Friday, April 20, 2007

Video of the Week - Canyengue

Okay, so, sometimes a milonga comes on and people are like, "...the hell is this?", which means it's a canyengue.

Canyengue is the predecessor of milonga, which is the predecessor of tango, which is the predecessor of that scene in Moulin Rouge which was okay at the time but has become the background music for a thousand Smallville fanvids that clog my YouTube searches, and so now I think it's evil.

(Also, if you ever want a laugh, search for "tango roxanne music", and click on one of those random music videos. Look for: hilariously unlikely subject matter - anime, star wars, ice skating (!) - and even better if you get one with terrible spelling. "Kate luvs Sawyer + Jack who will she choose?? song is tango de roxanne from moulin rouge - TRUTH AND LOVE 4EVER!")

Ahem. Sorry about that. Back to my point - CANYENGUE!

Most people dance milonga to canyengue. That's okay. No negative points for doing that. However, if the lady turns her head so it's looking the same direction as the man's head, they drop their joined hands, and they catch the rhythm correctly, it's one million squillion positive Planchadora points.

Here's a demonstration of all the little beats and unique steps that make up a good canyengue. The camera also lingers on their upper bodies, and for two reasons:

1) Their upper bodies maintain the same structure and posture required of tango, milonga, and all the other dances. No shimmying!

2) He has a really kicky little chapeau going on.

So, the next time a canyengue comes on, now you know. Drop your hands, turn your heads, and ric-tic-tic.


manoblanca said...

Dear Planchadora,

Just three comments:

1. Canyengue can be done with or without kicky hats or antique costumes. Look at Marta dance with Manolo in this video on YouTube:
Marta Anton rocks: she has the best footwork ever, she is so subtle and musical, all you flailing young adornistas please take note.

2. Please, please do not dance Canyengue to milonga. The rhythm is not the same. On that note, try not to dance Canyengue to Tango music. Canyengue has a 4x8 rhythm usually represented by Canaro, Orquesta Tipica Victor and other old guard orchestras, while Tango has a 2x4 rhythm.
Slightly more forgiveable is dancing Tango steps in a Tango embrace to Canyengue music: it can be done, but only by tango musical geniuses. Fabian Peralta fails to follow the music when he danced to Poema at CITA, and Javier Rodriguez goes a little too fast to the same song at the Taipei Tango festival (watch Geraldine try to slow him down) Both these videos are on YouTube.
Osvaldo and Coca danced tango steps beautifully to Tubatango Canyengue music at the Buenos Aires Camicando festival in March. But then, Osvaldo Cartery is a tango musical genius.

3. Since I'm on a rant anyway, I think it is absolutely putrid to see people do "fake canyengue". Dropping your hands to crotch level, bending your knees, putting your hands in your pockets and wearing funny costumes a la "I've seen it done in a tango show somewhere!" do not a Canyengue make. Canyengue has to be done to the right music, with the right steps that express the rhythmic characteristics of Canyengue.

That said, I will personally grind the next Fake Canyengue dancers that I see into Fake Canyengue mince meat with my 4 inch high Comme Il Fauts. Eduardo Saucedo and Marisa Quiroga, you are both on my hit list GGRRRRRRR!

OK, end of rant. Thanks for your really funny and entertaining blog, I've made all my friends read it too. Ciao!

Caroline said...

Hi Plancha, great post! I saw an excellent cayengue show two weeks ago.
manoblanca seemed to think you were suggesting to dance cayengue to milonga although I didn't see that anywhere in your post. not sure how she got that impression? *scratches head*
Martha, not Marta, is indeed wonderful to watch.
I'd be scared to criticize people who can dance better than me, like say Javier, who's in a class of his own - lest they turn around and say "oh yeah? let's see you dance then." Eek, wouldn't want to go there.

La Planchadora said...

mano - Canyegue is not milonga, nor would I ever want people to confuse the two. And hey, those two dressed themselves! ;)

Caroline - Glad you liked! How was the show? Are you going to post about it?

La Tanguera said...

Hi Planchadora,

Many thanks, I loved your video, as well as your post on it.

Calls for a number of good lessons on actual Canyengue, so that one can give it the place it deserves.