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Tango, Argentine Tango

 

Tango was the romantic rage of the 1920’s in the United States, introduced to the millons by the silent screen idol Rudolph Valentino in “Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.” Born in the West Indies and stylized by the gauchos of Argentina, simmered in the brothels of Buenos Aires and brought to a boil in the elegant salons of Paris, the tango is considered a “dancer’s dance.” Its unique rhythms offer fabulous training for timing and footwork, building a foundation useful in any dance. It has recently become an amazingly popular dance here in America, due first to Al Pacino (of DanceSport fame!) and his sensitive rendition of a blind dancer in “Scent of a Woman” a few years ago, and then to the many Broadway shows that have featured tango in recent years (Tango Argentina, Tango x 2, Forever Tango, etc.). Madonna’s "Evita” features tango dancing, and Julio Iglesias is promoting his tango album. Social tango is not as intensely intimate as argentine tango, as the dancers maintain a regular social dance hold. In Argentine tango, the dancers are often cheek to cheek, and this effect, coupled with intricate leg intertwining, gives Argentine tango a much more sensual feel than American (Social) Tango. Both American and International are also competitive styles of dance. Although it originated in Latin countries, American or International style Tango is not considered a “Latin” dance as it does not feature Cuban motion. It is considered a “Smooth,” or Ballroom, dance, as dancers hold themselves erect and swing their legs from the hip, as with Foxtrot or the Waltz.