Up and down
-Have you been practicing tango nuevo?
Guilty as charged.
He knew immediately. And it was not because I used an open embrace, we were practicing milonga, using a very confined embrace.
I often wonder why people get so hang up on the somewhat arbitrary distinction between open and close embrace (all teachers, both “nuevo” and others usually promote very close embrace at times, but for some figures it is not possible to maintain the closest embrace.)
Some say that the technique is the same. Well, it is mostly compatible, and that is what matters, but there are some differences. Which was clearly demonstrated.
What gave me away was that my energy was going down. That might not be the correct way of putting it, but you get the idea. What he wanted was energy going up. So the difference was in the energy going up or down (up-traditional, down-nuevo). While staying well grounded, of course. Stretching the spine, effectively going up and down at the same time. Talk about dissosiation… And it doesn’t require less in the balance department.
You might argue that whatever makes it possible (or easier) to do <insert favorite fancy move here> is worth it. Like in skiing, sacrificing elegance for ability to go faster or jump longer. Bending down for improved balance? Feet more apart?
Myself, I never saw the point of doing as many steps as possible (volcadas/minute anone?). It’s not like it’s a competition, remember?