Argentine Tango Defined


Date added to ADN: Tue, February 21, 2012
Originally Published: Sun, January 01, 2012
by The AccessDance Network (About the Author)

There's no other dance that best describes romance and passion than the Argentine tango. As Isadora Duncan, an American modern dancer said when she visited Argentina in 1916, "I have never danced tango, and a tourist guide forced me to dance. My fist steps were timid, but the feeling of the languid music caused my body to respond to the voluptuousness of the dance. Soft as a caress, toxic as love under the midday sun, cruel and dangerous as a tropical forest."

HISTORY
Tango's humble beginnings are traced back to the 19th century, around 1880s. It was born outside the city of Buenos Aires, at the brothels. Tango developed from a combination of different dance forms: the Cuban habanera, milonga, African candombe and Italian melodies. It originated as an act out of the relationship between a prostitute and her customer. At first, dancing tango was not allowed in the public places because of its obscene nature and its origins, but was later on accepted by the society. At the start of the 20th century, tango was accepted in France. This made the middle and high classes of Argentina accept the dance as the Argentine aristocracy looked up to Paris as a model. From here, tango spread throughout Europe and to the other parts of the world.

DANCE STEPS
Tango's movement is cunning, cat-like and has staccato feel and dramatic attitude. The male dancer's right arm is placed at the lower back of his partner, his left arm bent at 90-degree angle. The female's left hand is placed behind and below her partner's upper right arm. The Argentine tango basic step goes this way. For the male dancer also called the leader, he steps back and then to the left. He then takes two steps to the right of his partner and then steps in place with his right foot. This is where he leads the woman to cross. He steps forward out of the cross with his left leg, steps to the right and steps in place with the same foot, the left. The female dancer or the follower, on the other hand, steps forward and then to the right. She then takes two steps backward, crosses her left leg in front of her right. She shifts her weight to her left foot. She steps out of the cross with her right foot, steps to the left, steps in place with the right foot and begins another sequence.

TYPE OF MUSIC
The tempo for tango is about 120 beats per minute at 4/4 time. The music for Argentine tango is traditionally played by orchestras that include violin, piano, guitar, flute, and of course the bandoneon, giving it a nostalgic feel. Some of the popular orchestras that play Argentine tango music are Juan D'Arienzo and Francisco Canaro.

The Argentine tango is poetry in itself. It is a venue for self-expression, a dance form that is an art. Learn the Argentine tango and release your passion. We assure you that it's worth it!


About the Author:
Providing information for Ballroom Dance Lessons, Activities, Dance Competitions and News of the Dance Industry.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the AccessDance Network. Be aware that imagery is copyrighted and often licensed for use on AccessDance only. Copying of images is strictly prohibited.

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