Sunday, 6 April 2008

We have moved

This blog has moved and can now be found at

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Moving Site

I shall be moving over to a wordpress blog hosted at shortly.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Please mind the gap

The lunge, the main form of attack in fencing, is properly composed of two actions: the extension of the arm and the lunge of the legs. In classical fencing this is taught initially as two separate actions. Extend and then lunge. The extension establishes the threat and the lunge delivers it (it is vital that the threat is established before any leg movement is made). Over time the distance between the two actions is reduced moving from 'extend and then lunge' to 'extend lunge' to simply 'lunge'.

Equally with the lead. The lead must become before any movement and when you begin it will be lead and then move but eventually it will become simply 'lead' or 'move'. This analogy came to me while working on that simple little exercise of both partners doing the move of the turn in a straight line, side-step, ocho-forward, side-step, ocho-backwards. It is a great exercise for making the concept of disassociation apparent and because if it is not done in the form of BAM! lead, move it just does not work and you can see people getting confused awfully quickly.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

The Embrace

Café Periódico del Tango writes about The In-s, Out-s & In-Betweens of the Embrace specifically quoting Javier Rodriguez that:
"the gentleman should hold the lady in his arms like a baby during the dance"
I personally have always preferred:
"Tenez votre arme comme vous tiendriez un oiseau : pas trop fort pour ne pas l’étouffer, assez fort tout de même pour ne pas le laisser s’échapper."

Louis-Justin Lafaugere; Traite de l’art de faire des armes
(Lyon: 1820)
Most commonly translated as "Hold your foil as if you had a little bird in your hand, firmly enough to prevent it from escaping and yet not so firmly as to crush it" and turning up in the 1952 film Scaramouche paraphrased as "Think of the sword like a bird. Clutch it too tightly and you choke it. Too lightly and it flies away."

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Backwards and in heels

Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

In response to: The "PC"-fication of Tango

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

You don't teach people tango, you break 'em in.