Ocho Cortado Wrap
The Ocho Cortado is a venerable piece of tango vocabulary used primarily for cutting turns, adding accents to the ends of musical paragraphs, or just to add a bit more ‘fun’ to the dance. It’s great in open, fabulous in close embrace, and just delish when led and followed slowly. There’s nothing crazier than an Anti-Ocho Cortado (reversing the Cortado, lead doing the follower’s steps & the follower doing the lead’s), while going against the music as counter point. 🙂 However, far too often a fair number of Leads, and a good number of Follower overuse it as if it were going out of style and they just have to get all they can in, before the end of the Ocho Cortado. After about the 3rd time most Followers yawn and yearn for something else, a little nuance, a little spice, a little…something else. While this belief could make most Leads (the person, not the action) cop to the ‘more vocabulary is better’ philosophy that pervades most leading classes, there is another way to go here. And that’s the add nuance. The nuance in this case is today’s Tango Topic: The Ocho Cortado Wrap.
What is An Ocho Cortado Wrap ? Put simply it’s a Follower’s leg wrap....
mixed with an Ocho Cortado (the ‘Cut’ Ocho).
To be fair the Ocho Cortado is not really an Ocho, not by any stretch of the imagination, nor is it a broken one at that. It is more akin to the Follower’s Molinete more than anything else.
From A Following Perspective you’re going to do a fair amount of work for this one. And most, if not all, of that work comes in the form of awareness on your part in 3 distinct areas below, and then their execution. This mixed move requires you to execute with some level of deftness and clarity what’s being asked of you so be prepared.
1.) Recognizing the Cortado. The Ocho Cortado itself is an easy piece of vocabulary for you to execute in Close or Open embrace. There’s really nothing crazy about it. The fact is though that you do actually have to recognize that this is a Cortado that’s being executed and not your Molinete. And the key component to that recognition is the opening check step that happens at the beginning of every Ocho Cortado. That motion tells you 2 things: a.) An Ocho Cortado is in your immediate future and b.) Something else could happen along the same lines, using an Ocho Cortado as the basis for that the other movement. 😉
2.) The Wrapping Indicator. Speaking of other things…. this particular piece of vocabulary for you is all about the nuance of the Wrap (Enganche) itself. So you ideally want to listen for something very specific: The invasion of the lead’s leg into your space, against the fleshy part of your thigh. That invasion tells you that this is no longer going to be an Ocho Cortado but instead, a Wrap!
and 3.) Your Side Step. Because you have already determined that it’s not going your Molinete, but instead of an Ocho Cortado, you need to make a small change in the execution of your side step: Instead of it being circular, it wants to be a linear side step. The reason being that if you’re too close, then the Wrap that the lead is looking for will not happen or become too unwieldy because you’re too close (circular side step).
Your awareness of these things regardless of whether or not you’re being led to an Ocho Cortado or a Wrap is can literally change the quality of its execution from one of “oh shit” (as in surprise) to “that’s cool” which will open up doors for you in terms adorning the Wrap itself, as there are a few places within the Wrap you have an inordinate amount of control over: the Leg up, the Leg/Calf Wrap itself, the Exit Wrap, and the Leg down. Lots of places to add a bit of ‘flash’.
The difficult part for you will be in the Wrap itself, your desire is to displace your leg (sending it out and away) unless you’ve have been trained to respond to a wrap specifically. And beyond that, the next major difficulty for you will be making the Wrap elegant and not gaudy. 🙁 The gaudy part is easy as it comes in many forms. The elegant part ? That takes time, patience, and practice. As there is a method to making the Follower’s Wrap actually work well regardless of who you are dancing with. For that to happen, look at 10 Wraps in the Tango Topics Archive. It’s full of Follower Technique on this topic.
From a Leading Perspective the Ocho Cortado Wrap is all about clarity for you. You need to be absolutely clear that you are leading ‘X’ and not ‘Y’. Otherwise the Follower will default to an Ocho Cortado. This axiom assumes that said Ocho Cortado is in their vocabulary, and they’re not suffering from Autopilot Following. 🙁 So what does “Clarity” look like from your perspective ?
1.) The Wrap Invasion. Every Lead that tries a wrap makes one of the few following errors. a) Stepping too deep. b.) Compressing the Embrace (Pulling). c.) The ‘Straight’ leg syndrome. d.) Watching the Follower’s feet. e.) Stepping too shallow. or what seems like a personal favorite -> f.) Stepping into the middle of the Follower’s space and just ‘expecting’ them to “Wrap”. Better known as not actually leading a damned thing. 🙂
2.) Leading the Linear Side Step and not a Circular one.
3.) Opposition as you enter an Ocho Cortado. The oppositional forward step across you, is absolutely crucial to the success or failure of an Ocho Cortado. This is what will differentiate the move from the Follower's Molinete.
Without these three things being absolutely crystal clear in you, this nuanced variance becomes a lot like a watching a gymnastics tournament, and about as pleasurable from the Follower’s perspective, sadly. Mostly this stuff comes down to actually leading this stuff but not over-leading it. That’s a fine line. You have to suggest, but not force. You must indicate, but not use your arms to do it. You must invite without resistance in any way, shape, or form. Resistance is Less Than Desirable. Period.
One thing that should be obvious is that the ending vocabulary, how you exit, mostly will be Traveling Ochos more than anything else. Why ? Because the ending step of the Wrap is set up for just that!
About the Video: This video comes is 21:44 in length in 14 Sections.
Section 1 – Introduction – 00:00:20
Section 2 – Ocho Cortado Review – 00:00:48
Section 3 – Lead Reminders – 00:02:22
Section 4 – Follower Reminders – 00:03:23
Section 5 – Ocho Cortado Both Roles – 00:00:23
Section 6 – The Wrap For Leads – 00:01:33
Section 7 – The Wrap for Followers – 00:01:42
Section 8 – Wrap and Cortado Together – 00:01:43
Section 9 – The Open Embrace Version – 00:00:50
Section 10 – The Close Embrace Version – 00:01:14
Section 11 – The Open Side Cortado Wrap – 00:00:40
Section 12 – Why This ? – 00:01:56
Section 13 – A Double Wrap – 00:01:53.
Section 14 – Adding a Lead Gancho – 00:01:19.
Section 15 – Closing.
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From a Dancing Perspective truthfully this is nuance vocabulary. Nothing more, nothing less. And it should rightfully be used as such. Spice. Accent. Think of adding the wrap to this as a little tiny surprise. A change of pace. Nothing more than that. It’s a variation on a theme of Ocho Cortado Options with a clear fixation on the Wrap as the exit possibility. Are you going to see this a lot ? No. Is the Follower going to expect it ? No. Is the Lead going to not push or pull in this or use their arms ? That remains to be seen. In reality this stuff does fit within the line and lane of dance, and can be a very useful too in accenting certain singular accent notes in say Di Sarli, Fresedo, or Caló. De Caro, Tanturi, or Rodriguez may not work unless the wrap is more of an enganche more than anything else, a quick ganchito. So really, more late Di Sarli more than anything else.
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