Monday, February 1, 2010

Dance Inspiration

Play the word association game with "tango" and the response will almost always be "dance." When Piazzolla entered the musical world, he wrote music to which tango was danced. But as his compositional skills increased through his studies with Alberto Ginastera, his arrangements of tango music progressed to the point where they confused dancers. The Azzi/Collier book, Le Grand Tango, reports of an occasion where dancer hearing his arrangement of the vintage tango Inspiración, " .. froze. Some moved closer to the band to listen. Others simply left." When he began composing in the nuevo tango style, dancers rejected the music as undanceable. Piazzolla had separated "tango" from "dance."

How times have changed. Today, Piazzolla's music inspires many to dance and we have three interesting improvisational dance videos featured today. All the dancers are remarkably uninhibited. All make me smile. With no better organizing principle available, they are arranged by age of dancer.

First we have young Luis Henrique, the most energetic of the dancers, dancing to a Piazzolla arrangement of the vintage tango, Malena. Second, two very expressive Japanese dancers, whose names Google translates as Ugazin and Kako, dancing to Libertango played by the group Ensemble Green. And finally, an unnamed dancer dancing, again to Libertango, in a most unlikely location: the grounds of the private residence of the assassinated Rwandan President Habyarimana. In 2008, that residence which is located in Kanombe, a suburb of the capital, Kigali, was converted into a museum in commemoration of the Rwandese genocide, the Rwandese culture and the Second Republic. There must be a story behind this dance and I hope some reader of this blog will eventually share it with us.

If the videos do not appear below, click here for Luis Henrique, here for Ugazin and Kako, and here for the dance from Rwanda.

To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.


  1. Hi, it's Charlie K. the author of 2nd. video clip from Tokyo. Thank you for appreciating our work.

    If you like to try other my movie skeches of Tokyo Tango scene here're 2;

    t41 "tea for one" kinda Haiku

  2. Hi Don.
    I am the one who recorded Luis Henrique's video... He's my little cousin =)

    I'll try not to write so much...
    This young man - recently turned 6 years old - is one of the greatest dancers I know. Since he was 2, our favorite "game" was to turn the radio on and dance. At first he would copy me, but I always knew: he's the kind of person who loves music. He dances the music before doing the steps, I think this is priceless.

    I've already taught him the basic steps of tango, we always 'play' with it... He always asks "Monique, put tango to play and let's dance!" Can't wait until he grows! Being a little taller than my waist would make our dancing easier, hahaha. But I'm patient.

    This video was recorded in one of those days we meet and relax.
    It's always like this: I turn the music on and he steals the show.

    And as I had the camera, he said, "Record me, I'll dance for you". I did what my little dancer asked and this is what he presented without previous rehearsal. His grandma was watching the scene and was amazed! Just as moi.

    What I most love about his dancing is to see how much fun he has and how he enjoys it.

    Well, that's the story behind my video =)
    Thanks for sharing it.