A short history of Tango & what kind of tango we do!
Argentine tango has evolved into various styles and forms over the last 100 years. It probably began as the Canyengue & Milonga, dances that had their roots in African dance, as well as the Viennese Walz & other influences. Above all, Argentine tango has its roots as a dance of the people: an expression of their culture (a melting pot of immigrants & locals) and the desire to meet the opposite sex! It was not a dance created in an academy or school by ‘dancers’.
The tango became an ‘epidemic’ in the 20’s & 30’s in Buenos Aires, and in Europa also. Hundreds of people would dance in large arenas to big orchestras. As it began to flourish in Buenos Aires at this time, subtle variations in different zones of Buenos Aires began to emerge, as the dancers from each ‘Barrio’ or quarter vied to be the best! In a particular northern borough, called “Villa Urquiza’, the dancers became well know for their elegance, dynamics & focus on a multilayered musicality with a special relationship to the melody. There was a great deal of creativity in this style, with certain ‘figures’ being seen to have been invented by the great masters of this area.
Tango has since been through an evolution due to politics, economics & fashion.
‘Show tango’ is a fairly recent development, when professional dancers took the framework from the social dance, developed it to more dramatic & acrobatic levels in order to make a powerful new choreographed dance that would work on Stage, and certainly as a showcase around the world.
Today, there is a distinction between this ‘Show Tango’ (an example is the sort of Tango you see in TV’s Strictly Come Dancing), and SOCIAL tango- improvised & focused on connection with your partner and respect for the codes of the dance floor. Social tango itself has different styles (as mentioned above)-including the ‘Tango del Centro’ style (more rhythmic, & in close embrace) & ‘Tango de Salon’ (more changes of pace & size of step, moving from close to open embrace etc). amongst others.
The Tango we perform!
In performance, we hope to emphasise Tango de Salon, with its inherent qualities of beauty & style.
This is a unique form of dance, that combined with its rich cultural history & sense of intimacy, can make for a powerful & moving experience. We draw on Tango de Salon, Villa Urquiza,and Tango Fantasia (more decorative figures). But by keeping the essential aspect of improvisation, we hope to bring the authentic Argentine tango passionately alive to any audience.
As we regularly teach all levels, we are happy to include a complete beginners introduction (short or long!).
We are also happy to give a short presentation as to the history & culture of Argentine Tango, which can work well as a cultural context for the performance. This can include Q&A.
Do just contact claire if you have any questions or requirements at firstname.lastname@example.org.