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Attempt of a terminology project: Ocho

Enjoy reading, Garrit (Dec. 97)

Michael Cysouw
Michael Cysouw
Laurie Moseley
Walter M. Kane
Arturo
Jim Lane
Michael Cysouw
Flor de Mina
Anders Torne
'Pibe'
Laurie Moseley
Laurie Moseley


Date:    Tue, 9 Dec 1997 13:19:16 +0100
From:    Michael Cysouw
Subject: syllabi and terminology

Dear list,

It seems like the recent discussion on syllabi is rather biased to
US-american practices, so let me counteract with some 'european' points of
view.

There is no shortage on syllbi here! My experience with teachers in the
Netherlands and Germany is that they all have a quite extended syllabus.
The situation is probably a bit different from the US because the normal
practice for students is to take courses consisting of 10 to 15 lessons in
a row. This gives teachers the opportunity and obligation to bring some
larger context and structure in their teaching.
These syllabi are not codified though: they will change slowly over the
years as the insights and dancing of the teachers change. The syllabi will
also be changed depending on the students following the course. And the
syllabi are strictly personal: different teachers have different syllabi.
There are a few syllabi that have had (and still have) a strong influence.
These were the syllabi from Wouter Brave in Amsterdam and from Dietrich
Lange in Berlin. And their syllabi were both based to a large extent on the
dancing of Antonio Todaro. But over the years their influence is waning as
more and more dimensions of tango are (re)discovered.

Another discussion cross-cutting the syllabus-thread is about naming
elements of the dance. I think these are two rather independent
discussions. IMO the central point of a syllabus is the long-term planning
of learning skills. As Dave commented, names are relatively unimportant in
this context, as students will learn elements rather easily without
remembering the names.

Another problem is the naming of elements of tango. Don't forget that the
reference of a name strongly depends on the analysis of tango you make. For
instance the name 'ocho' could refer to a pattern consisting of two swivels
(note the reference to the form of the written 8), or could be used for
only one swivel. Some people will refer to the first option as 'two ochos',
others will refer to the second option as 'a half ocho'. And there are also
people who analyse a swivel as only part of an ocho, and define a propor
ocho as a 'forward/backward straight movement, followed by a swivel'. This
last definition is a really nice analysis of the movement, and very
practically for teaching. But note that a lot of elderly women in Buenos
Aires won't make their ochos like that.

As the meaning of names will depend on your general analysis/philosophy,
and as there are as many analyses/philosophies as there are tango-dancers,
a strict system of naming will not reflect the ongoing practices in the
tango-scene. What would be far more interesting is to bring together
different interpretations of names, and try to show developments in the
different interpretations, like I did quickly for 'ocho' above. On this
list there have been comparable discussion on 'boleo' and on 'salida'.

(see for instance http://www.cyber-tango.com/art.html for a
lot of the mails in these threads)

bye
michael cysouw
nijmegen, holland


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Date:    Tue, 9 Dec 1997 14:17:00 +0100
From:    Michael Cysouw
Subject: the terminology-project: ocho

To revive the terminology project, let me spell out in some more detail my
thoughts about 'ocho', as quickly refered to in my last mail. These ideas
are not in any way definitive, and I rather see them as first steps towards
a better understanding. (Note: I use the word 'step' as refering to a
weight change)

--- history of naming -----

The word itself is normally a good point to start. The name 'Ocho' (being
the name of the number 8) will have had at a certain point such a strong
metaphorical power to describe a certain movement occuring in the dance
that it became attached to it. This indicates that the 'original' ocho
consisted of more than one step, probably a few repetitions of a forward
swivel. Only after three or four swivels the impression arises of a figure
of 8 drawn by the feet on the floor. In this sense the meaning of the word
'ocho' refers to a quite broadly defined 'phenomenon' found in the
tradition: a repitition of forward swivels.

