ARGENTINE TANGO – A BRIEF HISTORY

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During the period of 1850-1900 many immigrants, mainly from Europe, arrived to Argentina. They brought with them the music of flamenco, mazurka, and polka among others. In Argentina this music blended with the local folk music, the rythm of the Carribean – the Cuban habanera and the African rythm – candombe to form the essence of what we today recognize as the music of Argentine Tango.

In the beginning the body movements of this dance were less contained, more swaying and the music had a quicker tempo. Over time the dance was shaped and stylized by experiences in society and by changes in the music and its instruments.

From its origin in the urban areas of Buenos Aires – to the salons of Paris, from its golden aera of the big orchestras in Buenos Aires – to the cutting edge techno sound of today’s Europe. From show tango on Broadway to social dancing in private homes. From the steady rythmic beat to the abstract sounds of jazz, the Argentine Tango is still evolving, always danced in the present. If you want it, it leads you to it, if you think you have got it, it leaves you.

Endlessly fascinating, complex in its simplicity, elusive in its adaptability – simply TANGO.

The dance of Argentine Tango has two distinct roles – the man and the woman. Both partners stay in their own balance, while communicating intention and movements without words to dance in harmony. The embrace facilitates connection between partners. The steps and figures add vocabulary,  the legs and feet carry the conversation while the technique and experience expand it.
The man interprets the music and communicates his choice of movements to the woman. The woman receives and responds to this information without resistance. Her response transmits confidence and inspires the next step. The roles are different but of equal value. The Argentine Tango is a couple’s dance and one without the other is incomplete. The opportunity for variety in interpretation of the roles, the dance, the music and the relationship is endless.

The leader is aware of the direction, the line of dance, as well as the other leaders on the dance floor. It is possible for all couples to move in harmony while interpreting and expressing the music with individual choices of movements and combination of steps. The ArgentineTango can be danced with focus on technique, but also allows for communication and expression of all human emotions and experiences. Through the music it is possible for the partners to dance as one and experience the magic of the dance.

The Argentine Tango offers the opportunity for exploration of relationship, with the self, the partner, the group and the music. It can be danced as a recreational activity and it can be danced as a life philosophy. Tango is a partner that requires the courage of commitment to disciplined practise in order to attain freedom of expression.

Tango is passion
a feeling that you hear, that you dance
Tango knows no age
it is not important where you are or with whom you dance
Where you feel it, there it is – This is Tango
(Eduardo Saucedo2001)