“Please, just for me, forget the steps..hold me, feel the music and give me your soul. Then I can give you mine” Anon


Tango…more than a dance

Tango is more than a dance. There exists, within the embrace, a heightened awareness, a suspension in time and a mysterious sense of a "secret inside". There is something deeper: an almost motionless, fathomless dark ocean of time. A consciousness of the passing nature of all life and all things, tinged with a melancholy joy and bittersweet nostalgia

Resonating with melody, rhythm, artistry, subtlety and touch, the tango encounter is an intoxication of pleasure, humour, respect and poetry. An attraction, a passion, a curiosity, a pastime, a meditation, and extremely stylish good fun.

From the streets of Buenos Aires

Photo by Carlos Vizzotto

Photo by Carlos Vizzotto

There is no agreement as to the origins of the word "Tango". When it comes to the pre-history of tango everything is shrouded in a fog of myth, legend and story. What we do know is that tango is an urban music culture that originates from the cities of Buenos Aires in Argentina and Montevideo in Uruguay the 1870s -1890s. The rhythm of tango springs from a confluence of African and European music. As an urban music culture, Tango became recognisable in its completed from when in the 1870s a Norwegian merchant ship docked in Buenos Aires. Sailors aboard the ship carried ashore a musical instrument known as the “bandoneon”. This instrument was adopted as the centrepiece of the Tango musical genre.

In 1912-13 musicians and dancers from Argentina took the tango to Europe, creating a sensational and unprecedented wave of popularity, which swept tango around the world. During the "Golden Era" of Tango in Buenos Aires, 1935-1945, it is said there were over 600 tango bands, or "orquesta tipica" playing in Buenos Aires


The Tango Style

Argentine tango is an improvisational dance based on building blocks of walking, turning, stopping and embellishments. The dance is like a puzzle that gets put together differently each time. Women and men bring their own styles, embellishments and flair to the dance, which contributes significantly to the excitement and unpredictability of the experience.

Even though tango dancers follow certain conventions, it is never quite know how someone will construct a dance, add an embellishment or interpret the music. The surprises possible within the dance are what makes it so compelling and it really does take two to tango, The dance isn't just about the man leading and the woman following, both partners have important aspects to contribute—like all good conversations.

But Tango is more than you can say in words. This is the dance made for a universe of relativity and quantum mechanics. Argentine Tango has much to reveal and to give, but it does so only to those who will work to gain access. Social tango is not as hard as it looks, so almost anyone can learn to dance it, although there is always seems to be another level of difficulty. It is not possible to learn all of the steps, much as it is not possible to learn all there is to life, and Tango is the great physical metaphor for life in a changing world. How you dance comes from who you are.


Argentinian Tango protected art form

In 2009 UNESCO approved a joint proposal by Argentina and Uruguay to include Argetinian Tango in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.  It was considered that official recognition of this art form would contribute to visibility of intangible cultural heritage and a deeper understanding of the Tango as a regional expression resulting from the fusion of several cultures.  Argetinian Tango is a musical genre that includes dance, music, poetry and singing.