Because of this 'figure of eight being drawn'-meaning, often the word
'ocho' seems to be used to refer to a combination of two swivels, because
then it is exactly *one* eight that is drawn by the feet. This is rather
common with forward ochos, less common with backward ochos. There is a
rather neat technical reason for this usage of 'ocho' for a combination of
two steps. Most people seem to make two slightly different movements while
drawing one 'eight': there exist a 'full movement', which consists out of a
step forward and a swivel, and there exist a 'closing movement', where the
forward step is very small; it seems like this movement only consists of a
swivel. A combination of these two movements (a 'full' one with swivel on
the left and a 'closing' one with a swivel on the right) is often regarded
as 'one complete ocho'.

A further development is that the word 'ocho' is now often used only for
what I described above as a 'full movement'. In this sense an ocho only
consists of one step. The movement is analysed as a forward step and a
swivel at the end of the forward movement. This analysis nicely extends to
backwards ochos, being a backward step with a swivel at the end. In this
usage the original meaning of 'ocho' as the name for a number is quite
concealed as there is no eight found in the movement.

----- history of movement ------

Another question related to this discussion is the origin of the movement
itself. I started above at the point that there existed certain movement in
the dance, and that a name was metaphorically attached to it. But how did
this movement arise? Some ideas:

A swivel, defined as a turn of the foot with weight on it, existed in 19th
century  european ballromm tradition. But it was always AFAIK a swivel of
both partners together (e.g. in waltz). One of the interesting new aspects
of the argentine tango swivel is that it is done by one partner only.

One of the movements that could be related to the ocho is a movement known
to me as 'ocho cortado'. This is a movement that consists of sidewards
cortes with a turn, and a step forward inbetween them, in a
quick-quick-slow rhythm. The movement seems to be related to the generic
salsa-like movements that can be observed by some older people in Buenos
Aires. By changing the turned cortes in regular turns, an ocho could have
developed.

Another possible cognate move is crossing of the feet and with weight
change and  then continue with the other foot in the opposite direction,
which results in an ocho-like movement. I remember this movement from one
of the old shots in tango-bar, but I'm not quite certain.

Comments?

bye
michael cysouw
nijmegen, holland


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Date:    Tue, 9 Dec 1997 19:05:19 GMT
From:    Laurie Moseley
Subject: Re: the terminology-project: ocho

I should stress that in this note I am not talking about what we do, but
about how we achieve a shared nomenclature so that we can communicate in
words. Ochos, as Michael suggests, are a good place to start. We all know
that they can be done in a variety of ways (1) what I call the forward
Driving Ocho, in which the lady starts with a substantial leg whip, knees
together, before gently pointing with the whipping leg, and then softly
settling on the whipping foot, with a slightly flexed knee before
continuing with a closed-knees swivel  (2) the standard Rebecca Shulman
Ocho, which is much lower, more sweeping, and is clearly NOT a figure of 8,
rather it consists of a soft flexed step, followed by a drawing of the
non-standing foot up to the standing foot, a swivel on the standing foot,
then a low strong-but-gentle extension of the non-standing foot STRAIGHT
on  the line between the feet  (not in an 8-curve) (3) the  little pecks of
one foot behind the other which are all that the lady has room for in the
Milonguero (drunken woman) style, and (4) probably many more of which I
have not thought or am completely unaware of because of my limited
experience. However, we can talk about a generic concept of an Ocho.

I suggest that we adopt Michael's 'full movement' description as our
definition of the steps of the Ocho. One can still actually perform them in
a variety of ways, but if we agree to follow Michael on this, we will all
know that when someone talks about an Ocho, they are talking about a step &
swivel followed by a second step & swivel. The movement which involves only
one step & swivel would then naturally be a Half-Ocho. This would be
reasonable for both front and back ochos, and for both closed and open
ochos.

