On Musicality, Movement and the Dance

Subjective view of the objective issue
"Musicality," she printed and pondered for a while...
What is musicality?

Like love, it is something incredibly difficult to describe. It has a thousand of nuances and depends on perception of a particular person.

The definition from the dictionary does not help very much. A "talent related to music"? What does it mean? How it is connected to dancing? How can we cultivate it inside ourselves?

Since the topic is subjective, let me share with you my point of view.

Let's start with the basic aspects. How do we perceive music? There are theoretical and empirical methods. Even those who do not have an extensive theoretical education are able to distinguish the beautiful and harmonious music from the cacophony of noises.

To a certain age almost everyone of us has some kind of inner culture, special education and our personal interest give us better understanding of music. It all helps us distinguish the mood of music, hear music phrases, repetitions, basic rhythm and additional rhythmic patterns, different instruments' parts.

Theoretical base helps not only in understanding music, but also in dancing to the music. It helps us realize that tango is an "urban romance", which means that there is an introduction, verses and chorus, and that the musical timing is usually 4/4.

It's all about the music sensitivity. It works in tango, too. You can cultivate it inside yourself visiting seminars and reading professional literature about the history of tango and music, or just dancing and watching the others dancing. The fact is that your body unconsciously catches the music and fits itself into this context. If you succeed, the hormones of happiness are produced in a double size (due to coordinated movement and for dancing to the music).
Our body unconsciously catches the music and inscribes itself into this context, if it succeeds.
Our body unconsciously catches the music and inscribes itself into this context, if it succeeds.
Musical creativity is a different issue. It is very subjective. Someone starts acting like old milonguero when hearing coda, someone tries to emphasize important moments and skips "extra" ones like Godoy. In any case, dancing to the beat or to the music only, or dancing concrete instrument's part is a very mechanistic approach.

Although, perhaps, there is something, that can help us to be inside the music, inside this "stream". My personal formula is to make the music sound from the body, not only from the speakers, as if you were something like electrical conductor. You are the music, no intermediator. Associations have helped me to find and fix this feeling.

The rhythm, whether it is obvious or not, is a "pulse" that exists inside me. My heart can beat an uneven rhythm or regularly, and I feel it different. If I transfer this sensation from my chest to my feet, it helps me walk quite differently than I usually do.

All this, melody, phrases and verses, is like a wide circle inside which I move like a balloon filled with air. It's like breathing some air in and then breathing it out into the movement. Any melody is like breathing to me. Sometimes I unconsciously breathe together with the singer, though I don't know the words. I breathe in exactly when he does to finish my "singing", to finish my movement.
The rhythm, whether it's obvious or not, is a measured pulsation, existing in myself.
The most important idea is the one that a composer conceives his work as a complete phrase that carries a certain meaning. It starts with the first chord and ends after the last sound vanishes in the air. There are no breaks in this phrase. Even a pause is a silent continuing of a melody. So I cannot stop, I have to stay with the play, stay in this interaction with the music and the partner. Try to dance tango El Huracan, especially played by Solo Tango Orchestra with their fascinating slowdowns. If you stop for a second, it's all gone. The most important is to vibrate like a compressed spring, even while breathing, as if on a neutral gear. In such moments you need all your awareness and concentration in order to balance the "absence" of music.

The idea of a complete musical thought is distinctive not only for one composition but for the whole good tanda, too. Perception of DJing is directly connected to how the DJ can "speak" compiling 3-4 tracks into a complete thought. There must be an internal "rhythm" and "melody" in it. That is why sometimes it feels so good just to stay in your partner's embrace between two songs and to feel like a single whole with him or her. Another second of silence, and you dance again.
Author: Nataly Maystrenko. Translation: Dunya Valova.
Opinions expressed in articles within this blog may not coincide with those of the editor.
Write Close
Subscribe to Simple&Elegant Blog to keep in touch!
By clicking the button, you consent to the processing of personal data and agree with the Privacy Policy
We use cookies and other metadata to provide the best experience. If you don't agree with the Policy, you can leave the site.
Ok, thanks!
Content is coming soon
We are working hard to make your tango and life better!
While you are waiting for it you can
Dream Team
Video, Editing, Directing and Creative Support - Daria Ermolaeva
Video Operating - Vladimir Kutakhov

Animation and pictures - Evgenja Chernikova
Logo and icons - Anastasia Rotar

Photo - Anya Semenyuk, Daria Ermolaeva, Viktoria Fedirko, Maria Mosolova, Dmitry Volkov,,,,,
All photos are used with the permission of their owners and/or have an open license.