Embellishments - As Compared to Styling
A story told to us by our main Argentine Tango teacher, Michael Walker, about something he saw in a milonga in Buenos Aires: There was a lady and, every time she got a dance, she did this elaborate arm thing to come to the embrace that was meant to communicate "oh I'm moved by so much passion" but she did this every single dance with every single partner. And, sometimes, even again, in the middle of dances. So it became silly looking because there was no way she was moved by so much passion in exactly the same way every single time she began a dance with every single leader.
While we're certainly not against drama, people tend to overuse their embellishments, to use them repetitiously and not use them in context.
- Artist Name:
- Song Title:
- Confidencias De Minha Rua
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- Artist Website:
(From google translated website): In acoustic format, a rich dialectic between the universal languages of Fado, Tango. The Portuguese guitar and accordian are dominant notes.
- So, I would like to make a distinction, now, between what I'm going to call styling and embellishments.
- D: So, an embellishment is when you take a step, and then you add all these movements...
N: Little twiddles.
D: And twiddles around the step.
- And styling is more about how you do the step.
- And nine times out of ten... No, eight times out of ten.
- If you want to do an embellishment, probably it would be better to just style the step more.
- So, so that it's easy to see, I'm going to do a basic, and once, I'm going to embellish the heck out of it. Too much.
- And then, I'm going to style the heck out of it, too much. So you can see what I mean by the difference.
- D: I'm going to be the follower.
- D: Right, right. Yeah, Yeah.
N: That was crazy.
D: Styling... Way too much. For embellishment.
N: That was way too much embellishment.
- D: Way too many embellishments.
N: Now, here's way too much styling. It's probably going to look pretty silly, too.
- I hope the other one looked silly. He probably did them really well, and that's a problem.
- Now, once again, that's, sort of, exaggerating. "All this body motion".
- But, ladies, really, as you do this...
- Let's say I want to make something fancy. And the movement is this.
- Well, you can do, like, "Bang! Ah". Or, you can do, "Ahh". Where you have all this extra movement in your body.
- And so, in general... Realize that the body is more meaningful than the limbs.
- N: That's a very good point.
D: And, if I do... If I say to her, "I love you".
- N: Ha-ha!
D: That's not convincing. Because it's just my arms doing this, and my body is doing nothing.
- So, I say, "I love you", and then I and move my arms up and down - it means nothing.
- And, if I'm here, and I say, "I love you"...
- And then that means a lot more. Because my body is doing it. Even though the movement is less.
- So, the same thing is true of embellishments or styling.
- So, as I... Actually, as she follows.
- You'll see, that on the side step, we can go, "Ahh".
- Here, we can have this moment of... stillness. And then, we move. And then, we go on.
- So, I want you to think, as you're dancing, can you add small movement, a subtle interpretation?
- "Dam-ha-rey-da-da-dam", in your body. To... To make it more textured and real.