Confusion prevails regarding the etymological origins of the word “Tango”. While few historians believe that tango has its history rooted in the African candomble drum beat called “tan-go”, others place their faith in the Latin word “tang ere” which means “to touch”. Tango is a fine blend of Spanish and African cultures and is said to have originated in the lower districts of Buenos Aires in the late 19th century. This Latin American city was teeming with immigrants who came down from as far as Europe and Africa. These people sought for any sort of entertainment to wisp away their sorrows of leaving home, which lead to the emergence of a new form of music that combined the rustic African beats, Latin influences as well as the popular music trends of the Argentinean grasslands.
Tango dance was initially a form of communication between the prostitute and pimp and was thus full of gyrated sexual energy. Came 1900s and tango was exported to France, where it was refined to suit the elitist Parisian society. The concept of tango dance soon revolutionized and spread all across Europe and North America. Even the sophisticated societal class of Argentina, who had once despised its trace, embraced tango wholeheartedly. Today, tango is one amongst the most popular dance forms in the world. This article entails several tango dance forms.
Learn To Dance Tango
The modern tango dance style can be performed both in open embraces, called Tango Nuevo or closed ones which is more traditional. It involves the leader and the follower to move in perfect harmony with the passionate music. This form of dance is different from other ballroom tangos in its posture, embrace, movement, balance, steps as well as the music. Since Argentine Tango does not have a formal basic structure, it is all about improvisation. Either danced in an embrace which varies from being very open, in which leader and follower are an arm’s length away holding hands, to closed ones, in which the connection is chest-to-chest, or anywhere in between. Whether open or closed, an Argentinean tango embrace is not rigid, but feels like a hug. It involves walking with the partner keeping close to the floor and moving with the ankles and knees brushing each other, as one leg passes the other.
The American tango is said to be the simplest and most stylish form of all tangos.
While performing it, you need to raise your feet and place it on the floor instead of gliding along with your partner. Have you ever observed the sneaking and stalking action of a cat? Your footwork would be something of that sort. While your forward steps are to be taken placing your heels first and then the flat, backward steps will have the toe touching the ground first. You should also remember that there is no rise and fall in tango and your body level has to remain constant all throughout.
When tango first left the Argentinean boundaries and entered Europe and North America, it developed into a new form called ballroom tango. The dance was transformed to suit the preferences of conventional ballroom dancers. While the English tango was transfixed as a competitive dance form, which had to be danced to modern tunes exclusively, maintaining a rhythm of 120 beats per minute all through; American Tango was nothing more than a social dance. So, keeping this in mind, one can trace few major distinctions in both technique and style of English and American ballroom tango. However, this form holds distinct than its Argentinean or Uruguay counterparts with the characteristic head snaps. Also, the music played is different, with more staccato movements involved.
This form of Tango became hugely popular all across Finland in the 1950s. Today, a tango festival is held in the central Finnish town of Seinäjok, which also hosts a Tango Museum. The music played during this dance form has a melancholy tone and reflects the themes of Finnish folk poetry. It is usually performed on a minor key note, keeping the torso of the partner in close contact. Smooth, horizontal movement is the essence of this dance form, where the two dancers keep low to the ground. Taking forward steps involve placing the heels on the floor first, while backwards steps involve dancers pushing from the heel.