How to Learn Tango - Videoing and Critiquing

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Random useful note: Youtube has a slow-mo function, which can be very useful both to analyze body mechanics and to break down combinations.

More importantly, if you want to be excellent at anything, it really is important to practice and to get great instruction. Here's an example of what can happen when you practice lots, have awesome instruction and also have great talent. Ellen Bear combines all three

You can have at least 2 of the 3. And that will give you quite a lot.

Artist Name:
Vladimir Horowitz
Song Title:
Scriabin Etude In C Sharp Minor, Op. 2, No. 1
Album Title:
Vladimir Horowitz: Favorite Encores
Artist Website:
http://www.vladimirhorowitz.info/

(Nancy Speaking): David, are we allowed to say he may be our favorite of all musicians?

00:04
There was a period of about,
I don’t know how many months.
00:09
So there was a period of some number of months...
00:10
..where every week, we would go
and we would film me and, film us…
00:15
..and we’d just do stuff.
00:16
We’d walk and we’d look at it on film
and then we’d say,...
00:18
..“Well how could it be better?”
00:20
And then we’ll say,
“Oh, well maybe we should step more through,”...
00:22
..or maybe the path of the legs
should be different.
00:26
And I think this practice of filming yourself
periodically is very helpful.
00:30
But, I also want to tell you when to do it.
00:33
So first of all,
don’t do it for the first six month or a year.
00:37
Because, at the first year, let’s say,
you don’t need any extra help to get better.
00:41
You have lots of feedback coming in.
You have lots of learning.
00:44
And lots of suffering, too, right?
00:45
Because the learning happens maybe too fast.
00:47
But after a while, when it feels like
maybe you’re starting to plateau,…
00:51
..or, let's just say arbitrarily after one year,
then you've sort of had a chance…
00:56
..to get used to tango and the vocabulary
and now you can focus more on getting better.
01:01
You know, doing the same thing but better...
01:03
..instead of doing more things, just so you can survive.
01:07
And, so, when you film yourself,
I want you to think of a number of things.
01:09
The first thing is I want you to be kind to yourself.
01:11
So, the camera is a brutal and cruel beast.
01:14
And it finds all your flaws and, somehow,
it doesn’t find the right things.
01:18
You know, the moments of beauty
even though they’re there.
01:21
And part of that has to do with your eye.
01:23
So, when you watch, not only should you
forgive yourself your mistakes…
01:27
..but, you should also recognise your strengths.
01:30
For example, a person - it’s really interesting actually,…
01:34
..you’ll watch a couple do a performance
and they’ll look amazing.
01:37
And you’ll talk to them afterwards, and they’re like
“Yeah, we really messed up that one step.”
01:41
And it was like, half a second and
she stumbled just a little bit…
01:44
..and that’s what they remember.
01:45
They don’t remember the other three minutes
and forty two seconds of awesomeness.
01:49
And that’s what people are like
when they watch themselves on film.
01:52
So, remember the awesomeness,
as well as that which needs improvement.
01:57
And then when it comes to
look at what needs to be improved,...
02:01
..think broadly.
02:03
I mean you cannot just look at it
from a critical eye.
02:05
But you can also say,
"What else can I do that would change how I dance?"
02:09
“How do I dance tango,
after I dance modern?”
02:11
Or “How do I dance tango,
after I've gotten a massage.
02:14
Or “How do I dance tango after
I've just hugged my partner?”
02:17
Right? So you can also do it
in this contextual way…
02:22
..and I think that is also very useful.
02:24
But the most important: be kind to yourself...
02:27
..but do video tape yourself
after maybe a year or so.
Series:
How to Learn Tango
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