Tango Story


BEAUTYFUL WORLD OF THE TANGO.

* History, images, examples.

   What happens with our soul when we listen the bewitching sounds of the Tango? Mystery, desire, passion, love, jelousy? We descover again and again the whole new world of excitement and joy of the Tango that invites us with its mystery. So, let's fall in this ocean of emotions and feelings!


Mauro Caiazza - My Language is Tango


History of Argentinian Tango
* By Eduardo Fernandez

   This story starts in Argentina. Some people said that at the beginning negros, former slaves who lived in Argentina, were the first Tango dancers.​ This dance was accompanied by the rhythms of the drums. In the late 19th century Argentine port-city of Buenos Aires became extremely popular among expats. From different European countries people came here in search of a better life. These people brought with them a variety of musical instruments from their home countries: violin, guitar, flute, and of course they brought with them the musical traditions of their countries. In Buenos Aires, a melting pot of different cultures and trends in music forms and develops a previously unknown dance - the tango. At first it was fun, easy, sometimes even vulgar. For a long time it had the music and dance of the lower strata of society. Middle and upper classes did not accept the tango. At the time, the tango was danced in taverns, in the courts of barracks, in brothels and even on the streets of the poorest neighborhoods of the city.

Moulin Rouge Movie (2001) - El Tango De Roxanne


    In the early 20th century, among the tango instruments bandoneon appeared, an instrument resembling the sounds of organ. It added a sounds of drama to the music of the tango. With this appearance Tango became slower, with new tone of intimacy.
  In the 20's of this century, Argentina experienced an economic crisis. A huge number of people lost their jobs and the residents of Buenos Aires (Porteno) became very sad people. In addition, the wave of emigrants from Europe arrived to Argentina in search of a better life. Therefore, in that period most of the population of Buenos Aires were men, who eventually surpassed women by the the ratio of 50:1 or, according to other sources, 30:1 (that was the competition!). These young men were regular visitors "Akadēmijas" (from "Dance Academy") and "pregundines" - poor cafes, where waitresses could be rented for dancing. Accordingly, in order to attract women, it was important for men to become good dancers. Tango gets a taste of the forbidden fruit, and therefore the men who could dance it well had a choice of women and acquired the image of a "macho".
 


 


   Because of the absence of dance academies men had to teach each other Tango, exchanging moves and practicing their skills together to attract women. Freed from the rules of European dances, men came up with a very practical and often unique ways of leading women. Women also sometimes danced together, teasing and seducing men.  

 

Enrique & Guillermo de Fazio Tango



  If you listen to the lyrics of Tango, it will always be a sadness and longing for woman. For men existed only brief moments of rapprochement with the woman. This happened when he held her in his arms, dancing the tango. In these moments, a man fell in love, and the feeling was somehow reconciled with his life.

Scent of a Woman Movie (1992) - The Tango Scene With Al Pachino​


  General electoral law in 1912 gave a new freedom for the people and was the driving force for the Tango. Since then, not only the lower classes wanted to dance Tango. It became fashionable among the upper classes to have tango parties. Tango salons spreaded rapidly in areas of Buenos Aires, where the upper classes lived. The fame of Tango soon came from South America to New York, London and Paris, where the tea party became the subject of a tango craze. Uncompromising and impudent character of the Tango plunged it into inevitable conflict with the authorities. In Paris, Cardinal Amett declared: "Christians should not in good conscience take part in it", and the next year, Pope Benedict XV expressed his dissatisfaction: " It is outrageous that this obscene, pagan dance, which is the killer of family and social life, was already being danced in the residence of the Pope." In 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II forbade his officers to dance tango in uniform, describing the dance as "lewd and insulting public decency." However, nothing could stop the triumphal march of the tango in the early 20's, it has entered into its golden era. In Buenos Aires, tango popularity reached unprecedented heights.


Chicago Movie (2002) - Cell Tango


   The military coup in September 1930 in Argentina introduced a period of interim government, during which the authorities concerned about the control of any possible criticism, began to prohibit any tango, containing any indirect allusions to politics or songs about social injustice. In Europe the Argentine Tango, despite its popularity, is not consistent with the long-standing European notions of dancing and the original style was changed quickly and mercilessly. Progressive steps with the line of dance in circle were introduced, and the seductive nature of the tango was swithched by a quick, sharp, aggressive bit. Percussion instruments that are not used in the classic Argentine orchestra became more dominante. The partners no longer look at each other and the smoldering passion of the tango was removed from its mystery and its seductive nature was replaced with ceremonial procession around in ostentatious style. During the 30's tango went into decline. Argentina's economy was in crisis, emigrants became aware of themselves as Argentinians and the forces that fueled the Tango during the period of its origin no longer fulfilled their role.

How to dance the Tango - 1930



The Revival of Tango

  In the late thirties the underclass shows itself to the political arena of Argentina again. Its return to an active social life of ordinary people were the underclass celebrated in their own way: big partys were organized on the big main squares of the citys. The story repeats again - the Argentines introduced Tango into their daily life. After a decade of inactivity we see the return of the old and new musicians. Juan Peron became a leader in 1946, he encouraged public popular culture, including the tango, it was the days of unprecedented growth.


William Pino & Alessandra Bucciarelli - 2006 - Tango Show

   However, after six years in 1952 the legendary Eva Peron, wife of Juan, passed away. In that period another crisis began for the Argentine Tango. Invasion of American movies and music, the fashion for rock'n'roll - all completely separated the dancing couple, divergence of man and woman.

   In the eighties, the Tango came to the big stage. More theatrical version of the dance was presenrted to the audience. On stage the dancers began to dance away from each other, and the movements in the dance became more athletic, balletic and exponential. So tango was divided into two types: the scenic and more intimate. The latter one was still danced in the bars of Buenos Aires and became part of the lives of Argentines once again.

Bel Suono & Todes - Libertango


  People started a heated debate about which of these dances was the real one. Also it was affected by Astor Piazzolla's art, who created the "modern" tango, collected countless viewers worldwide. With the advent of the new millennium the Tango was again experiencing a revival and remains the musical form that combines melody, lyricism, beauty and unbeliveble rhythmic drive. Passionate, sensitive and meditative, melancholic and cheerful, this Argentine dance - is universal. Tango gives two people the feeling that they are one.
   

Andrew & Liana's Tango


   At the moment, the Tango is a universal language that unites people of all ages - from young to old.

Ice Age 3 Movie (2009) Scrat Mashup Tango


  The dance is used as an educational tool, drawing into its world the younger generation and nurturing their sense of taste. Carrying a powerful sexual nature, Tango teaches teenagers gallant courage and girls - an elegant appeal. Among the duet dancers exists comic phrase: "Dance floor - may be one of the last places on earth where man still leads, and a woman follows!"
 
Take the Lead Movie (2006) - Tango Scene with Antonio Banderas


When you dance the Tango, do not get into the steps because the steps are less important part of the dance. The most important part of the Tango - the music and your feelings.
   Dance and be happy!

Special thanks to Goel Samuel with his help in translation.

Andrew Lobankoff