Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Brain Sizzler Special: Enrosques for Leader and Follower (Advanced Class)

Song: Esta Noche de Luna by Ariel Ardit y su Orquesta Típica
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
April 6, 2013, Yale Tango Fest

Video courtesy of Steven Spura

Exercise 1: Forward ochos with crossing in front
In partnership using hand-to-hand embrace, we did forward ochos concluding with our trailing (unweighted)  foot crossing in front of our leading (weighted) foot, either really tight and snug, or with our trailing leg having a looser, more open eye-of-the-needle stance.  Either way, at the conclusion of the ocho, the outside of our trailing foot has to be in contact with the outside of our standing foot.  This entire movement is the basis of our enrosque.

Exercise 2: Step forward, enrosque, weight change, step back
Building on our first exercise, still in partnership using hand-to-hand embrace, we were to step forward, do the enrosque, change the weight, and step back.  The goal was to embellish the forward ocho, to pivot completely, and to cross fully within the time the Leader gives the Follower to do her forward ocho.

We backed up a little and Maestros quickly conveyed the concept of crossing in front while walking backward while having little change/movement in the upper body and being really tight in the footwork and having an A shape in the feet.  And also crossing behind while walking forward.  It is important that the big toe go first, and then the weight is transferred to the middle of the foot.

Exercise 3: Adding sacadas
Follower does 1-2 forward ocho enrosques with no weight changes. Leader does left foot forward sacada of Follower’s trailing foot. Leader steps back on Follower’s back step (can be a left foot back sacada if he has enough disassociation; if choosing this option, he should do his left foot back sacada on the Follower’s trailing left foot of her right foot side step). Our goal in drilling this was to figure out the timing: The Leader does a forward sacada on her forward ocho step trailing foot, and an enrosque on the Follower’s side step.  The Leader’s enrosque needs to have better A positioning in his feet when he finishes so that he can get into position to step back.  The movement goes where it needs to go to maintain the relationship between the dancers.

The Leader needs to be very clear in leading a Forward Ocho or a Hiro (Turn/Molinete).  For the Hiro, the biggest issue for the Follower enrosque is that the timing to do a good side step is compromised.  In our class, while the Followers were practicing the enrosque, they should not always assume it will be a forward Ocho the Leader is leading.  If she assumes this during a Hiro, it will get in the way of her doing a good long, reaching side step. 

In all our dancing, we should always maintain good walking technique and take long, reaching steps around the Leader.  When the Follower reaches and transfers the weight is when the Leader has time to do his enrosque, so she should not cut short or rush through the movement. 

In the Hiro, the Leader does his job, but the Follower has to do her job as well.  The foot arrives on top of the strong beat, but she should take the whole beat to transfer  weight.

The Leader needs to be very clear whether he is leading an Ocho or a Hiro.  The Fundamental difference between the two:
·         Focus of Ocho: Follower’s axis
·         Focus of Hiro: Leader’s axis

In Sacadas, the Leader is taking the Follower around him (his axis is the focus).

The Follower needs to be aware in both sides of her embrace to receive the appropriate energy that the Leader is giving.  She needs to be connected to the Leader, otherwise the message will be lost.

The class was then split in two groups: Leaders and Followers, where we could practice our respective gender footwork.

Leaders group footwork:
1st partnered exercise with hand-to-hand embrace:
-           Step forward
-           Ocho with Enrosque
-           Step back

2nd partnered exercise with hand-to-hand embrace:
-           Step forward
-           Hook behind and pivot (this is called a back enrosque)
-           Unwind
-           Change weight
-           Step back

Followers group footwork:
1st partnered exercise with hand-to-hand embrace:
Forward ocho with Follower’s enrosque embellishment of an outside rulo (curly Q, swirl).
We were to practice this, as one side is easier/more difficult than the other.

To do this, our foot goes with toes pointed to the floor out as our hip opens up with the inside of our thigh exposed. Then we draw a quick little circle with the tip of our toes, after which we bring the leg back in so that our foot remains tucked against our standing foot at the conclusion of our pivot.

To add to this embellishment, we can take it into the air (only during performances or when milonga space allows) by adding a kick / tail end flick at the end of the rulo.

The floor is the source of power.  How the Follower connects with the floor determines how much power she has in her dance.

Back to the Leaders’ group…
Focus on the sacada:
During the Follower’s Hiro, the Leader should do the forward sacada on her side step.  This puts them in position so that afterwards they are simultaneously doing back pivots.  It’s a “we” feeling at that point, which is very nice and fun.

There can be different timing to the Leader’s enrosque where there is the ocho hook in front and simultaneous pivot, or the ocho hook in front first, and then the pivot afterwards.

Here, we backed up a little and Maestro quickly went over the washing machine exercise to get more disassociation in the body and to really focus on moving from the top first, and then down, or moving from the bottom first, and then up.  This exercise can be done on either weighted leg, and in either direction. Our homework is to practice all the options to work this movement into our muscle memory.

In close embrace Hiros, the Follower’s back cross step is truncated (so more like a little tuck than a big back cross step). For Leader’s technique, he should keep his upper body going, creating disassociation to keep the spiral movement going.

Then the two groups got back together and we drilled for a few songs.

Maestros concluded with a class review and a demo to Esta Noche de Luna by Ariel Ardit y su Orquesta Típica.

Notes courtesy of Anne at http://scoutingtour.blogspot.com

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