What do you do about Half a Half-Ocho (i.e. the first step only, without
the swivel) ?  I don't know. Should it be a Quarter-Ocho ? It may seem
strange to name a movement which is one step only. However, there be merit
in it, for two reasons. The first reason is that every step is made up of
smaller movements, and the smaller the movements which we can recognise,
the more scope we have for constructing interesting variations (this
includes no movement at all, but merely a change of weight).

The second reason is that there may be good pedagogical reasons for
recognising this sub-movement. In one of his videos (Level III, I think)
Daniel Trenner introduces students to Ganchos using the idea of the first
step only of the Back-Ocho. Suppose the lady is starting a Back-Ocho to her
right (the man's left) i.e. she is stepping backwards on to her left foot.
The man can follow her movement by stepping with his left foot towards her
left foot as it lands. This effectively blocks the lady's right foot from
moving back beside her now standing left foot. If she now tries to step
back with her right leg (as the back ocho would require) she comes up
against his interposed left leg. This can be used to advantage. The man
merely flexes his left knee and gives counter-clockwise shoulder lead, and
the lady automatically does a right-leg Gancho under his left knee.

I know that I could have shown the movement in one-hundredth of the time it
will have taken you to read the above description, but as long as I live in
Swansea and you in CO,TX,CA, BA or wherever we are going to be forced to
use words. Michael's suggestion might make this possible, and I would like
to support him.

Three questions:

1. Do you agree that it will help communication to adopt this terminology
with regard to Ochos specifically ?
2. Do you see any dangers in doing so ?  e.g. do you think that it might
stifle creativity ?
3. Do you have any similar proposals for movements other than the Ocho ?

RELATED BUT SEPARATE POINT

Is there a standard Argentinian term for what I call the 'sitting down'
position ? This is the position that you often arrive at, for example, when
the man has his weight on his right foot, his right knee is strongly
flexed, and his left foot is extended without weight. A typical place where
it might occur is in preparation for arrastres. By that I mean, the lady
does a forward Ocho (on Michael's description - see it's helping already)
over the man's outstretched left foot and back again over it. He meanwhile
pivots slightly on his flexed right leg to move his outstretched left foot
to follow the lady's standing foot. This sitting down position is so common
that it ought to have a name to help us talk about movements of which it is
part. In general, I would prefer to use terms which are both Spanish and
traditional, if that is at all possible.

Sorry for taking up so much bandwidth, but I think that Michael could have
started  something important.

Laurie (Laurence)

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Date:    Tue, 9 Dec 1997 16:12:03 -0500
From:    "Walter M. Kane"
Subject: Re: the terminology-project: ocho

I don't for a minute believe that Michael Cysouw and Laurie Mosley went
through the trouble of composing their theses on the ocho just to make the
point that it's not feasible to standardize terminology, but they sure
convinced me!!

I found the discussions interesting and enlightening, but it seems quite
clear that they wouldn't fit in a pocket dictionary. Perhaps a multi-volume
encyclopedia would work...


Walter


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Date:    Tue, 9 Dec 1997 18:41:38 EST
From:    A HGberg
Subject: Terminology Project.....Ochos par Adelante, Ochos par Atras.

When Michael refers to an "ocho"  I really think that you must call it a
"forward ocho". ... and it is executed on a rather straight (not stiff) leg.

as opposed to "backward ochos" the opposite of "fwd ochos". Are Backwd Ochos
next on the list?  Have we finished yet with Fwd Ochos?

I refer to one ocho as an "ocho" rather than a half of an "ocho". ( I do not
want the purists to come down on my head as  inappropriately "splitting
ochos". )  For practical purposes during a class I call each half movement ,
"Ocho One, Ocho Two, Ocho Three.  I call the finishing ocho a return to the
"Fifth"  a "Curtailed Ocho".....I have heard it  described as a "slinky step"
but as a name that does not seem appropriate....does it.....
Some who finish "Fwd Ochos"  do not use this "soft fifth" or "curtailed Ocho"
but just another "Fwd Ocho".

