Tango is not only a fascinating dance but also a fascinating philosophy, culture and lifestyle. The search of tango is the search of humanity, connection, love, unity, harmony and beauty, i.e., an idealism that is not consistent with the dehumanizing reality of the modern world. The world divides us into individuals, but tango unites us into a team, community and species. In tango we are not individualists, feminists, nationalists, liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, etc., but interconnected and interdependent members of the human family. Tango calls us to tear down the walls, to build bridges, and to regain humanity through connection, cooperation, accommodation, reconciliation and compromise. It is a dance that teaches the world to love.




April 21, 2019

Rock Steps and Variations of Ocho Cortado


Rock refers to the rebound action in weight change when the two legs are apart. It is typically done in quick-quick-slow timing: (1) stretching one leg forward and transfering 50 percent of the body weight to that leg (quick), (2) pushing with that leg to transfer weight back to the standing leg (quick), (3) collecting the stretched leg and changing weight to it to free the standing leg (slow). Rock can be done in various patterns: forward and back, right and left, forward and side, etc. Because the position of the standing leg can be altered at (2) and the position of the stretched leg can be altered at (3), rock can be used to change the direction of travel. The following video shows you how.




This video includes three parts. The first part demonstrates the basic forward-back-collect rock pattern. For the convenience of explanation I will describe mainly from the leader's perspective: (1) He steps forward with his left leg without collecting his right leg (quick). (2) He pushes with his left leg to transfer weight back to his right leg (quick). (3) He collects his left leg and changes weight to it (slow). He then repeats the pattern with the other leg. This pattern can also be done diagonally to the left and diagonally to the right. The woman mirrors the man's movements. Notice that she does not collect her free leg when her weight is transfered back to her standing leg. Rather, she keeps her front leg in place and tilts up the foot to make the movement stylish.

In the second part, the man demonstrates the forward-back-side rock pattern: (1) He steps forward with his left leg without collecting his right leg (quick). (2) He pushes with his left leg to transfer weight back to his right leg (quick). (3) He steps to the side with his left leg and changs weight to it to free the right leg (slow). He then repeats the pattern with the other leg. Notice that he makes a 90-degree turn when he rocks to either side. The woman mirrors his movements and swivels her back leg to the right and to the left but keeps her front leg in place.

In the third part, the man demonstrates how to change the direction of travel at position 5 by using two sets of rock patterns. After leading the woman to the cross, he first uses the forward-back-side rock pattern, starting with his left leg: (1) He steps forward with his left leg to lead her right leg step back. (2) He pushes with his left leg to transfer weight back to his right leg to lead her transfer weight forward to her left leg. (3) He turns 90 degree to the left and steps to the side with his left leg to lead her pivot 90 degree on her left leg and her right leg step on his left.

He then uses the forward-back-turn rock pattern with the other leg: (1) He steps forward with his right leg to lead her left leg step back. (2) He transfers weight back to his left leg after adjusted its position to lead her transfers weight forward to her left leg. (3) He turns to the left with his left leg to lead her step forward with her left leg and povit 180 degree to face him, meantime he collects his right leg and changes weight to it. The two rock patterns are combined to form a revised version of ocho cortado, which is done on his left side instead of on his right side as ocho cortado normally is done.

This version of ocho cortado can also be done in the cross system, as demonstrated in the following video in 0:33-0:44.




After leading her into the cross system, the man first uses a forward-back-turn rock pattern executed counterclocwise, starting with his right leg: (1) He steps forward with his right leg to lead her right leg step back. (2) He twists his right leg 90 degree to the left and steps back his left leg to lead her change weight forward to her left leg. (3) He continues the left turn with his left leg to lead her right leg swivel counterclockwise to step on his left, meantime he collect his right leg and changes weight to it.

He then uses a forward-turn-side rock pattern with his left leg: (1) He steps forward his left leg on her right side to led her left leg step back. (2) He changes weight back to his right leg after turning it 90 degree to the left to lead her transfer weight forward to her right leg. (3) He steps to the side with his left leg to led her left leg swivel 90 degree counterclockwise to land on her back.

He then steps forward his right leg with a left twist to lead her left leg swivel counterclockwise to make a back-cross, meantime he collects his left leg. (These are done in slow-slow timing.) He then steps back with his right leg to lead her do a normal cocho cortado.

Other rock patterns could also be applied at position 5, as shown in the following clip.




After leading the woman to the cross, the man first uses a forward-turn-turn rock pattern: (1) He steps forward with his left leg to lead her right leg step back. (2) He pivots his two legs 90 degree to the right and changes weight to his right leg to lead her transfer weight forward to her left leg. (3) He pivots another 90 degree to the right with his right leg to lead her step forward with her right leg, meantime he changes weight to his left leg. On her part, the woman uses the back-forward-forward rock pattern: (1) She steps back with her right leg without collecting her left leg. (2) She pushes with her right leg to transfer weight forward to her left leg. (3) She steps forward with her right leg to free her left leg. Notice that as her weight is transfered backward to her right leg in action (1) she tilts up her left foot to make the movement stylish.

The man then uses a right-left-turn rock pattern with the other leg: (1) He steps to the right with his right leg to lead her pivot 180 degree on her right leg to face him and her left leg step on his right. (2) He pushes with his right leg to transfer weight back to his left leg to lead her transfer weight to her right leg. (3) He pivots 180 degree to the left with his left leg to lead her step forward with her left leg and pivot 180 degree to face him, meantime he changes weight to his right leg. On her part, the woman uses the turn-right-forward rock pattern: (1) She pivots 180 degree on her right leg to face him and steps on his right with her left leg. (2) She pushes with her left leg to transfer weight to her right leg. (3) She steps forward with her left leg and pivots 180 degree counterclocwise to face him. Notice the dissociation of her body when she steps to and fro on his side. The whole sequence is another creative variation of ocho cortado.

The couple continue to exploit rock patterns in another video.




This time the man first uses a forward-back-back rock pattern executed clockwise. After leading the woman to the cross: (1) He steps forward his left leg in a clockwise arc to lead her right leg step back in a clockwise arc. (2) He twists his left leg 90 degree to the right and steps back his right leg to lead her transfer weight forward to her left leg. (3) He steps back his left leg to lead her right leg step forward to his right.

He then uses a back-side-turn rock pattern with the other leg: (1) He steps back his right leg to lead her left leg step forward on his right. (2) He steps to the side with his left leg to lead her right leg step forward on his left. (3) He turns to the left 90 degree to lead her left leg step forward on his left side and pivot 180 degree to face him, meantime he collects and changes weight to his right leg. The result is a clockwise semicircular version of ocho cortado.

Perhaps you can revise this version by using the same sequence but continuously turning to the left instead of turning to the right to make the entire sequence a counterclocwise circular version of ocho cortado.

Rock step is the most iconic step of tango milonguero that made this style simple, compact, rhythmic and elegant. The patterns described above are only a few in a pool of rock patterns. Familiarizing yourself with these patterns will enrich your tango vocabulary and improve your tango. (See How to Dance Milonga.)




No comments:

Post a Comment