It is a religion....if you really see deeply the eyes and the real feeling of Tango by the faces of these great dancers, Graciela and Javier, you will feel that Tango is not only part of the argentinean culture...it is part of their intimacy, it comes from the soul, it comes from everything sacred they consider...
Tango is felt in the blood and the tango makes people from all age to experience it, and to live TANGO.
I am proud to introduce you this lovely couple which shows to the world the impressing SENSUAL DANCE!
Sep 15th, 2005
Tango is extremly sensual, emotional and very dynamic too... and it's incredibly difficult. When you watch tango dancers you get hypnotized, at least I do. It's beautiful.
It originated in the late 19th century's brothels and cabarets. As immigrants from Europe and Africa streamed into the outskirts of Buenos Aires many were drawn toward the port city's houses of ill repute. It's said that prostitutes were the only women accepting such dance these times. Tango became absorbed into the larger society after the lower classes were allowed to vote (1912), what legitimized many of their "behaviours". Soon, it bacame very popular not only in Argentina but also in Europe.
It had its good and bad times throughout the century and today again the tango is enjoying a renaissance of popularity.
This picture below was taken in San Telmo, a district in BA known for artists and craftsmen. There are beautiful old colonial houses here and it's also close to the port (the River Plate). After you walk past the artist's stalls (hawking their art) you may come across some dancers, doing the Tango.
At the end of my holidays, I had finally my fantastic Argentina tango experience with a great tango teacher during a one-hour-private lesson.
He corrected my deportment while dancing and I learned a lot! And all that in a dance room in a old house of San Telmo : waw!!!!
As you can see on my home page, tango is a passion and it is like that now for almost 5 years! I passed through the different phases : I did tango lessons, a lot of tango balls with the same partner, then I danced with different partners, always improving my style, then I travelled to go to festivals in Spain, Switzerland, France, The Netherlands dancers....but only one experience was missing : dancing in Argentina, the home country of Tango! So I was quite impatient to know how it was!
I saw that dancing in Buenos Aires is quite different than in Europe. I knew it more or less but experience it is something else (For more info about tango, see my travelogue on my Buenos Aires Page :-)
1) The rule for inviting of being invited to dance
In Buenos Aires, the search of the partner is made by the eye contact : you have to look to the person you want to dance. If the other answer with an accepting look and smile with a little move of the head... then it's Ok and you can meet on the dance floor!
The women does not ask to dance (unknown people) as in Europe (It is so frustating!!!!!)
2) The dancing style is close and small. There is not enough space to make big moves and high ganchos!
3) The general use of tandas and intermediary song
A tanda is a set of 3 or 4 tangos of the same style. The intermediary music (that can last 10 tot 60 seconds) means that the people have to go back to their seat. Then they can again dance on another tanda with a different partner. This rule is great to dance with a lot of different people but not when you found a great dancer!
4) The music style is quite "old". There are not a lot of new tango version, orchestra or neo tango (like it is in Europe)
5) When you arrive, you have to sit at a table which is yours till the end of the ball. Sometimes, the people at a table does not want to "share"....
The tango in Buenos Aires is thus quite traditionnal...and I prefer the modern form of tango but it was something I had to experience!!!!!
I do believe that when most of the people think about Argentina, they think about tango.
I was told that tango has a long history. It is believed that the starting poing for the tango was the the decade of 1880.
The tango is said to have been born in Buenos Aires brothels and in impoverished neighborhood squats of southern Buenos Aires. The social class in which it developed was a mixture of regional people and immigrants made up by sailors, craftsmen and working class people.
Initially, the tango was played in brothels with a violin, a flute and a guitar. The bandoneon, which gives the specific tango sound, was not a part of the tango until a couple of decades later, around 1900 when gradualy it started replaceing the flute.
The most representative artist in the history of the Tango was Carlos Gardel, whose charisma and talent were more then impressive. He was famous not only in Argentina but all over the world.
The "Tango Day" is celebrated in Buenos Aires on December 11th. Carlos Gardel's date of birth.
If you would like to learn more about tango, you might find usefyl the link below.
Bandeon Player..he brings out the soul, and the Tango is alive.
wander around in the side streets of BsAs, watch and see life on a daily basis, go off the beaten pathe and more often then not you will hear and see things, which are not in your travelguide...you hear a Bandolo player on a Saturday afternoon from a window above you or sitting in an entrance of a building just playing, practicing...just having fun
This are the lyrics of a very known tango called Sur.
Written by Homero Manzi
Music by Anibal Troilo
San Juan y Boedo atigua, y todo el cielo,
Pompeya y más allá la inundación.
Tu melena de novia en el recuerdo
y tu nombre flotando en el adiós.
La esquina de herrero, barro y pampa.
Tu casa, tu vereda y el zanjón,
y un perfume de yuyos y de alfalfa
que me llena de nuevo el corazón.
paredón y después...
una luz de almacén.
Ya nunca me verás como me vieras
recostado en la vidirera
Ya nunca alumbraré con las estrellas
nuestra marcha sin querellas
por las noches de Pompeya.
Las calles y las lunas suburbanas
y mi amor y tu ventana
todo ha muerto, ya lo sé.
San Juan y Boeda antigua, cielo perdido,
Pompeya y al llegar al terraplén
tus veinte años temblando de cariño
bajo el beso que entonces te robé.
Nostalgias de las cosas que han pasado.
Arena que la vida se llevó.
Pesadumbre de barrio que ha cambiado
y amargura del sueño que murió.
"Tango que me hiciste mal
y sin embargo te quiero..."
(Tango, you hurt me,
nevertheless I love you...)
Tango is a musical style, a sexy dance, a popular culture, a philosophy... This rhythm was born in the 19th century by Rio de la Plata, at the underworld; nowadays, its music is known all over the world.
El tango es un estilo musical, un baile sensual, una cultura popular, una filosofía... Este ritmo nació en el siglo XIX a orillas del Río de la Plata, en los bajos fondos; en la actualidad, su música es conocida en todo el mundo.
Sensuality boils over in this famous dance that was born in the streets of La Boca and San Telmo. The tango developed into one of the most famous dances in the world, but its origins are slightly more irreverant than the form we see today. Usually, dancers were accompanied by singers belting out crude lyrics and the dance movements themselves were heavily influenced by African rhythms and the candombe. Often it was performed in the brothels of Buenos Aires.
Immigration eventually brought the tango across the seas to Europe where it was given a slightly more sophisticated spin and after receiving the stamp of approval for the elite of Paris, it became more acceptable and popular in Buenos Aires's own affluent neighborhoods.
Carlos Gardel was the person most responsible for bringing the tango to the masses around the world when he performed on Broadway and in Hollywood.
If you're interested in seeing a show, the San Telmo neighborhood is a good bet. I also noticed a recent VT forum query in which someone asked about the best tango show in town. The most commonly mentioned show venues were Señor Tango and La Esquina de Carlos Gardel. You can also see tango for free on the streets in San Telmo, La Boca and even on Calle Florida (the city's pedestrian-only main shopping street).
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