"Twist Forms" Dance Theory of Argentine Tango - Book

by Igor Polk, November 27, 2016, eidition 4.0   (Edition 3.0: May 19, 2014)

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New edition, greatly expanded and improved is ready !
132 large pages


$78.00, 132 pages, 152 drawings, 8.5x11, $12 mailing

"A brilliantly written thesis, offering a comprehensively indispensable encyclopedic compilation of Argentine Tango dance theory. Comparables are non-existent."
Peter Stylianos, editor

"It is a great book, for the analytic mind. As a passionate Argentine tango dancer for over ten years, I can attest that it does contain many insights that even an experienced dancer can benefit from."
Tanguera

This book establishes fundamental concepts and terms for the formalization of Argentine Tango dance. The proposed concepts can serve as a basis for formalization of other dances and movement activities. Essentially, this book is about human movements, their origins, dance technique in general, approaches to improvisation, choreography, and some other things.

For dancers who are reading it, I must say that this is not an instruction booklet. The concepts introduced are abstract and difficult from the very beginning. The logic of building a workable theory requires that. But the book contains all important concepts and elements with the greatest attention to details. The material was validated through my own dancing, classes, discussions, and private coaching. It works! The approach is mathematical. The smallest elements of human movements and energy sources are established in such a way that they can fit together to form a sequence of actions suitable to be done together with the partner. These elements combine into known tango figures. The elements form a logically complete system without contradictions. This serves as an objective proof of the validity (truthfulness) of the theory. The theory describes not only all known figures of tango of any style, but also has the innovation value: it is shown how a variety of new figures can be assembled through the algebra of the dance elements. Dancing is a very difficult area to analyze. The task of establishing the complete (there is no need for new elements, all what is required is present and everything else is constructed out of them) and consistent (there are no contradictions) theory required a thorough and innovative approach (everyone knows that "every teacher explains it differently". One of my tasks was to explain this and find a unified system).

