Some 40 dance enthusiasts attended a workshop on Advance Tango Techniques conducted by Dmitry Novikov and Marina Gaevskaya of Russia at the Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association (KLDA) on November 13. Novikov and Gaevskaya started the session by doing a simple tango routine consisting of two walks and a link followed by a close promenade. We, the participants could notice that the steps they took were big and positive and their actions powerful. Even though the 'standard' timing for the progressive link is 'Quick Quick', Novikov said he preferred using the 'Slow &' timing as it gives the figure a strong and distinctive character.
The Russian couple then demonstrated to the audience how to close their bodies when doing the close promenade. Novikov said the man should 'roll' his waist to signal to his partner that he wants to close their bodies. The man must never use brute force when executing this move. Gaevskaya then proceeded to show the ladies how to square their bodies on the third step of the close promenade. A slight flick action of the right leg was used on the third step to effect the turn of the body. At the same time the lady must turn her head sharply to her left. The audience were then told to practice the figures and put through their paces.
Novikov mentioned that there are three types of control in ballroom dancing. They are 1) mental, 2) physical and 3) emotional control. He also talked about power and energy and how to feel the energy. "If you cannot feel the energy, you cannot show the energy. Dancers must use their body weight energy and not their muscle energy" he said. Transfer of body weight using the supporting leg was also discussed and demonstrated by Novikov. The audience exclaimed that the movements looked like taiqi (tai chi) moves, to which Novikov quite agreed! We had a jolly good time and certainly learnt so much about advance tango techniques that evening.