"Tango can be debated, and we have debates over it, but it still encloses, as does all that which is truthful, a secret.”
Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine writer and poet, 1899-1986.
Argentine Tango originates from the Rio de la Plata districts of Bueno Aires & Uruguay and dates from the late 19th century. By the 1900s, a dance called the Tango was danced in the conventillas (tenement buildings), and in the poorer districts or ‘barrios’ of Buenos Aires. The Tango spread to the dance halls of the city and was embraced by the middle classes who flocked to many milongas – the name given to social tango dances.
Although the ballroom world adopted the Tango into their repertoire as a standardized dance in around 1922, Argentine Tango is quite different - an improvised dance in which the art and skill is for two people to connect in an ‘embrace’ even though they might never have met before, and to be able to dance together. Argentine Tango is at its heart, a social dance.
photo credit: Rex Boyd