Argentina and the Tango

1676 Words4 Pages

The curtain rises on the streets of late 19th century Buenos Aires as a simple quadruple meter begins to ring. Two figures emerge from the darkness and begin to flow into a sensual, impressive dance. As he artfully guides her body around his own figure, a crowd begins to form, and soon there are more couples that join into this social dance. This is the scene for the beginning of the Argentine tango. The tango was not always the elegant dance reserved for famed ballrooms, but rather, it had its début on the streets of Buenos Aires with the poor of Argentina. Tango was the result of a booming agricultural economy with no one to work for it. The poor of Argentina were simply the already poor immigrants from Europe who sought a better life in the richness of Argentina. The influx of immigrants created dominantly male cities, and consequently, there were no women for the amount of men. Tango became the only way for men to express themselves romantically in a city where hardships flourished and hyper-masculinity was the key to survival. Although the tango was created in Argentina, it was not solely inspired by Argentine culture, but rather by a melting pot of cultures that were found in the community. The Argentine tango originated through the European immigrants who came to Buenos Aires, and eventually evolved into a dance, lyric poetry, and music that became a connotation for sensuality and joined the ranks of the waltz, the polka, and the foxtrot in the esteemed ballrooms of the world.
The tango was a tool of seduction even in its most early forms; its nature is to be used to attract. In Christine Denniston’s book, The Meaning of Tango, she describes the dance as “ a cornerstone of Argentinian culture” . The tango kept the Ar...

... middle of paper ...

...mber 31, 2001, accessed October 31, 2013. Gonzalez, Mike, and Marianella Yanes. Tango: sex and rhythm of the city. London: Reaktion Books, 2013.
Munne, Myriam I . "Drinking in tango lyrics: an approach to myths and meanings of drinking in Argentinian culture.." Contemporary Drug Problems 28, no. 3 (2001): 415-423.
Piazzolla, Astor." Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 4th ed.. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, accessed November 1, 2013,
Thompson, Robert Farris. Tango: the art history of love. New York: Pantheon Books, 2005.

More about Argentina and the Tango

Open Document