a dance.  I'm also keen to hear what you've been up to in the past couple of weeks so please join me for a catchup drink at 5.30 after class for those who are keen.

Hope to see you all then and don't forget we have some great tango coming up including our annual favourite and relaxed Golden Bay Weekend on 21-22 Sept.  Phone Reto and Vera directly to enrol for workshops and to book accommodation (03)525 8663 (see previous post for all the workshop topics)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Golden Bay Workshop Details

Movie and Milonga Night + Rilind Tairi

Looking forward  to seeing you all tomorrow night (Friday 16 August) for our monthly Movie and Milonga night.  This time I have the pleasure of introducing you to Rilind Tairi who will be staying in Nelson for 10 days or so to teach my classes, give some privates and just generally see what Nelson has to offer. ( Info on Rilind and the details of the movie are in earlier posts)

Please come along to the milonga and make Rilind feel welcome.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Musical phrasing and Vals

Last night in the vals class we danced to used Edgardo Donato's "Estrellita Mia" and worked on Musical phrasing and here's some ideas that came up which we can incorporate into all our tango dancing.

  • We likened Musical phrasing to talking.  
  • We pause to inhale.  
  • We pause to add a structure to what we are saying otherwise we would just be talking non stop.  
  • We talked about commas and fullstops and maybe even exclamation marks or questions marks at the end of a phrase that incite an answer, or move the conversation forward.
  • We thought about how Musical phrasing helps the follower to understand how the lead proposes the story s/he is dancing.
  • We thought about how if the leaders dances (or talks) non stop then it is difficult for the follower to process the information.
  • We talked about how exhausting it can be for the lead to not pause.
  • A pause gives us the opportunity to relax, regroup, close and collect our feet quietly.
  • A pause occurs at the end of a musical phrase.


In music and music theoryphrase and phrasing are concepts and practices related to grouping consecutive melodic notes, both in their composition and performance. A musical work is typically made up of a melody that consists of numerous consecutive phrases. The notation used is similar to a tie and a slur.
When I read further on this I found this discussion on the Intuitive vs Analytical approach to phrasing.
There are two ways/manners in which phrase/phrasing can be approached: intuitive, or analytical.
There are two schools of thought on phrasing, one more intuitive, the other more analytical. The intuitive school uses a verbal model, equating the function of phrasing with that of punctuation in language. Thus, said Chopin to a student, "he who phrases incorrectly is like a man who does not understand the language he speaks."
—Nancy Toff[15]

For the purpose of our lessons I suggest you use an Intuitive approach by doing a little homework!

  • When you are driving the car or listening to tango music at home see if you can discover the musical phrases.
  • When you have listened a few times to one piece of music walk around the house with your tango attitude and stop when the musical phrase ends and put your hands on your hips like we did in class. (doing something different with your body is a good way to process information)
  • When the song changes from smooth to choppy or vice versa dance differently.  
  • Phrasing that is Smooth or melodic requests circular movements (e.g giros, ochos, medialunas)
  • Phrasing that is Choppy or rhythmic requests double time steps, staccato movements (e.g rebounds, ocho cortado)

Try not to over think this!   Move to the beat of the music (rhythm) or move to the flow of the music (melody).  Keep it simple :-)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Musical October

This very early notice for some great dancing coming up in October - so get those diaries out and plan to be around.

On 19 - 20 October I have invited the wonderfully musical dancer and teacher Phil Ragg from Christchurch to come to Nelson and present some of his ideas on Musicality.  Here is the flyer... have a read and plan to be here. It is going to be a very nice, relaxed and educational couple of days.

Introducing Rilind Tairi

I would like to introduce you to Rilind Tairi.

While I am away on holiday Rilind, who is travelling over from Buenos Aires next week, will be teaching the usual Sunday and Monday night classes on the following dates, locations and times:

Sunday 18th - St John's Hall , 4pm - 5.30pm
Monday 19th - The Tango Room at 7 Dundas St, 6.30pm - 8pm
Sunday  25th - St John's Hall, 4pm - 5.30pm
Monday 26th - The Tango Room at 7 Dundas St, 6.30pm - 8pm

All classes will be $15 as usual and Rilind is also available for private lessons at $70 an hour. Please contact him directly on 021 236 3980 if you are interested in scheduling in some private lessons.

Rilind will be arriving in Nelson on Friday 16 August and he is coming to the Movie and Milonga night to meet you all and have a dance.
This will be a great opportunity to get to know him before classes begin!

Here is the flyer of all the info and a little introduction he wrote.  Please come along and support him and hear what he has to offer.  Here's a video of him dancing.

Golden Bay Tango Weekend 21-22 Sept 2013


Monday, August 5, 2013

Surrender Tango - 16 August Documentary

The next Movie and Milonga night is just around the corner.
16 August
Masonic Hall, 107 Nile St
$15 dancers/ $10 non-dancers

Surrender Tango delves into the mystery of the tango connection -- why sometimes you lose yourself in your partner's arms and other times three minutes seems like three hours. 

This thirty-minute film goes beyond tango as a dance to tango as a metaphor for relationships. The rules and roles of tango partnering reveal how giving space actually creates more intimacy. The film breaks down various aspects of the dance to see how a good embrace is about sharing; the lead is about clarity and commitment; the follow is about sensitivity and surrender. It investigates how surrender requires that the dancers be centered and independent of each other before they can truly give themselves to each other. Sensuality is the frisson that adds tension and excitement to the dance and music is the glue that holds the couple together. Shot entirely in New York City, social dancers talk in Central Park and South Street Seaport about how tango has affected their lives; dance teachers and performers convey the intricacies of the connection through interviews and demonstrations. 

The film includes music by Hector Del Curto's Eternal Trio and culminates in a performance of Escualo by Mariela Franganillo and Jorge Torres.

Please arrive on time as the beginning of the documentary is sublime!

This is the perfect documentary with which to introduce your non-dancing friends and family to the dance you so love. 

See you on the 16th August with your popcorn.  Doors open at 6.45. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Classes and Room Hire

Please join us this Sunday for another Vals class.  We will continue building on our Vals steps from the past few weeks and add another counter turn to help us continue the vals flow.

4pm Sunday at St John's Hall is the place to be this Sunday!

This class is now on at the The Tango Room in Dundas St.  The class starts at 6.30 and is $15 a class.  It is great having the mirrors to practice with and we have been focussing on Planeos and improvisation within the dance.  If you think you are at this level and want to join us please come along.

The Improvers Class (held at Fairfield House at 7pm) has 2 more weeks to go.  We have been working on musicality and floor craft and having a lot of fun in the class.   The Improvers class will continue once I am back from Holidays.

There will be the Movie and Milonga on Friday 16 August - this will be the final tango event until 1 September.

There will be no tango classes from Sunday 18 August for two weeks. 
Classes will resume on Sunday 1 September.

The Tango Room is now available for hire so you can practice between classes.  It is a great space with natural light, mirrors to check out your technique and a heater to keep you warm in the winter months.
It is available for $15 an hour (winter rate), $12 an hour (summer rate). Just text me on 027 238 0568 with the times you are interested in coming and if I am not using the space myself the room is yours!  It is also available while I am away - I will tell you where the key is and there will be an honesty box for room hire.  There will also be a schedule you can fill out to book the room while I am away.

Hope to see you on Sunday.

The Tango Room