Tango Dance

TANGO DANCING

Tango Rose Tank

 
   

 

THE HISTORY OF ARGENTINE TANGO

Argentine tango is a musical kind of simple quadruple meter and a binary musical form and the social dance which accompanies it. The lyrics of this music is marked by nostalgia, which is expressed through melodic instruments. One can refer tango as a universe in itself, rather it is a music, dance, singing and poetry which can be said to be an extraordinary phenomenon of customs.

The perfect origin of this word tango can be said to be a lost myth and an unrecorded history. The accepted theory of the origin is from African slaves which were brought to Argentina or their descendants that influenced their local culture. The word “tango” in itself may be straightforwardly African in origin which means “closed place” or “a reserved ground”. Other school of thought say it’s derived from Portuguese and was only captured by Africans on the slave ships. In all, tango is said to acquire a standard meaning of a place where the African slaves and their free counterparts gathered to dance during the time Argentina banned slavery in 1853.

The earlier origin of tango proceeded to 19th century in the suburbs of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Uruguay, it widely grew popular and spread internationally. Within 1860 and 1925, a greater percentage of immigrant population were men who came to Argentina to take a try for their luck. As a result of this, it was very common for men to dance together due to that fact that a greater percentage of the immigrants were men. The intermixing of African, Spanish, Italian, British, Polish, Russia and the native born Argentines lead to a mixing of culture and each borrowed some culture from one another. Their music with sweet sound of violin, the driving flamenco guitar, the strange mournful wail of the Bandoneon and their dances which includes the waltz, the mazurka, and the polka are all mixed with the Argentine folk’s music and dance. Including the Cuban habanera, with the African candombe rhythms from free slaves’ street parties.

With a fewer number of women around, many of these young men now found themselves looking for excitement at the district burgeoning port cities. From these turbulent mix, the tango dance now arose at the seedy waterfront areas becoming a mating dance among the barmaids and their customers in the shady nightclubs. It was shunned by the upper and middle class in Argentina and was regarded as inferior fixture of urban nightlife in Buenos Aires. The young men in the neighborhood had to practice the steps among one another in order to become skilled in it with the intention of wining women attention.

Although the high class society looked down on the barrios, the sons of the high class families would often look for adventure and excitement in the rougher parts of the town which made them learn tango as parts of their escapades. Due to the young men of the high class family who have learned tango, they will use it to show off as a treat to their friends on their short stay to Paris, then the cultural capital of the world. Those in Paris were shocked by this raw, sensuous dance and this made tango to swept all of Europe and reached America in years prior to world war 1. The newspapers in New York in 1916 feature ads from over seven hundred tango establishments. A heavily revised version of tango now finds its way into the European and American dance academies and it have remain a fixture in the ballroom competition even as at today. The Argentine version of tango music is much more varied than the ballroom tango music. A good number of tango music has been composed by variety of different orchestras over century ago. Not only in there large volume music, they have a breadth of stylistic differences between the orchestras which now make it easier for Argentine tango dancers to spend even the whole night just dancing only Argentine tango.

This music spread worldwide throughout the 1920s and 1930s. The steps appeared in movies and its singers travelled the world because by then they were now respected. At 1930s Argentina were emerging its golden age, they were among the ten richest nations in the world and music, their poetry and culture flourished. The tango music came to be a basic expression of Argentine culture and this golden age lasted for a while between 1940s and 1950s.

With the influence of the rise in the military dictatorship in Argentina after the world war 11,the tango dance slowly reduced in the face of curfew on public gatherings and this made the culture of late-night dancing to went underground. Tango’s fortune can always be tied to economic conditions and this was typically reflected in the 1950s during political repression. At this time, the lyrics reflected some political feelings until it’s banned as subversive, though tango survived in the unpublished venues and in the heart of peoples.

With the return of democracy and social liberation after the Falklands war of 1982-83, a huge interest in learning tango returned throughout Argentine society. New generation of dancers and its teachers began to reclaim their tango heritage while checking the structural foundation of the dance they have inherited. The youngest generation of tango dancers and teachers, tango musicians found a receptive audience for their country’s primary cultural export. In our present day generation, major cities around the world now features active tango communities where strangers and their loved ones can meet to share the love of their time in minutes that can last forever.

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