Tag Archives: cat gif

Our year in pictures – 2015

It was quite a year at CLS. We began 2015 with our Émigré series, full of music by composers who travelled the globe looking for fame and fortune, new artistic experiences, or just a safe place to call home. We did some travelling of our own when we visited Mexico in the spring, before setting up camp once again with Opera Holland Park over the summer. This autumn saw the beginning of our RE:Imagine series, which explores composers’ new interpretations and perspectives on existing works. Take a stroll with us down memory lane and see some of our highlights from 2015…

With the help of some brilliant cat gifs, we channelled our inner dancers for the tango-inspired CLoSer: To and From Buenos Aires. We also reminded ourselves just how weird cats can be!

The real dancers who joined us for the concert were brilliant, though!

 

In April, Russian-born New York composer and violist Ljova joined us for a special residency. He delighted us all with his beautiful blend of classical music, Russian folk, Klezmer and jazz, reflecting his own émigré roots. In anticipation of his arrival, we all thought up our favourite viola jokes…

Continue reading Our year in pictures – 2015

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How to dance the tango (in cat gifs) – Part Two

In continuation of our last post and in advance of our next CLoSer concert and FREE tango taster, To and From Buenos Aires on 25 February, we are delighted to present Part Two of ‘How to dance the tango (in cat gifs)’. Having already learnt the basics in Part One, our animated feline friends will now lead us through the exact steps and movements needed to conquer this sensual, romantic, elegant dance.

As we mentioned before, the tango is all about the relationship of the man and woman and so the very first thing you need to do is to find a partner and embrace

find a friend

The embrace should be sensual, loose but firm, and very poised. In other words, both you and your partner’s postures should be impeccable.

posture

Within the embrace, there should be a clear leader (this is normally the man).

leader

Generally speaking during the dance, both parties mirror each other.

mirror

The tango steps is a simple combination of two slow walks and a “tango close”. The five steps are counted ‘slow, slow, quick quick, slow” or ‘walk, walk, tan – go close’, the latter cue helping dancers remember when to close their feet and stop temporarily.

close

The basic steps needed can be better explained on this diagram. Remember to count ‘slow (1), slow (2), quick (3) quick (4), slow (5)’ (sorry, we just couldn’t find a cat gift to explain this…)

Each step begins and ends with the knees bent – there should be no rise and fall, sway or body flight… just smooth, seamless movements.

stiff legs

As we mentioned in the last post, the walk is absolutely crucial to the tango. Each step should be a short, staccato-like movement.

staccato movements

Tango walks typically curve gradually to the left.

don't forget you have to move to the left

Remember to be considerate of others on the dance floor. The tango is danced anti-clockwise like a horse race. Dancers try to stay on the outside edge of the floor and away from the middle.

anti clockwise

Once you’ve mastered the basic steps, you can add all sorts of embellishments from shimmies, swivels and turns.

embellishments

To find out more about dancing the tango, come along to next concert, To and From Buenos Aires (details below), which features a FREE tango taster. 

CLOSER: To and From Buenos Aires 
Wednesday 25 February 2015, 7:30pm
FREE tango taster from 6:45pm 
Village Underground, Shoreditch
Tickets £15 or £5 for students (pre-register at www.cls.co.uk/cls-fiver) available from Spitalfields Music Box Office or via phone on 020 7377 1362.

How to dance the tango (in cat gifs) – Part One

In advance of our next CLoSer concert and FREE tango taster, To and From Buenos Aires on 25 February, we thought we’d put together a quick and easy guide to dancing this spectacular art form. In our research, we found out that the steps you’re supposed to use can be compared to the sneaking or stalking action of a cat.  So, we thought, what better way to create this guide, than to get actual cats to show you how its done?! (or cat gifs, to be exact). We also got some inspiration from Classic FM’s ‘History of Classical Music in Cat Gifs’ whose hilarity we are eternally grateful for.

The first thing to remember about tango is that it is an earthly and passionate dance. The dance should be full of drama…

drama

romance…

love  passion

and excitement.

excitement

As any expert will tell you, the essence of tango is not something you do, but something you feel. The music really has to flow through you in order to grasp the rhythm and sultry of the dance, so get listening! You can listen to our tango playlist on Spotify here!

cat piano

As you will hear in the music, the tango revolves around a slow, steady four-count beat.

beat

The tango is centred around the relationship of a man and a woman. It really does take two to tango, because the dance isn’t just about the man leading and the woman following. Both partners have important things to contribute to the dance – like any good conversation. It’s about teamwork.

team work

It is an improvisational dance (in fact, it was the first improvisational ballroom dance danced in Europe). So before you start, don’t forget that you don’t have to keep exactly to the rules!

improv ..

All great tango dancers work on their walk before they begin the steps. So before we go on to the exact movements needed to dance the tango in the next blog of this series, get practicing that stalking, sneaking cat-like walk.

sneaky kitten

Click here to read Part Two.

CLOSER: To and From Buenos Aires 

Wednesday 25 February 2015, 7:30pm
FREE tango taster from 6:45pm 
Village Underground, Shoreditch
Tickets £15 or £5 for students (pre-register at www.cls.co.uk/cls-fiver) available from Spitalfields Music Box Office or via phone on 020 7377 1362.