Was this Sexy Dance originally dance only by men?
Tango, was the first couple dance to introduce the concept of improvisation and therefore radically different from anything that came before it because. Immigrants into Argentina in the Nineteenth century brought the fashionable dances of the day, the Waltz, and the Polka with their shocking new hold. Exactly how and even when the Tango began we can never know as it evolved in the streets with the underprivileged and most of what we do know comes from comments made by people who were not part of their culture, and who knew little or nothing about Tango.
What we do know is
- “Toma maté, ché” was the first piece of music written and published in Argentina (in 1857) describing itself as a tango
- Tango Andaluz, Andalucian Tango, a style of music from the area of Spain and was one of the most popular kinds of music in Buenos Aires in the 1800’s
It is generally thought that the Tango was born in the brothels of Buenos Aires, but it is more likely that the brothels were where people of the upper and middle classes first encountered it. A shortage of women in the population meant brothels were popular but this shortage of women also meant queues in the brothels as men waited for the women to become available thus the brothel owners would employ Tango musicians.for entertainment, the men would use this time to practice their dancing steps and with the women other wise engaged they would dance with each other, looking for the best ways to please a woman when they danced with her, preparing for that rare moment when they actually did have a woman in their arms.
There were are many styles of Tango in Argentina before 1955 here are three that are still danced today.
Lets start in Buenos Aires and the central part of the south of the city in the early 1950s. The Tango here developed on crowded dance floors. This is probably the simplest Tango dance style, choreographically but still technically demanding. The connection of the couple is central to this style which has a random motion across the floor and relies the musicality of the dancers for its flavour.
Next the style danced in the north of Buenos Aires in the 1940’s, this is a very an elegant Tango dance style. Being born in the financially better off south of the city the dance floors here have tended to be larger. This lead to a style of Tango danced in long straight lines, punctuated with a sudden, very complicated movement.
Thirdly and possibly the oldest of the Tango dance styles is the style of the south. There are mot many straight lines, in this style it is made up of curves and arcs. The dancers stance is closer to the floor.and involves many pauses, and many rapid movements. This is the style where ganchos and boleos were danced. The archetypal step is one where the leader takes the follower off her axis, taking responsibility for her weight, and perhaps walking her around the foot she is standing on.
Want to learn how to Tango?
- Thursday 8-9pm at JLC Dance Spen House, Learn how to Tango with Janet a great two hour class were we cover the basic Tango styles and add a few impressive moves to get you moving.cost £5
Teacher Janet Lee Chapman Qualified Argentine Instructor with The UKA since 2010 Janet is helped by Brian Porter who has been dancing Tango for over 10 years.