Argentine tango: dance history and best melodies written in its rhythms

Argentine tango: dance history and best melodies written in its rhythms

Black and red gamma in clothes, languid eyes of partners and the proximity of bodies - the dance has not yet begun, but it is already making the hearts beat faster. This effect produces a passionate and fiery tango. The history of this genre is full of unexpected facts and secrets. What does the Africans have to do with the origin of the dance? Why was he associated with orange in Paris? And which tango tunes are considered the most popular? Find answers to these questions in our article.

What is tango?

If we turn to encyclopedias, then the answer to the question posed is very one-sided: tango is a pair Argentine dance. But if we dig deeper into the etymology of the word, interesting facts are revealed before us. There are several versions of the origin of the term:

  • african In Tanzania, located in East Africa, is an area called "tanga". In addition, with this word, Africans used to designate a closed, special space;

  • Latin Linguists believe that the term is based on the Latin verb tangere, which means to touch, touch. The French verb tangier has a similar meaning;

  • spanish Option less believable, but has the right to exist. According to him, the word comes from the Spanish taner - to play any musical instrument.

Speaking of tango, you can not ignore it features. For dance characteristic:

  • fast rhythm;

  • various movements in which all parts of the body are involved;

  • sharp turns, in large quantities;

  • close contact between partners, thereby creating the passionate nature of the genre.

Top Tango

We offer you to listen to famous melodies in tango rhythms.

"Por una cabeza" Carlos Gardel. The melody, whose name translates as "lost his head," was written in 1935. But the composition gained universal fame after it sounded in the movie "The Scent of a Woman." The magnificent dance performed by Al Pacino and Gabriel Anwar under the dreary playing of the violin is fascinating and remains in memory forever.

"Por una cabeza" (listen)

"Tabaker" Goran Bregovic. This melody is considered one of the most famous among all the compositions of the musician, who became famous for his works for various films. Lyrics is written by Polish singer Kaya, who managed to find touching and sensual words.

"Tabaker" (listen)

"Espuma de Champagne" José Maria de Lucici. Very well, this tune is familiar to Soviet citizens. True, the name “Champagne spray” is more familiar to them. The album with this composition appeared in the Soviet Union in 1937 and won the love of the public. About the author of the melody, unfortunately, very little is known. José Maria lived and worked in Argentina. His whole life was associated with music: he first taught at school, and then led the orchestra. "Espuma de Champagne" he wrote in 1935. This is the only known melody of the author.


"Champagne splashes" (listen)

"La cumparsita" Gerardo Hernan Matos Rodriguez. This composition is recognized from the first chords. Its author at the time of writing was only 19 years old and he had nothing to do with professional music. Gerardo Hernan was preparing to become a diplomat. And tango was a hobby that brought world-famous to a native of Uruguay.

"La cumparsita" (listen)

"Hernando's Hideaway" Jerry Ross and Richard Adler. Tango, known to many for movies and television shows. The melody was written in 1954 and still does not lose relevance.

"Hernando's Hideaway" (listen)

Tango history

1857, Buenos Aires. The construction of the railway, which had high hopes, is in full swing. On rails planned to export local agricultural products. True, labor to provide the necessary volume of raw materials was not enough. So, Buenos Aires opened its gates to a large number of immigrants. Italians, Spaniards, Germans, Poles, Africans and other nationalities flooded the rich port city of Latin America, making possible the emergence of tango.

Historians still argue: where and when this passionate dance originated. There is no exact documented information on this. But according to the majority, the first tango began to dance in the poor strata of the population, which were emigrants of all stripes. They lived in port quarters and on the outskirts of the city, where crime and poverty reigned.

Streets occupied by visiting Europeans were more like slums. Along the streets, filled with the stench of a local slaughterhouse, there were runaway convicts, impoverished artists, soldiers, and negros. They spent their time in shabby pubs and brothels, where music was woven from the sounds of various instruments. It was a tango.

Initially, the dance was performed exclusively by men. Women were not allowed to him. On the one hand, the machos were in front of each other, on the other - they just learned to dance. About any passion and love of speech did not go.

Later, when the music was filled with the sound of an accordion, girls of easy virtue began to be attracted to the dance. From here comes the traditional female costume for performing tango: a narrow dress with a provocative cut along the thigh, mesh stockings and stilettos. Male dancers dressed more modestly: the costume was loose-fitting, hair was smoothly combed and covered with a hat with narrow brim. The local population specially gathered in brothels to skip the next glass and admire the passionate dance to the sounds of bandoneon, a small harmonica.

In the highest circles, tango was dismissive. This is not surprising, given the origin of the dance. But that all changed in 1912. It was then that the law on universal suffrage was passed, which equalized the poor and the rich - tango began to penetrate the developed areas of Buenos Aires, removing restrictions on dance movements.