This book does not cover everything, but it addresses the most fundamental knowledge of the Argentine Tango dance. It is equally well suited to all tango styles: Salon, Orillero, Canyengue, Nuevo, Milonguero, and Apilado, the small and large, the social and show dance.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction, 1 <---- Read this !
    • Tango Styles, 3
  • Table of Contents, 4
  • Origins of Movements in Torso, 8
    •    Twist of Head in Relation to Upper Torso, 10
    •    Torque, 10
    •    Abbreviation for Torque, 11
    •    Several Notes, Disclaimer, 11
  • Origins of Movement in Pelvis Region, 12
  • Abdomen Area as a Direction Stabilizer. Extra Twist to a Dance, 15
  • Arms as an Amplifier of Torso Positions, 15
  • Pose Defining Parts Altogether, 17
  • Arms Dance, 17
    •    Side Position Arm Twists, 19
    •    Lead with Arms Twists, 19
  • Introduction to Embrace, 19
  • Leg Twist, Knee and Foot Positions, 21
  • Torso Twist and Rotation of Torso Center, 23
    •    Three Ways to Move Center: Torso Twist, Spine Shift, and Spine Bend, 24
  • Origins of Poses: "Monkey" Model, 24
  • Origin of Poses: "Horse" Model. Three Kinds of Tango Walk, 25
    •    Toe-First Short-Step Tango Walk, 25
    •    Body-First Tango Walk, 26
    •    Rhythmic Opposition of Toe-First and Body-First Steps, 26
    •    "Knee-Lock", "Hip-Bump", and "Hip-Push". Important! , 26
    •    Tango Step and Latin Step, 28
    •    Toe-First Long-Step Tango Walk, 28
    •    Acceleration-Deceleration, 28
    •    Running, 29
  • Fundamental Poses, 30
    • Algebra of Poses. "Glued Feet" Pattern Generator, 30
    • Leg Stretch in Poses Sets up the Body, 31
    • Metatarsal Contact with the Floor, 31
    • Symbolic Abbreviations of Poses, 31
    • Going with Torso, 32
    • Going with Pelvis, 32
    • Going with Torso and Pelvis, 32
    • The Diagram Summarizing the Stages, Transitions. Graphical Abbreviation of Poses, 32
    • The Symbolic State and Transition Diagram of the "Glued Feet", 34
    • Going with Legs and Feet, 34
    • Transitions of "Glued Feet". "Two Feet", 35
    • Pivoting in "Glued Feet", 35
    • Body Condition in Poses, 35
  • Parada, 36
    • Parada Pose: Body, Legs, Feet, 36
    • Feet Positions: Forward, Zig-zag, and Promenade, 37
  • Concept: Changing Pose While Moving from Leg to Leg, 38
    • "Liberty" Pose, 38
    • First Tango Figure: Cunita, 38
    • Pelvis Action During Cunita, 39
    • 14 Types of Cunita, 40
    • A Rule of Changes During Any Cunita, 40
  • Walking, Carrying the Center, 41
  • Complementarity of Poses. Dancing with a Partner. Main Principle of Tango, 42
    • Cunita with a Partner, 42
    • Rolling, 43
    • "Cunita" Pattern Generator, 43
  • Lead-and-Follow, 44
    • Adaptation Principle, 44
    • Leading and Following Principle, 44
    • What is Leading and What is Following, 44
    • Exchange of Lead and Follow, 45
    • The Difference between Adaptation and Following, 45
  • Concept: A Move, 46
    • Side Step Left From Cunita, 46
    • Definition of the Move, 46
    • Side Step Right From Cunita. Other Simple Figures, 47
  • A Pivot While Pushing From the Leg to Change the Couple Orientation, 48
  • Pivot as an Element, Redirection, 49
  • Concept: Mutual Positions of Partners. Origins of Spatial Directions in Dance, 50
    • Spatial Directions, 52
    • Mutual Positions of Partners, 52
  • Origins of Dance Rhythm and Its Implication on Structure of a Dance Figure, 53
  • A Saw. Feet Together Positions, 54
  • Barrida, 55
    • "Barrida Star" Pattern Generator, 55
    • Combined "Barrida-Cunita" Pattern Generator, 55
    • Zig-zag Walk, 56
    • Center Movement in Zig-zag Walk, 56
  • Side Step Left From Cunita with Barrida Inside, 57
    • Building the Dance, 57
  • Tsuki, 58
  • Boleo, 58
    • Boleo and Tsuki, 59
    • The Difference between Boleo and Barrida, 59
    • Leading of Boleo and Pivots, 60
    • Foot in Boleos, 60
    • More about Boleos, 60
    • Boleo in Front, Really Big Boleo, 60
    • Boleo Pattern Generators, 60
  • Closer Look at Steps Algebra and Performance, 61
    • Toe-First Step Forward Formula is, 61
    • Body-First Step Forward Formula is, 61
    • Toe-First Long Step Formula is, 61
  • Pivoting from Side to Side Positions, 63
  • What is a Pattern Generator, 64
  • "X" Pattern Generator. Repositioning to the Right and to the Left, 65
    • "X" Pattern Generator Chart, 65
    • Side-Parada Two-Steps Move, 66
    • Two-Steps by "X" Pattern Generator, 66
    • Connecting Pattern Generators, 67
    • Converting Man's Part into Woman's Part, 67
    • Using Neutral and the Saw as a Way to Come to Neutral, 67
    • Three-Ray-Star Pattern Generator with Body-First Steps, 68
    • Another Look at the "X": Choosing a Direction in Relation to the Partner, 68
    • Overlapping of "X" and Three-Ray-Star Pattern Generators, 68
    • Going to Promenade on the Ends, 68
    • Pivots on "X", 68
    • Mutual Location of Partners: on the Left or on the Right. Side Position Directions, 69
    • Mutual Location of Partners on Frontal Walks, 69
    • The Walk as Ochos, 69
    • Very Tango: Inserting a Pattern Generator Inside, 70
  • Arrepentida from Cunita, 71
    • Pelvis Charge by Pushing from the Floor, 71
    • Arrepentida and Torso Charge, 71
    • Exchange of Signals Between Dancers Performing Arrepentida Together, 72
  • Traspie, 73
  • Syncopa Tango Rhythm, 74
    • Phrasing, 75
  • A Movement Exercise to Syncopa, 75
  • Steps to Syncopa, 76
    • Marking the Syncopated Tango Rhythm with the Toe-First steps: Normal Tango Steps, 76
    • A Measure with Foot-First and Body-First steps, 76
    • A Measure with the normal foot-first step on second syncopa and preparation on the first syncopa, 77
