Tango originsIt is widely believed that the word “tango” comes from the Latin word “tangere”, which means “touch”. However, it is more likely to have the African meaning “inside”, because tango was first performed in closed spaces.
How tango was born
Everything started at the end of the 19th century in the degraded regions of Buenos Aires. During that time, there was a great surge of immigrants in the capital of Argentina. Music was keeping these regions alive. Dance was the only way of expression amongst immigrants.
Back then, bachelor immigrants used to spend their nights going to cabarets and brothels, where they started experimenting with new kinds of dancing (the most popular kinds of dances were waltz, milonga and habaneras) . This is how the tango was born.
At first, tango bands were composed of a guitar, a violin and a flute. Due to the German immigrant rush Buenos Aires, flute was soon replaced with bandoneon (an instrument similar to the accordion). Later, the piano was added.
Reactions about tango
Because tango dancers had different origin, we can say that tango is a multicultural dance. What’s more, every corner of every region, had its own bands and dancer; that why there are so many different tango styles. However, wherever their roots, tango dancers’ feelings were common. Passion, lust, allure and desire to fascinate females are just some of them. But in the puritan society of that time, a dance that expressed all these feelings was forbidden. Tango was based on spontaneity and instinct, so it was considered to be outrageous.
How we became familiar with tango
Paris was the city that gave tango a chance. The City of Lights not only welcomed the tango, but also spread it to the rest of Europe. Tango became a fashion – soon the whole world was dancing in its rhythm.
Because of the tango’s outrageous moves and the close contact of dancers’ bodies, European academies wanted to chastise it, in order to be more “appropriate”. The way we perform tango today is considered to be the “European” style. Up until now, the tango keeps evolving; this sensual dance still fascinates us; we can say that Tango is a life philosophy.