Please correct me if I have a different view of the ocho (fwd).    In the
actual description as well as in the performance, isn't the "trailing foot"
brought up to the "standing foot" and kept there during the "swivel",  and
remains together before the next move is made.

.......or are there actually two kinds of fwd ochos, one that looks like a
feet together swivel and one that looks like a "fan shaped sweep" of the
moving foot?

The backward ochos look  terrible when the moving foot is swung outward
(unless your partner is a ballet dancer trained to do "rondes".

I second the motion to have FdM chair this discussion since it is she who
broke the log jam with her suggestion to have the list formulate a syllabus.
We should  however, include the input of all 600 of the participants on this
list when it comes to deciding "disputes"  that may arise.

Thanks should be given to Michael Cysouw.  He illustrates a certain excellent
command of the (English) language as well as outstanding analytical
capability. This will be a long row to hoe but I think it will be very
productive if we can perservere to its completion.  I would hope that the
contributions could be bilingual....perhaps Spanish or German????? So we do
not lose people who want to read what is going on even though they may be
reluctant to contribute! Also someone should archive the daily discussions.

Sincerely,
Arturo
West Palm Beach, Florida, USA


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Date:    Wed, 10 Dec 1997 02:04:17 -0800
From:    J Lane
Subject: Ochos

>From:    Laurie Moseley
>1. Do you agree that it will help communication to adopt this terminology
>with regard to Ochos specifically ?

Maybe, for a while, until there's enough turnover in the list that
the definition is forgotten, or until someone starts a flame war
over it.

>2. Do you see any dangers in doing so ?  e.g. do you think that it might
>stifle creativity ?

No, but that's beacuse what we on tango-l agree to has so little overall
importance that we are free to do almost anything we like without fear
of doing any real harm.

>3. Do you have any similar proposals for movements other than the Ocho ?

Not exactly, but...

Daniel Trenner teaches the identity between the beginning step of
an ocho (a quarter ocho?) and one of the four steps of a turn/giro/
molineta (sp?).  The follow doesn't, and generally can't, know
the difference until the beginning of the following movement,
either the continued swivel or the next step of the turn, and
this ambiguity can be the basis for some nice choreography.

Thus, a step with feet brought together, without changing weight,
and with a partial (90 degree?) turn, is a distinct movement.  If
the lead asks for a weight change, then it may be part of a giro.
If the swivel continues without changing weight, then it may be
the next step of an ocho.  Note that this description as given
is independent of direction; i.e. it works both forwards and
backwards, and the swivel may be either clockwise or counterclockwise.

What should this move be called?  Daniel teaches the movement, but
without a name for it.

Breaking it down further...a step is obviously a complete movement
in itself.  A "step" consists of moving one foot to a new location
and putting weight on it.  A step may be followed by any of several
movements:  by bringing the trailing foot to the weight bearing foot
with or without changing weight, with or without turning; or by
bringing the trailing foot to and past the weight bearing foot, again
with or without changing weight and/or direction.  Direction changes
are generally easier when the trailing foot moves to and around
the weight bearing foot.

It is also possible to move one foot to a new location without
putting weight on it, either leaving that foot in the air or just
barely touching it to the floor.  Obviously these movements have
different kinds of followup than steps, since they don't end with
a weight change.

So an ocho is a 1) step, 2) bring the trailing foot to the bearing
foot and swivel approximately 180 degrees with no weight change,
3) another step, and 4) repeat.  Replacing 2) with a weight change
and swivel 90 degrees leads to a giro.

IMNSHO, leading tango requires an awareness of movement more
detailed than an entire "ocho".

Some kind of analysis of tango movement is probably possible. Perhaps
Labanotation would be a good place to start, and a good language to
use to discuss it.  Does anybody on the list know Labanotation well
enough to comment?

