An Intro to Technique - The Embrace

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  • One thing that is truly cool about tango is that it is really transferable.
  • As you get better at hugging and connecting, you'll get better at the embrace. But, at least equally cool, the reverse is also true.
Artist Name:
Romulo Larrea
Song Title:
Le Petit Point Defendu
Album Title:
Le Tango De Chez Nous
Artist Website:
http://www.ensembleromulolarrea.com/

(From the website): Formed in 1990 by bandoneon player Romulo Larrea, the septet brings together seasoned and young musicians, residents of Quebec. The Ensemble tirelessly explores the pulsating Tango world and has distinguished itself as an outstanding ambassador of the genre in international cultural circles.

00:07
In this chapter we’re going to be teaching
a lot of nitpicky details about the embrace.
00:11
And the reason we’re teaching them is
because they work.
00:13
D: So the nitpicks work.
N: They really do.
00:18
So for the leaders, when you wrap around,
it depends on the distance.
00:21
But in slightly open embrace, the style I usually teach...
00:24
..and we’ll have other chapters
about other embraces.
00:26
You’ll create contact with your forearm
and with the back of your hand...
00:30
..and with your left hand.
00:32
So you’ll see on this side,
I create pressure with my forearm here...
00:38
..with my back of my hand here,
and then with this arm here, forward...
00:43
..And so you can say you’re sort of triangulating
and then compressing in to your follower.
00:49
Notice my elbows are naturally down,
so I don’t do like this or like this.
00:53
Just naturally down.
00:56
For the followers...
00:58
..on this side, you think,
"Don't let your back move."
01:02
When he creates this pressure,
it’s not to move you.
01:04
We don't do this.
01:05
We give him our backs and then
we have three places of pressure too.
01:11
The elbow, the forearm and the hand.
01:14
And then on the other side,
you have your other hand which meets.
01:17
And so as he compresses,
once again don’t move, stay there.
01:20
And this is going to sound so easy when I say it
and it took me four years to learn;
01:24
..when he pushes you push,
when he pulls you pull.
01:27
So you stay in the same spot.
01:29
But I want to remind you that
this is really about being human.
01:33
So our embrace is to facilitate this
wonderful communication...
01:37
..this wonderful dialogue through touch.
01:40
And so as we do this,
you can imagine it’s like a hug.
01:43
We’re here -
01:44
I like this part.
01:47
And then we’re here
and then we’re here.
01:51
And it still stays feeling
the same way to me.
01:55
So it’s a hug that evolves.
01:57
And so you have these mechanical aspects
which we talked about before.
02:01
But I also want you to think that
you don’t want to be incredibly stiff.
02:03
You don’t want to be -.
02:06
Urr
02:08
You want to be - ahhh
and then you create pressure.
02:12
So the pressure is through the touch.
02:14
We go, ahhh,
but I mean through the back.
02:17
So it's the back that works, but the arms
stay relaxed as if it were a hug.
02:23
So that’s the first part of this
that you can have that technique;
02:26
..where to put the arms,
where to create the pressure.
02:28
Part two is that there are profound truths
about the embrace.
02:32
And one of them is that...
02:35
..there are fundamentals, that when I pull on her arm...
02:38
..the purpose is not to get her arm to move,
but so that I can feel her center.
02:42
And because this truth is general,
it doesn’t matter how you hold.
02:47
So for example, we could do this;
02:50
..we can have her hold here,
which is a very odd way of dancing.
02:52
And I could hold her pinky
which is a very odd way of dancing.
03:00
But we’re choosing not to let our arms move,
but instead to make it about the movement of the body.
03:06
So I’m not encouraging you to dance that way.
03:10
Connect his core to my core,
so he can move both of us.
03:14
And that’s why we can stay so together,
which is cool.
03:16
And it doesn’t really matter how you hold...
03:17
..as long as you keep that fundamental in place.
03:19
So I want you to try this at home or
with a friend.
03:23
Not that one.
03:23
But just put an arm and have someone pull it
and don’t move...
03:26
..and I want you to feel that in your core.
03:28
And likewise you pull my arm any way,
don’t move it.
03:31
You can do this with any limb.
03:33
And that’s when you know you’re connecting
your arm to your body...
03:37
..when you choose not to let it move.
03:39
And then your bodies move exactly as one.