"Five Runs" in Vals

We're getting farther and farther off the track. The plan was to move from basics to the more complex secrets of the milongueros, but we've already skipped over the fundamentals, and now we're heading off into some difficult vals cadences. But we're rolling, so let's stay with it. Please just keep in mind that these pages about cadence, and also the upcoming one about enrosques, are very advanced tango. Only a small percentage of dancers do them, and it's a waste of time to attempt any of them without very solid fundamentals and a complete understanding of the music.


Here comes one of my very first videos. One afternoon Alej and I were dancing, and I mentioned I'd like to get a good vals on film. So she said, you want vals, you got vals! Then she jumped up, asked Dany to put on a vals tanda, and went over and asked Gerard Gellé to dance with her so I could film it.

Now, Gerard can be grumpy. He doesn't like the camera, and he never ever likes to break traditions in a milonga. But he's also a pretty good friend of ours. He's from France, and Alej has stayed at his house there, and danced with him in Europe. But still, when the music started, I wondered for a minute if he was going to come over. Let's cut to the tape: Here he comes! Grumbling and complaining all the way! And when he reaches Alej, there's a funny moment where he shakes his head and tells her he just doesn't want to do it. You can see her answer him... "Sorry, It's too late", she says. "You're already here... now we have to dance."

The start is a little rough. Gerard is distracted, and Alej hasn't been dancing with anyone other than me for over a year. They need to readjust to each other, and it takes them awhile to warm up. Also, my camera work is pitiful. I was new at filming, and I was wasn't confident enough to run around the room with the camera—so I stayed in one spot, and missed most of their dancing. Anyway, the clip is all chopped up, and neither Alej or Gerard are at their best... but I think it's still good. In fact, it's one of my favorite pieces of film.

Here are Gerard Gellé, Alejandra Todaro, and Francisco Canaro—and three of the greatest valses ever written: Heart of Gold, From the Soul, and Vibrations of the Soul:



Wow that was good. That's what they mean by "todo la carne en la parrilla"... putting all the meat on the fire. I hate it when Desde el Alma cuts off in the middle, though. I would have really liked to see them finish that one. Sorry.

I had a long discussion about vals compás, and about "four run", and "seven run" corridas that I was going to put here—but somehow, after listening to that transcendent music and watching the dancing, it doesn't feel right to analyze it right now. Let's do it later.