Jorge and Marita Dispari were in London recently and teaching a week long series of classes. I attended some and hoped to jot down notes from each class but unfortunately, got distracted/overwhelmed and so therefore only ended up with a few jottings.
These notes came about from their first class which in some ways was probably the most important, focusing on the Walk.
I’m quite reluctant to paraphrase tangueros (especially when they are speaking through translators) but coming back to these notes, I thought that although they don’t explain technique or steps, they might provide an interesting insight into their class.
If anyone can help fill in my gaps, then that would be most helpful.
Lesson 1: The Walk
· To dance tango well, you need both technique and emotion. But technique can never replace emotion.
· Adrian and Amanda Costa [a French tango couple who have been taught by Los Dispari and who many of the TangoSouthLondon students are familiar with] are going to become one of the best tango couples in the world. A major part of this though, will be down to their musicality (most of which they learnt from Jorge). Yet they are not Argentine but French. You do not need to be Argentine to dance tango the best, but you need to find the passion in a small corner of your heart.
· Marita – you should not adapt when dancing with someone tall or short
· Jorge disagrees – he thinks you have to adapt. This means that aesthetically and if you want to be the most elegant, you need to dance with someone similar in height and build.
· But socially and emotionally he adds, your best partner can be of any build.
· Story of El CXXXXXX (????) who was mad for tango and a great friend of theirs. He used to dream of a step and then turn up at J&M’s house and demand to dance with Geraldine their daughter. If she was in school, they had to get her from school so they could try out a new step.
· Now Jorge does that to Marita when they are sleeping in bed. He will wake her up and tell her about a new step and insist they try it.
· A woman will learn in 2 months what it takes a leader 2 years to learn. This is not because it is harder but a woman’s body was made to dance unlike a man’s [from Jorge].
· The weight should not be on a woman’s heel but it should give the illusion that it is. The weight must be on the front of the feet (balls).
· Roberto Rufino was a singer with Carlos Di Sarli’s orchestra and was only 14 when he started singing for him. He was told to turn up at the theatre ready to perform but on his first night, he was very late because the doormen didn’t believe a boy would be singing with Di Sarli and they refused to let him in.
· To dance tango, you should learn to speak a bit of Spanish as otherwise you are missing out on 50% of tango. The other 50% are the instruments.
· You should try to understand the lyrics as they are poetry.
· It is poetry of the everyday though, not high brow.
· The woman should not dance while watching over the shoulder of the man. If she is then the man is not leading her. He should captivate her and draw her into their dance.
· The embrace should be an embrace and not just finger tips. The women should have a little upwards pressure. The man should enclose her.
· Your dancing must have pauses. Actual pauses and not pauses where you shift weight. Actually WAIT.