    • Slow steps, 77
  • Other Rhythms: Milonga, Vals, 3-3-2, 78
  • "Arrepentida of Torso Shift." Traspie, 80
    • Traspie Forward, 80
    • Rebound, 80
  • "Arrepentida of Pelvis Hip-Pushes." Traspie, 81
  • "Arrepentida of Pelvis Twist", 81
  • Corte y Quebrada, 82
  • Corte y Quebrada Rhythm, 83
  • Corte y Quebrada on "X"-Pattern Generator, 84
    • Suspension: Pause on 4 in the Middle, 84
    • The Superposition of Dance Figure Movement Rhythm and Musical Rhythm of Syncopa produces Asymmetry, 84
  • Golden Ratio in Tango Dance, 85
  • Corte y Quebrada: the Third Way with a Leg Wrap, 87
  • "H" Pattern Generator, 87
    • Combination of "X" and "H" Pattern Generators, 87
  • Energy Wave of Moves, 88
    • Three-Steps-One-Move, 88
    • The Three-Steps Turning, 88
    • Milonga Box, 89
    • A Short Summary, 89
  • Foot Change, 90
    • A Foot Change on Toe-First Step, 90
    • A Foot Change of Body-First Step, 90
    • "Square Box" Pattern Generator , 91
    • Foot changes on the Syncopa , 91
  • Pattern Generators: Concatenation and Modulation, 92
  • Pattern Generators: Following and Transformation, 92
  • Third Dimension, 93
    • Colgada, Leverage, 93
    • Apilado, 93
    • Pushing into a Partner, 93
    • Tightening the Embrace, 94
  • Case Study: 8-Count Basic, 95
    • 8-Count Basic, the First Way, Salon, 95
      • Salida, 95
      • Transition to prepare for 3-Step-to-Cross done with Boleo Turning 90° Left, 95
      • How to Lead Boleo to the Left, Performing Boleo Yourself, 96
      • How to Lead Boleo to the Left, Going to Parada, 96
      • Transition to Prepare for the 3-Step-to-Cross in a "Regular Way", 96
      • What is Cross, 97
      • Going to Cross from Side-Position on the Same Leg, 97
      • 3-Step-to-Cross, 98
      • Transition from Cross Preparing for Resolution, 100
      • Resolution, 100
      • "8-Body-Twists" Basic, 100
      • Step Diagram of the 8-Count Basic done with Boleo Turning 90° Left, 101
      • Step Diagram for the 8-Count Basic with the Preparation for 3-Step-to-Cross done in the "Regular Way", 102
      • Step Diagram of the 8-Count Basic done in a Rectangular Way, 102
      • Step Diagram of the 8-Count Basic Done in a Most Unusual Way, 103
      • Timing and Rhythmic Feel and Variations, 103
      • Common and not so Common Improvisations, 103
      • Apilado Notes, 103
      • Obtaining the Stage 4 Pose with Glued Feet Pattern Generator, 104
    • 8-Count Basic with the Circular 3-Step-to-Cross, 104
    • 8-Count Basic with a Foot Change done simply. "Cross Basic", 105
    • 8-Count Basic, the Second Way, Orillero, 105
      • "Open Body to Cross Body" vs. "Side, Foot Change to Cross Body", 106
      • "Opposite Barrida to Cross and to Liberty" vs. "Opposite Barrida to Parada", 106
      • "Side, Foot Change, and to Parada" vs. "Side, Foot Change, and to Liberty", 107
    • Inserting Cross into the Milonga Box. The Third Way of 8-Count, 107
    • Unwinding 8-Count Basic in a Line, 109
      • Milonga Box Resolution in Line, 109
      • Boleo with the Redirection to Left Going Around the Woman, 110
      • Man's Opposite Parada in Promenade Pose, 111
    • Making 8-Count Basic with Turning to the Left Twice, 113
    • How to Lead Her to Forward Step Instead of Cross. Continuation of the Circular 3-Step-to-Cross into the Second Half-Turn ending with Boleo with the Redirection to Left, 113
  • Case Study: Three ways to make a Forward Pivot and how it is used in Several Figures of Forward Ochos, 114
    • 1. A Pivot from Parada to Parada, 114
    • 2. A Pivot from Liberty to Liberty, 114
    • 3. A Pivot with Open Variation of Liberty, 114
    • The Diagram, 114
    • Doing Ochos Together, 116
      • Parada to Parada Forward Ocho done in the Same Direction, 116
      • Liberty to Liberty Forward Ocho done in the Same Direction, 116
      • Forward Ochos done in Contra-Directions, 116
      • Forward Ochos done in Contra-Direction with Open Liberty, 117
      • Rhythm of Forward Ochos done in Contra-Direction, 117
    • Other Positions of Man Leading the Woman into Forward Ocho, 118
    • Final Remarks, 118
  • Pivot: 24 Ways to Get Energy for, 119
    • When the Energy of the Velocity of the Body Parts can be Redirected into a Pivot, 119
      • 1. Kinetic Body Energy, 119
      • 2. Stepping Leg, 119
      • 3. Collecting Leg, 119
      • 4. Swinging Leg, 119
    • Obtaining Energy from the Body Poses, 120
      • 5. Changing the Direction of Torso Torque Between Upper and Lower Torso, 120
      • 6. Pelvis Twist: from Crossed to Crossed, 120
      • 7. Pelvis Twist: from Open to Open or Crossed, 120
      • 8. Upper Body Torque: Abdomen Area, 120
      • 9. Body Bending and Flipping: Pivot with Quebradas, 120
    • Boleo methods, 121
      • 10. Knee Boleo, 121
      • 11. Hip Boleo, 121
      • 12. "Linear Boleo", 121
    • Other Methods Using Legs and Feet, 122
      • 13. Lever, 122
      • 14. Foot Torque, 122
      • 15. Thigh Torque, 122
      • 16. Pivots on Extended Leg, 122
      • 17. Stepping from Heal to Toe and Opposite, 122
      • 18. Pushing from the Toe into the Next Step with Pivot, 122
      • 19. Using Sacada , 122
    • Using Gravity. And "Anti-Gravity", 123
      • 20. Lowering, 123
      • 21. Going Up, 123
      • 22. Thigh Up, 123
      • 23. "Bicycle", 124
    • External energy, 124
      • 24. Pivoting by a Partner, 124
    • Remarks, 124
    • Combination Pivots, 124
    • How to stop a pivot , 124
  • Following with a Foot; Following with Pelvis, 125
  • What is not in the Book, 125
  • Artificial Intelligence and Dancing, 125
  • Epilogue, 127
  • Acknowledgements, 127
  • Literature, 128

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