Workshops with Javier Rochwarger

Here's a little example of his dancing:



Just a (long overdue) quickie summary -

What I loved:

I loved his focus on the embrace - on locking into your partner (Important caveat: He did not mean *squeezing* your partner!) by keeping your intention forward. One of his classes was labeled "Complex Sequences in Close, and very close, embrace." How could I resist a class with a title like that? And of course the additional two milonga classes made my weekend! One of my dance partners convinced me to sign up for a shared private with him (to work on milonga some more - that was a pretty easy sell) and I'm so glad I did.


Javier's focuses (in the classes I took, and in the private):
- Embrace, embrace, embrace.
- Ways to reduce "play" and bounce between partners (unintentional movement/being out of synch) with a firm (again, not squeezing) embrace and forward-intention connection.
- Staying up and forward - not rocking back and away from partner.
- Slow down.

Notes from the private lesson in milonga:
For me:
- Keeping my hip square (not dropping it - or breaking at the waist)
- Try harder not to anticipate and in particular, avoid auto-collecting.

For my partner and me -
- Zipping up the hip when collection. This is one of those visual things that's easy to explain in person, but hard to explain in writing. Mostly it keeps both partners from rushing one another and is closely related to the next technique Javier hit on . .
- Landing/finishing the step before continuing on - really land it (push into the floor).

The only things I was disappointed in were his limited time with us in Austin (I so wish he could return more often and/or stay longer) and his reluctance for videos to be put on YouTube. I think his refusal for posting videos online is completely understandable, but he has very little online presence as it is, and I was actually reluctant to take classes with him because there was so few examples of him dancing online. I know performances are generally not a good indicator of how much I'm going to like a class, but it's still something to view.

I recommend Javier very much and look forward to his next visit to Austin!

4 comments:

jantango said...

It's the first video I've seen of Javier. I was expecting to see him dancing in a close embrace throughout the dance based on your remarks about his class.

An embrace with a milonguero never changes throughout the dance. That's the way I like it!

You're getting a different kind of tango in the USA than is danced in BsAs.

Mari Johnson said...

Jantango: "You're getting a different kind of tango in the USA than is danced in BsAs." - Nothing new there. If he danced (in a performance) close embrace the entire time - he likely wouldn't get many students. Sad but true. I've said before comparing tango in the US to tango in BsAs is pointless. They have always been, and will always be, different animals.

Regarding Javier's dancing socially, I can tell you that he maintains his close embrace throughout the dance (as long as the follower is comfortable) and his floor craft and use of space was beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Jantango: stop being so judgmental, it's this kind of attitude that's driving people away from tango.

jb said...

Mari
You just got to get them hooked on real close embrace and get them to feel the dance within the music and the embrace, rather than show the dance around the room....we have all been there but eventually it all comes down to the music and embrace...as for no students I dont believe that!! if you have teachers who stick at teaching close embrace social tango, the nature of the dance within the community will change..here are Detlef and Melina who basically walk and teach in the same idiom and their classes here in the UK are full almost as soon as they are announced http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DEjMTMyORc