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AMERICAN CREATIVE DANCE AND TANGO

Tango dance and music enjoy a wide popularity throughout the world.  Many movies and television programs that are not dance related show characters dancing tango, Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman is among the most famous, but Arnold Schwarzenegger dances tango in True Lies , and Dr. Green in the television series ER danced a tango in one episode.  There are tango scenes in the film Chicago , called The Cell Block Tango, and in Frida .

Tango is a unique art form that grew collectively from the culture of the tango salons of Buenos Aires.  It is not folk dance and folk music.  Neither is it court dance and music.  It is not like anything else.

In recent years, it has become more commercialized and influenced by Broadway show dancing and ballet.  This has led perhaps to its increasing popularity, but it has also led to some changes in the nature of the medium.

American Creative Dance was drawn to tango for several reasons and now presents performances of tango dance and music of a very specific sort.  Like all of our work, it is radical, in the most basic meaning of that word, rooted in the tradition.

We find affinities with tango because of 1) the nature of the movement itself, 2) the fact that the dancers in the tradition of the salon create together as they dance, and 3) the fact that tango in the salons of Buenos Aires was traditionally performed to live music.

The dance of our tango work is free from the ballet and other dance conventions that are typical of most stage tango today.  It is more like the great tango exhibitions of the salons in Buenos Aires, but we use it to create a complete, unified performance.  As far as we know, this is unique in the world.

We strive to perform the purest tango dance, which means what we do looks a little revolutionary given what is performed today but is actually true to the tradition.  We combine the dance with the most innovative but also radical tango music.

Though this is honored rather more in the breach than not in tango performance these days, salon tango, like Van Ness Dance, is a dance of the abdomen and lower spine.    The man leads his partner with the movement of his spine and torso, not with his arms, hands or feet.  Though there are steps in tango dancing, the feet are not really leading, but rather the body moves from the abdomen, which move the hip joint, and the legs and feet are placed from there.  The woman dancer must be flexible and allow her body to be moved from the same area.  Both dancers must also be able to make a sort of "peanut butter jar" movement, where the torso is moved in one direction and the legs in the other, like twisting open a jar.  This permits the dancers to be literally connected at the heart and still move the legs and feet.  It is the genius of tango dance.

 

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70 Fourth Place, #4-D, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11231
(718) 875-7369    americancreativedance.org

 

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