Music

Pichuco Movie and a Milonga Night!

What an exciting opportunity we have! Come join us for Pichuco, the movie and Milonga night!
I have been contacted by a close friend of the director to offer to show this documentary on the tango orchestra leader, Anibal Troilo, nicknamed, Pichuco. He heard the magical instrument of tango, the bandoneon, when he was little and got his first one when he was 10 years old. Come learn Pichuco postermore about this influential musician, the music and the orchestra. THEN stay for a milonga!

November 21st
Movie starts promptly @ 7:35pm Milonga to follow.
Please arrive by 7pm to find your spot.
Bring a chair or a pillow, there will be some chairs available.
First come first served.
BYOB
$15 covers the cost of the movie & milonga.
$10 goes directly to the Director
Pichuco group

SYNOPSIS:
A professor at the Escuela de Música Popular de Avellaneda (School of Popular Music of Avellaneda)  is in the process of digitizing close to 500 original manuscripts  with the help of his students. Arrangements from the Aníbal ¨Pichuco¨ Troilo Orchestra that have been preserved until now. Through interviews with musicians from several generations and styles, who play live the most memorable songs from the master, this documentary takes a musical journey through the works of one of the main characters in the history of Tango and of the Argentine music. 80 minutes (Spanish with subtitles)

♫ MORE INFORMATION TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb2aZnZyuMM FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/PichucoFilm TWITTER: www.twitter.com/PichucoFilm IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3689614 WEB: www.pichucofilm.com

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Your Cultural Translator

Don’t look at me as just a teacher but as your personal cultural translator.

During my recent stay in Boston I took a workshop with a music anthropologist at ARTANGO in Brighton, MA, hosted by Fernanda Ghi y Guillermo Merlo (highly respected dancers and teachers, who are now based here). 60 students were in attendance and it was a mixture of lecture and movement workshop. I wanted to share some of my take-aways from the evening.

The style of tango dance will conform to the music. Or as I have interpreted it, that the dance is dictated by the music (like in other dance forms). I had heard this before and it was such an “a-ha”moment for me and my understanding of the dance that I was glad to hear it again. The idea is that these orchestras of the Golden Age, the 1940’s, each had their sound. So why would you dance the same way to each of them? You probably would have had your favorite orchestra (and maybe you do already) and you would have been expected to dance a certain way to that orchestra. For example, if the orchestra was more melodically driven or if it was more rhythmic (think Carlos Di Sarli vs Juan D’Arienzo) you would dance differently to them.  So as teachers teach what they know this is usually heavily influenced by the sound they prefer. I love Carlos Di Sarli and enjoy accentuating long steps. Someone who enjoys a Juan D’Arienzo will be more rhythmic and possibly more sharp in their steps. You will often hear me speak of the “flavor”of the sound, ie: is the sound like smooth vanilla ice cream or does it have chunky chips and nuts in it?

So the lecture I attended, focused on discussing several aspects of music but most specifically the melody. The idea that the melody and the singers in the orchestras will incite circular and round movement. This idea of circular movements, in general, slows the pace down versus linear movements that are on the main pulse or what we dancers refer to as the strong down beats or bass line. This strong metric pulse is what propels the body and is what teachers and beginner students tend to stress and dance to (usually).

However, “fluid motions can be destroyed by these strong accents” as these regular beats propel the dancers (to move at a predictable pace), the melodies allow dancers to go “deep inside the soul”and “incite reflection and nostalgia”.

In reflecting upon these ideas it was brought up that in order to be able to really allow for the music to enrapture you, we have to be vulnerable. And Argentine Tango is about vulnerability. And culturally, in the US, we avoid this. As we avoid eye contact and touching (for the most part) we do not like to be vulnerable, let alone with a stranger. And yet I am sure an aspect of this is what captivates so many of us to choose this dance.

And with this disconnect culturally, there is a need for “Cultural Ambassadors”or “Cultural Translators”. Someone who recognizes and understands the differences and can explain and build a bridge to create understanding.

Lots of food for thought, don’t you think?

Thanks to Dr. Alfred Minetti, and Fernanda y Guillermo for a great lecture.

 

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A Modern Tango class

In Saturday’s intermediate workshop I tackled the idea of dancing to modern tangos and I specifically was referring to a few bands that relate themselves to tango in some way ie: remixing, or through lyrics vs alternative music that you may decide to tango to.
The result of that class left students with a desire for 1) the playlist I used in class 2) the resources I mentioned in class and 3) a video (not of me!)

I begin with the playlist

Modern Class Playlist 0613I struggled with the image but hopefully you can make out a few songs and their artists. In a nutshell I used the artists, Otros Aires Dos, Otros Aires Tricota,  Otros Aires 4, Bajofondo Mar Dulce, and Gotan Project Revancha Del Tango.  I decided on these artist and these songs based on the resources that I used to plan the class. (onto 2)
When I think about alternative music for tango I immediately think of 2 main online resources: 1 is Sharna Fabiano’s neotango playlist and 2 is Homer Ladas’s generous contributions online at http://www.theorganictangoschool.org/DJ_Resource. Here Homer actually includes his playlists from several different milongas. His explanations for how he came up with dj’ing a mix of both golden age and alternative can be found at that link as well.
And lastly, for now!
I have added a video of Chicho y Juana performing to Bajofondo circa 2008. Chicho is remarkable with his musicality, his interpretation of the subtleties of the music and Juana shows us the music through her precision and grace. You will enjoy their live performances when they join us in October 2013. (Get Excited!)

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Pugliese – This Saturday!

Maybe the ‘bad boy” of tango music, maybe seemingly complicated music, but when you hear Pugliese it sounds quite dramatic. The intermediate /advanced class this Saturday May 18th is entitled Suspension in Pugliese. What does that mean? Are we talking early Pugliese or later Pugliese? or Who’s Pugliese?
As a teaser, let me tell you that he was born in 1905 but didn’t record until 1943. He was a communist his whole life and in the 50’s spent several years in jail for his beliefs. Which didn’t stop him from writing arrangements and didn’t stop his fans from missing him. When he was in jail a red carnation was placed on the keyboard of the piano in his honor. He passed away in 1995.
I leave you with that and will answer all these curious questions and more on Saturday.
We will learn something about Osvaldo Pugliese’s music and ideas on how to dance to it. And as you know – you’ll be able to use those skills for other orquestas too! (Here’s a wonderful video of Pugliese at the piano and members of his orchestra from different times  – see them play after 6:00)

The Fundamentals Class will continue exploring turns and adding this knowledge into patterns.

I look forward to seeing you at Rhythmic Expressions to explore these topics. If you send me an RSVP that you will be joining I can better ensure that we have enough leaders and followers for the class.

All workshops held at Rhythmic Expressions Studio at 617 S. McClintock Dr. Ste 3, Tempe, AZ (Just north of University on the East side of McClintock. Look for McClintock Center)

12:00pm – 1:30pm Intermediate Level
1:30pm – 3:00pm Fundamental Topics
$15 / class

You can send me an email.

carnation on piano

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