New York, Paris, Berlin, London - tango confidently conquered the world. The history of the genre in the capital of France is especially indicative. Passion for Latin American culture led to the emergence of their own, European, tango. French choreographers, not without pleasure, changed the style of movements and musical accompaniment, setting their own standards. It was even necessary to develop a special line of clothing, named after the dance, it was just inconvenient for women to perform sharp movements in lush dresses.

But not everything was so rosy. Parisian bishops called tango "lustful dance" because of too close pressing of partners during the execution of pas. The press also spoke negatively, comparing tango with German imperialism. In Argentina in 1930, the dance also came under the onslaught of the ruling elite, who saw danger in it. So began the decline of the genre.

Maria Nieves and Juan Carlos Copes, stage partners and former spouses did not want to put up with the "death" of their favorite dance. In 1983 they staged the musical "Tango Argentino", which first conquered Paris, and later Broadway. This sparked a new wave of interest in tango.

Currently, the popularity of dance does not fade away. In numerous schools and studios they teach Latin American pas, arrange competitions and simply enjoy the beauty of the movement of two people. How the history of tango will go on, no one knows. It does not matter - he has already earned the love of millions of admirers around the world.

What dance is considered the progenitor of tango?


Riddle to which the answer is still sought. The origins of the genre can be traced to:

  • Cuban habanera, very close in pace;

  • Spanish counterdance;

  • Candombe, which was danced by the black population when they moved to Latin America;

  • Creole milongue, grown from a street song to dance;

  • mazurka, popular among the Poles.

It turns out that tango is a mixture of cultural traditions that have merged into one incredibly beautiful dance.

Interesting Facts

  • The first attempts to bring tango to Europe date back to the beginning of the 20th century. But the popularization of the dance was unsuccessful. The epidemic called "tango" swept the Old World around 1921 thanks to the film "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," where passion was shown in Latin American style.
  • In tango went crazy, not only the Parisian beau monde. He deserved the approval of doctors, who saw in the dance the opportunity to strengthen the body and cultivate the harmony of movements.
  • In 1990, the National Academy of Tango opened in Buenos Aires, whose task was to preserve dance as a cultural value of the country. After 6 years, a law was passed to confer tango national wealth status.
  • Chacarita Cemetery is a significant place for tango fans. The most famous personalities in the history of this trend are buried here. The main character is singer Carlos Gardel, the idol of millions of Latin Americans. His role in the development of tango is so great that UNESCO declared its voice a cultural asset. Arriving at the cemetery, fans of Gardel necessarily light a cigarette in the hand of his bronze article. This is the custom of singer admirers.
  • In 1899, the Dictionary of Spanish Words was released, in which tango was designated as a celebration and dance of blacks. In the reprint of 1925, the meaning of the word was expanded to the dance of Spanish high society.

  • One famous French designer used the popularity of tango in his own country to his advantage. The fact is that he had long been a large amount of unclaimed orange fabric. He decided to name the shade in honor of the dance and literally in a couple of days sold all the material. I even had to order an additional batch.

  • Russian politician Lev Aristidovich Kasso, who was in charge of public education of the Russian Empire, opposed tango. Some sayings from his side did not go off. The Minister sent a circular around the school districts, which prohibited even mentioning the name of the obscene dance aloud.

  • Tango and cinema - compatible things? Full It is enough to watch the films "Frida", "Mr. and Mrs. Smith", "The Scent of a Woman" or "Let's Dance" to be convinced of this.

Argentine or Uruguayan?

The heated debate over the country of origin of tango does not fade. The fact is that the dance originated on the shores of the Rio de la Plata. It unites the territories of both Uruguay and Argentina, in particular, of Buenos Aires. It was in this cultural space, where two people united, and tango originated. Therefore, all disputes are groundless.

Types and styles of tango

They can be listed endlessly - spreading around the globe, the direction absorbed the features of a particular local culture. Thus, the famous French, English, Finnish and other types of the genre. We will focus on the styles of Argentine tango.

  • Liso is one of the simplest variants of dance, because it is based on elementary steps. Difficult movements are not used.

  • Nuevo is a beautiful combination of graceful postures, all sorts of spins with a tangle of legs. The style is considered an innovation of young people, therefore it is filled with original movements and a constant search for yourself in the dance.

  • Fantasy is performed exclusively in the productions of shows. He draws the attention of some eccentric figures, set according to the script and storyline. In essence, fantasy is a play told through dance.

  • Kanyang is distinguished by its ancient origins. The time of its occurrence is attributed to 1870. The variety has a complex choreography and elements taken from African culture.

  • Modern Salon - a classic in the world of tango. The style was spread in the 40s of the last century and attracted public attention with measured movements, precision and elegance of their performance.

What is tango? Just dance? Not. Tango is life itself, filled with vivid emotions and impressions. It combined love and longing, despair and desire, passion and hopelessness. This makes the dance truly alive and sincere.

Watch the video: Tango Its Not Just A Dance - History Documentary (December 2019).


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