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The dance of passion. Loved by the contemporary movie industry and often offered to us, the viewers. Here you can read about the main difference between the Balrrom and the Argentine Tango...

Tango - a short history of the dance


Beat: 2/4.
Temp: 31-33 measures per minute.
Count: "1 - 2" (or "slow - quick" in different variatons).
Developed around 1910.

The choreographic sources of the Tango are Argentine and Spanish folk dances.

In the early 19th Century, the Tango was a solo dance performed by the woman. The Andalusian Tango was later done by one or two couples walking together using castanets. The dance was soon considered immoral with its flirting music!

The story of Tango as told is that it started with the gauchos of Argentina. They wore chaps that had hardened from the foam and sweat of the horses body. Hence to gauchos walked with knees flexed. They would go to the crowded night clubs and ask the local girls to dance. Since the gaucho hadn't showered, the lady would dance in the crook of the man's right arm, holding her head back. Her right hand was held low on his left hip, close to his pocket, looking for a payment for dancing with him.
Clothing was dictated by full skirts for the woman and gauchos with high boots and spurs for the man.
The man danced in a curving fashion because the floor was small with round tables, so he danced around and between them.

The dance spread throughout Europe in the 1900's. Originally popularized in New York in the winter of 1910 - 1911, Rudolph Valentino then made the Tango a hit in 1921.

After its succes in South America, in the beginning of the 20th century Tango became hit in Europe.
The well-known French choreographer and composer Camil de Rinal revamped the dance making it more simple and thereby created the Tango as we know it today. It was not a popular dance around the world, however, since the Pope banned it as an obscene dance.

After its initial success in Paris in 1909, the Tango impetuously spread all over Europe and enjoyed immense popularity in the period between 1910-1915. It went out of fashion in the 1930's-60's but is currently enjoying a revival.

Styles vary in Tango: Argentine, French, Gaucho and International. The Americanized version is a combination of the best parts of each (or so is claimed by those who practise it).

Phrasing is an important part of Tango.
Tango music is like a story. It contains paragraphs (Major phrases); sentences (Minor phrases); and the period at the end of the sentence is the Tango close.

Boldness and resolution, sudden pauses and unexpected poses, and changes of directions are small part of this dance's charm.

Contemporary Ballroom Tango could be differentiated in two main styles: International (English) Style and American one. The English Style is a predecessor of the competitive dance Tango.
American Style Tango is not so much of a competitive dance, as a social one. Its main accent is concentrated on the partner's abilities to lead and follow. As a result of this, there are some simplifications in the way of performing the dance which leads to the main difference between the two styles. This is also the reason for the less competitions and championats for the American Style Tango.

The main difference between Argentine and competitive Tango is that the second one posses more sharp movements which are not common for the dances coming from Uruguay and Argentine. Argentine tango is more theatrical dance - it often remains ot the Paso Doble in the way it's performed.
The Ballrom version of the Tango has a lot of steps and figures that have been added after 1934.

On competitions this dance is second in the program - after the English Waltz.

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