Friday, June 3, 2016

Theory and Technique of Alterations with Front Boleos (Beyond Intermediate)

Song: All of Me by Ray Boudreaux
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
England International Tango Festival
May 29, 2016, Ardingly College, England

We began by first getting our legs ready to do Boleos.

Stage 1
First, our free leg goes across in front of the outside of the other leg, with our feet making an “A” shape.

Stage 2
Next, we were to strike our feet like a kitchen match, making a straight boleo or a more turned out one. Putting energy into he floor and using our hips to rotate.

Stage 3
We can lift our thighs a little bit to clear the other thing to get the “thwack” sound, a snapping noise.  We do this by lifting at the thigh as you strike the kitchen match.

          (1) Back to floor with feet
    (2) Lift knee, caress leg and then back down the other side.

Open embrace technique doing turns to get us warmed up and connected
Capture the Moon
Follower takes long reaching steps around the Leader.  Both dancers keep their head up. 
Make 1 change in axis. 
Follower is the Moon.
Leader is the Earth.

Leader takes step with partner to establish the new center of the earth.  Then he changes the direction of the turn. 

Follower:  there is no ocho in the change of direction, just a step forward (or step backward).
Capture the Moon
Change the Axis
Change the orientation of the orbit
The Leader can capture all three steps of the Follower (forward, side, back). 
The Leader makes just one step to capture the Moon.

Next game: Follower calls out 2 steps and the Leader has to capture her on the first step, using the second step that she calls out. So,
1st step: her step where Moon is captured
2nd step: his step that he takes to capture the Moon

Examples: forward, back; back, forward; side, forward; side, back; back, side; forward, forward, etc.

We added the embrace at this point.

The Leader can block the Follower with the embrace to block the A.O.R. (automatic ocho reflex).  We want to avoid the A.O.R. because another possibility exists other than the ocho: that is, the alteration.

The drawback of the embrace is it is harder to capture some steps (like back to back).

From the turn/hiro/molinete, the Follower should do good open embrace turn technique, and all slow steps (no automatic QQ on the back, side step).

Next, we were to add spice.

Alterations are like tango slingshots that help us to navigate on the dance floor.

When the Leader captures the moon, he gets close to her.

1st alteration: Follower Forward step, Leader Side step.  The Leader steps in front of the Follower’s foot, then collects.

The pattern is the cadena, or chain or link.

The Leader captures the Moon on her forward step by stepping in front of her foot to block her, then do the alteration by sending her in the other direction.  The Leader’s energy is he is leading a turn, then interrupting it, and then leading a turn again.  Keep this in the line of dance.  The turn is going clockwise.

Follower’s left foot forward step, Leader blocks this step with a left foot side step. Follower goes right foot back as her body is sent back like a slingshot, Follower does side step and right foot forward step in a clockwise turn, where the Leader can do a right foot sacada of Follower’s trailing left foot, powering the Follower’s big pivot, at with the Leader can lead a left foot boleo to the outside of Follower’s right standing leg.  Then he can link this and do the pattern all over again (starting with Follower’s left foot forward step).

For every transition/alteration, there is a change in the embrace, but do not completely let it go.  Be elastic, but remain engaged in the embrace.

The Followers hips are ocho factories, amplifying the spiral rotation of the Leader by at least 3x. 

Since the Moon can make three steps (forward, back, side) and the Earth cane make three steps (forward, back, side), there are 9 possibilities on each side, so 18 possible different types of alterations.  We can play with each permutation.

Meastros concluded with a class quiz and a demo to Ray Boudreaux’s All of Me.

Notes courtesy of Anne at

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