Maybe FdM can decreee that Labanotation should be used as the basis
for the tango-l syllabus.  Having foolish...er, bravely accepted
the chair of the syllabus committee-of-the-whole, the least the
rest of us can do is obey her unquestioningly...until she's wrong,
anyway. :-)

Jim


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Date:    Wed, 10 Dec 1997 13:54:05 +0100
From:    Michael Cysouw
Subject: Re: terminology project: ocho

Dear List,

Although I appreciate all the nice reactions on my ocho analysis, I will
have to clarify my opinion some more, as I suspect that my words are
slightly being taken away from my intentions.

The main point I wanted to make (which Walter seems to have taken well ;-)
) is that the nomenclature is used in different ways, but that the
different uses are connected, either historically or functionally. I don't
think that we have to reduce the variation, and agree on a certain
one-and-only meaning.

An important reason not to pin ourselves down to one meaning is that if
terms become fixed this will starts to counteract the 'natural' change of
tango through time. And please remember: the meaning of a term only
reflects your personal tango-analysis and is not necessarily feasably for
all! Fixing a term to a certain meaning imposes a personal theory of tango
on others.

Back to 'ocho': Although I don't think that we should pin ourselves down to
one meaning of 'ocho', we can of course add words to describe different
variations found. And I suggest that people who use certain words write
them to the list, so we can gather them and make some kind of
'usage-dictionary'

-- full vs. closing --

I just made up two names in my mail to disentangly two different movements,
both performed during ochos. These names seem to be misunderstood, so let
me try to be more precise.

I proposed a distinction (this distinction is not my invention though, but
I'm not sure whom to give credit. Eric J=F8rissen would surely be one of
them) between what I called a full ocho and a closing ocho. To clarify, let
me call them 'full ocho step' and 'closing ocho step'. A 'full ocho step'
is what most people nowadays seem to mean when they say 'ocho', consisting
of one step and a swivel (although I argued that thisusage is possibly
historically incorrect). The 'closing ocho step' is the last step of a
series of ochos, normally performed with hardly any forward movement.
Arturo gave some alternate names:

closing ocho step =3D finishing ocho =3D return to the fifth =3D curtailed=
 ocho =3D
slinky step =3D soft fifth, who has some more?

I didn't propose the name 'full ocho' for the combination of two steps,
resulting in one complete eight being drawn on the floor, as Laurie seems
to interpret it. But why not add this possible meaning! I like polysemie...

-- the moving foot --

Besides the two variants described above there are indeed numerous
variations to make the swivel. Both Laurie ('driving ocho', 'standart
Rebecca Shulman ocho') and Arturo ('feet together swivel', 'fan shaped
sweep') described some of them. I regard these as secondary variations, as
there is no different weight-change involved (although different ways to
make the swivel will influence the flow of movement!).

-- forward vs. backward --

Arturo commented:
> When Michael refers to an "ocho"  I really think that you must call it a
> "forward ocho" [...] as opposed to "backward ochos" the opposite of
> "fwd ochos". Are Backwd Ochos
> next on the list?

The question is: shall we take forward and backward ochos as variations of
a certain theme ('ocho') or as two different movements. I guess (but
without substantial argumentation) that historically the name ocho was used
to refer to the forward ocho. Independently a different movemtent arose,
that at a certain point was analyzed as resembling the forward ocho and
consequently named 'backward ocho'. The only (inconclusive) argument for
the different origins is that the movements feel so completely different.
Backwards ocho seem much more natural to arise from a walking movement with
'crossed feet' (in the Gustavo Naveira sense of moving both on left/right
feet together).

