A Brief History of Tango
Tango started in Argentina (though the Uruguayans would disagree) at a time in the mid to late 1800s where governmental policy of the day was oriented around aggressive economic growth. This drew immigrants (predominantly men) from around the world, to Buenos Aires.
The dream of earning ‘riches and returning’ to their homelands proved illusive and hopes were dashed for some of these adventurous men. Many, disillusioned and unable to earn the means to return to families and friends, settled where they were and built a life.
Tango, the ‘blues’ of Argentina was born from this atmosphere… the place of longing and loneliness and is, probably as a result of these roots, all about coming to connection.
Types of Tango
There are many styles of Tango. In Salon Style, the social dance version of Argentine Tango, three types are learned and danced:
Tango, Milonga, and Tango Vals.
Tango is about walking and connection, regardless of the type. It is not scripted, choreographed or patterned… it is creativity in action, sprung from the moment.
Tango Classico—the intensity and passion in Tango comes from Connection. Two people in a soft respectful embrace, in deep non verbal conversation, walking together and feeling…. This is Tango.
Milonga – the folky, playful version of Tango is the precursor to Tango Classico and is similar in steps but is faster, rhythmic and more relaxed.
Tango Vals – this elegant, smooth version is danced to a Waltz beat (1,2,3,1,2,3). with a sense of timing that is structured yet fluid.