On Tango

Time to learn something about tango. After all, it takes two. Besides the info, see the artistry in the slideshow and the videos. Any favorites? By the way, in the video, the basic rhythm of the steps goes T-A-NGO.

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“The Tango is the easiest dance. If you make a mistake and get tangled up, you just Tango on.” (Al Pacino in The Scent of a Woman.)
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Tango’s origination is debatable, including to African slaves in Argentina

I associate tango as the dance of the smelly gaucho with the local lady who turns away from him because of his odor

At times in history, those condemning tango included the upper class, many Christian churches (including Roman Catholics)

Popularized from South America through Europe (especially Paris and London) and eventually to North America in the early 1900s


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Tango music is phrased in multiples of 8 (as 16 and 32)

There are different types of tango: Argentine, Ballroom, Camacupense, Canyengue, Finnish, Liso, Milonguero, Nuevo, Orillero, Salon, Show, and Uruguayan. (Some of these are earlier forms that may not be danced today)

Ballroom tango has different styles as International, European, and American (the last being the more social version)

The head snaps by dancers are most associated with American Ballroom style

Movies that featured Tango dancing include (but not limited to) The Scent of a Woman, Evita, Moulin Rouge, True Lies, and Shall We Dance.

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Many consider Carlos Gardel to be the first great champion of the Argentine Tango.

In 2009, UNESCO declared Tango as part of the world’s “intangible cultural heritage”

Today, a variety of music is acceptable tango music – thus tango’s revival continues

Tango can be hot!

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Which was your favorite video and favorite piece of art?

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69 thoughts on “On Tango

    • Paradise,
      Ah ha … I wouldn’t be surprised if your musical ability would help you. A person with musical sense can hear the steps in the music! .. Listen to any of the videos with the following.

      Step – wait, Step – wait, Step, Step, Step

      T – A – N G O

      Thanks for commenting.

    • Sandy,
      I know you enjoy dancing, but didn’t realize tango was also one of your favorites. The videos provide quite the variety, so I’m glad you enjoyed them. Thanks for commenting.

  1. This reminded me of the time my husband and I took ballroom dancing lessons. Things progressed pretty well until the tango. We preferred to call it – tangled. That’s mostly what happened.

  2. Yes. Tango is Hot. And I am not physically strong enough to pull off any of this. Plus my wife would not let me even try. She won’t. And she would not let me get near a real dancer like that. I will have to wait to the afterlife.

    • Randel,
      I recall you mentioning something similar in a past post. At least you’ll have to see if your wife will even visit this post. ;) Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for visiting.

  3. The closest I ever got to tango was watching the movie “Tango And Cash”! I’d state that I have two left feet, but that suggests SOME grace. More like two left rollerskates – on ice! :D
    Great to watch, though!

  4. The Tango must be the most beautiful dance in the world. Thanks for the videos and please do another post featuring orchestral Tango music. As to the Catholic Church banning the Tango, they wouldn’t have done that if they had had the Hubble Telescope and been able to see the galaxies dancing (the Tango) through the universe.

  5. I love to watch the tango. Such a mesmerising dance. And that scene with Gere and J-Lo was incredible but my favourite clip here has to be Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. He truly deserved that Oscar. xx

  6. I dance like that, Frank… but only in my mind!!! I could sit and watch others dancing the Tango for hours… it transfixes me.
    My favourite video? The one with the couple dancing in front of the multi-coloured walls. I wasn’t too sure about the music to start off with… but enjoyed it at the end!

    • Tom,
      Glad you enjoyed these. Interesting how dance can transfix eyes of the observer. I agree that the video you mentioned is very interesting! Love the way the colors change. Thanks for visiting.

  7. Woohoo! Congrats on being in the 6 digit club of over 100,000 views on your blog and very well deserved! Yes, the tango is a very cool dance! I’ve never tried it, but would love to. Thanks for the videos, enjoyed them very much!

    • Java,
      I was hoping you would see this post because I thought you would enjoy it. Many thanks for the congrats. I don’t think that taking 4 years and 1030+ posts to do it is very impressive, but a milestone is a milestone. Happy Halloween!

      • Thank you my friend. You’ve been a wonderful and sweet friend to me and I am so appreciative. It’s hard to make good blogger friends, but you’ve made it easy in this crazy world. I can’t thank you enough. I wish you only wonderful, sunny and lovey days to you and your wife. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Harvest Moon, and Shall We Dance…the two winners for me! I play Astor Piazzola’s Libertango frequently and love the rhythms that define a good tango. In the brief history of my dancing lessons I learned just enough tango to not be terrible…not good, but fun! Great post. Right about now I’d much rather focus on dancing than politics or weather! :-) It’s much happier, even if brooding!

    • Debra,
      Libertango is a very good one, so I appreciated Doggy’s adding the video. Not only thanks for commenting, but thanks for being your pick of the art – and I’m surprised no comments about it!

  9. I poo-poohed the tango until I saw a tango performance at a theater hall in Buenos Aires. I was impressed not only by the performers but by the fact that so many locals were in attendance watching with rapt admiration.

  10. Lots of great Tango Videos! Navar said that he wants to learn the tango now. :+) He also wants to take a salsa class some time. We do a Dancing with the Stars exercise video some times that is fun one of the favorites The Paso Doble. :+)

  11. Frank, SO glad I backtracked to catch up on your blog – I would have missed a great post otherwise! Love, love, love the Skyscrapers video. Beautifully filmed and clever use of color, but also very sensuous, to me the essence of tango (and perhaps the reason it was frowned upon?)The music certainly isn’t traditional tango but it works, the slower tempo is perfect and I could not take my eyes off of the dancers.

    One of my former students had a local tango band play for his wedding reception, an awesome and fun night for everyone!

    • Lynn,
      I glad you saw this too as I always look forward to what you add to music-related posts. My thoughts on the Skyscrapers video was similar to yours as I was fixed on the dancers. Maybe it was the changing colors, but it was interesting! Thanks for sharing!

    • Guapo,
      Glad you enjoyed this post and thanks for letting me know your fav video. Ah ha … stomped toes could mean the lady wasn’t reaching back far enough in those backward steps. Then again, steel-toed shoes can help. ;) Thanks for commenting.

  12. I love the tango and it’s the only reason I’ve often considered learning to dance. I enjoyed all of the videos but my favorite was the Skyscrapers. The colors, the subtle sensuousness…. wonderful. Thanks for this tango lesson, Frank. :)

    • Robin,
      Glad you enjoyed this post, plus have a crave for tango. Each video has similarities and differences. Interesting thing about your fav video is that they keep their tango relatively simple. Oh … it’s well done, but flash is not their goal. The color scheme is interesting too! Thanks for commenting.

  13. Love tango … and that Roxanne video is one of my favorite – dance video .. already used it in a post myself. A Very VERY sensual video.
    Argentine tango has been very high up on my list for years and in Belfast they had a club, but I never join – and I regret that now – I dance an acceptable tango as its but it’s all down to the matador too. Love this post. Thanks for the fast lane.
    Tango is the most sexiest dance there is …

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