So although I acknowledge the similarity, I think the forward and backward
ochos are historically not related. And I doubt if it is really usefull to
backward ochos as a variation on forward ochos as the movements are rather
different. In my analysis of tango-movements, they wouldn't be named by the
same general term. But alas, I can't change history...

bye
michael cysouw
nijmegen, holland


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Date:    Wed, 10 Dec 1997 08:16:33 -0800
From:    Flor de Mina
Subject: Re: Ochos

Hi Everyone:

I am greatly impressed with the detailed descriptions of ochos that
Laurie and Michael have presented, even though I am not able to take
every momement that was described and translate it into a visual image
of variations on the ocho.  To some extent, however, I wonder how
important are detailed descriptions of acceptable variations in ochos.
 If a syllabus is going to capture the dance of a people, like the
Argentine Tango, providing an overview of the dance, should come
before detailed descriptions of the steps.  It is only by surveying
the dance in its entirety that one may hope to capture the broader
context of Argentine Tango.

Jim Lane wrote:

> Daniel Trenner teaches the identity between the beginning step of
> an ocho (a quarter ocho?) and one of the four steps of a turn/giro/
> molineta (sp?).  The follow doesn't, and generally can't, know
> the difference until the beginning of the following movement,
> either the continued swivel or the next step of the turn, and
> this ambiguity can be the basis for some nice choreography.
>
> Thus, a step with feet brought together, without changing weight,
> and with a partial (90 degree?) turn, is a distinct movement.  If
> the lead asks for a weight change, then it may be part of a giro.
> If the swivel continues without changing weight, then it may be
> the next step of an ocho.  Note that this description as given
> is independent of direction; i.e. it works both forwards and
> backwards, and the swivel may be either clockwise or counterclockwise.

What Jim describes is much closer to the approach that I think must be
taken to develop a syllabus for Argentine Tango.  Argentine Tango is
an improvisational dance, and this way of characterizing it comes much
closer to the mark of capturing how steps are constructed.  It does
not include the acceptable variations of paticular steps, but I find
that of secondary importance to getting a feel for the dance.

Daniel Trenner and a number of people teach the way Jim describes, but
credit really should be given to the people who originated this
approach to instruction: Petroleo, Gustavo Naveira, and Mingo Pugliese.

> Maybe FdM can decreee that Labanotation should be used as the basis
> for the tango-l syllabus.  Having foolish...er, bravely accepted
> the chair of the syllabus committee-of-the-whole, the least the
> rest of us can do is obey her unquestioningly...until she's wrong,
> anyway. :-)

I was told by someone, my boss I think, that a good executive can make
decisions even without any useful knowledge.  Therefore, I decree
against the use of labanotation, whatever it is. ;-)

If it were not for the potential profit, I would not have accepted the
opportunity(?) to chair the committee.  ;-)

Abrazos,
FdM


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Date:    Wed, 10 Dec 1997 18:02:47 +0100
From:    Anders Torne
Subject: Closing ocho step

Dear list,


m.cysouw@LET.KUN.NL said:
>  The 'closing ocho step' is the last step of a series of ochos,
> normally performed with hardly any forward movement. Arturo gave some
> alternate names:

> closing ocho step = finishing ocho = return to the fifth = curtailed
> ocho = slinky step = soft fifth, who has some more?

I refer to this step as the "correction", where the lady corrects the
direction of her left foot by applying the tip of her right foot behind the
heel/ankle of the left, press with right foot, coming into cruz.
(Cruz = the fifth position, although I do not like that term (fifth) because I
sometimes lead to that position after second step in straight salida ... Yes,
it is difficult to lead, many followers think its a forward ocho, and in that
case I accept it - so I am non-deterministic in my lead).

The result of the correction is that the left foot is turned from "parallel"
with shoulders to perpendicular.

One of my teachers makes this into a divine art and your yaw really drops when
she makes it!....and yes, she is wonderful to lead and she calls it
"correction".

The "correction" can also be done after the second step in a left giro, for
example, if something is in the way, and you lead to cruz (that's harder,
because often ladies in giros are hard to stop) - or actually the step can be
applied any time the lady has the left foot front of the right and is pointing
to the left (scew angle or parallel to man's shoulders) of the man. So it is
not an "ocho" step, I think.

The standard way to go into cruz is, I believe - lady right foot back or to
the right, place left in cruz and lean to weight on left -  the lead of this
can easily be interpreted as a forward ocho, if your'e not distinct enough.
What this step is called I do not know, but it can also be applied at
different places, e.g., in straight walking (or is it "corrida" it is called,
I don't know) - cruz, three steps, cruz, five steps, cruz, wait two beats, etc.

To cruz? Cruzete? Cruzada - No, that's something else!, Basic cruz?

I'm really at simple things here - but do we have a label on that step?

Yours sincerly,
Anders Torne

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Date:    Wed, 10 Dec 1997 15:23:18 EST
From:    Pibe001
Subject: Re: Closing ocho step

In a message dated 97-12-10 14:06:50 EST,  writes:

<< I'm really at simple things here - but do we have a label on that step?

 Yours sincerly,
 Anders Torne >>
n a message dated 97-12-10 14:06:50 EST, you write:

<< I'm really at simple things here - but do we have a label on that step?

 Yours sincerly,
 Anders Torne >>

The cross step is nothing more than the front step of a molinete when the
molinete is done in a straight line. Most of the steps the follower does while
dancing the tango are: front, side, back, side, front, side, back, side etc
,etc.  These are done to both sides (right or left) and are interrupted by
changes of direction (ochos) either forward (from a front step) or backwards
(from a back step).
The so called D8CB is nothing but a few steps of the molinete (grapevine) for
the follower except that they are not done in a circular locus around the
leader. Look at it this way: leader takes a back step (dreaded) with his
right, follower takes a front step with the left, now lets just follow the
follower's steps: side step with right, back step with left (straight back),
side step with right (straight back), front step with left (presto! cruzada)
while going straight back, etc,etc.

Now, I want part of the action, how do I get into the "certification" process?
I'm eagerly awaiting the lucrative rewards which are sure to follow my
credentials ;-)

chau


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Date:    Sat, 13 Dec 1997 10:42:18 GMT
From:    Laurie Moseley
Subject: Re: the terminology-project: ocho

Walter remains unconvinced of the need for standard terminology because of
the tortuous nature of Michael and my attempts to define an Ocho. That's a
pity.

Since sending my attempt I have received various private mails to which I
have replied. It is clear that we do use words differently. One (thanks
David Feldman) showed that one person's usage of a word  as basic as
Parada was, in my terminology, a Parada followed by two more steps (and I
could see a variety of ways of changing the usage of those two beats). In
that case had he talked about something following a Parada, I would have
been completely lost. We would have been starting from different places.
Our lack of a shared terminology would have inhibited communication.

I agree that initial attempts to arrive at definitions are going to be
difficult. However, as we get more experience these attempts will be less
clumsy than mine was. Once we have them, life becomes much simpler. It
takes a hell of a lot of effort to write a word-processing program. Once
you have it, though, you and others can compose more easily. Of course,
some people will use it to produce wonderful poetry, others will use it to
order widgets, and yet others to pen pornography. The fact that we had
developed a useful tool does not guarantee that it will be wisely or well
used. It does, however, increase the potential of all of us.

Could I stress that I think that we need the terminology for communication,
NOT for dancing !

Safe Ganchos

Laurie (Laurence)

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Date:    Sat, 13 Dec 1997 11:11:44 GMT
From:    Laurie Moseley
Subject: Re: Ochos

Dear Jim

Thanks for your contribution. I can see the practical problem of turnover
on the list , but at least we might keep the discussions (and especially
any definitions which achieve consensus) in a separate archive which new
subscribers could have as part of their start-up advice.

I agree entirely about the need to break movements down into individual
steps, or even, as I suggested (pace Michael Cysouw) individual changes of
weight. When you understand those small pieces you can start to put them
together in an improvisational way. This might help to get away from the
mechanical dancing that people complain about.

Laurie (Laurence)

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Garrit Fleischmann Dec.97
Email: kontakt(at)cyber-tango.com