Wiki sez: Tango is a partner dance that originated in the 1880s along the River Plata, the natural border between Argentina and Uruguay, and soon spread to the rest of the world.
Early tango was known as tango criollo (Creole tango). Today, there are many forms of tango extant. Popularly and among tango dancing circles, the authentic tango is considered to be the one closest to the form originally danced in Argentina and Uruguay
Tango is a dance that has influences from African and European culture. Dances from the candombe ceremonies of former slave peoples helped shape the modern day Tango. The dance originated in lower-class districts of Buenos Aires and Montevideo. The music derived from the fusion of various forms of music from Europe. The word “tango” and “tambo” around the River Plate basin where initially used to refer to musical gatherings of slaves, with written records of colonial authorities attempting to ban such gatherings as early as 1789.
Initially, it was just one of the many dances, but it soon became popular throughout society, as theatres and street barrel organs spread it from the suburbs to the working-class slums, which were packed with hundreds of thousands of European immigrants.
In the early years of the 20th century, dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires travelled to Europe, and the first European tango craze took place in Paris, soon followed by London, Berlin, and other capitals. Towards the end of 1913 it hit New York City in the US, and Finland. In the US, around 1911, the word “tango” was often applied to dances in a 2 4 or 4 4 rhythm such as the one-step. The term was fashionable and did not indicate that tango steps would be used in the dance, although they might be. Tango music was sometimes played, but at a rather fast tempo. Instructors of the period would sometimes refer to this as a “North American tango”, versus the so-called “Argentine Tango”. By 1914, more authentic tango stylings were soon developed, along with some variations like Albert Newman’s “Minuet” tango.
In Argentina, the onset in 1929 of the Great Depression, and restrictions introduced after the overthrow of the Hipólito Yrigoyen government in 1930, caused tango to decline. Its fortunes were reversed as tango became widely fashionable and a matter of national pride under the government of Juan Perón. Tango declined again in the 1950s, as a result of economic depression and the banning of public gatherings by the military dictatorships; male-only Tango practice—the custom at the time—was considered “public gathering”. That, indirectly, boosted the popularity of rock and roll because, unlike Tango, it did not require such gatherings.
Here’s discourse on the Tango in L’homme de sa vie, a marvelous movie by Sabou Breitman with Charles Berling and Bernard Campan.
(L’Homme de sa vie Tango)
A very important figure in Tango history — Carlos Gardel —
Carlos Gardel “Por una Cabeza”)
Here’s a famous performance of that Tango —
(Scent of a Woman Tango)
Would you believe that Luis Bunuel made a Tango film?
(Liberta Lamaque in Gran Casino)
(Valentino in The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse)
Here’s a scene from woefully neglected auteur Jan-Daniel Pollet’s most important dramatic film.
Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider can’t dance.
(Last Tango in Paris)
Queer tango is a new way to dance Argentine tango free from traditional heteronormative codes. It offers the chance to dance tango without pre-established roles according to the gender of the dancers and change the roles of leader and follower, even in mid-dance. It is thus also called open role or same-sex tango. The queer tango movement permits not only access to tango for the LGBT community, but also opens up new possibilities for heterosexual dancers; women learn to lead and men learn to follow.
Dominique Sanda and Stefania Sandrelli CAN dance.
Another Queer tango courtesy of the great Wong Kar Wai —
(Happy Together Tango)
Astor Piazzola — as Jacques Rivette said “Ni L’egliseni bordel” —
(Astor Piazzola “Libertango”)
Finalemente — Peggy Lee evokes the murder of Ramon Novarro.
p.s. Hey. ** Today the honorable David Ehrenstein freshens up the blog by coaxing our attention towards the tango of all crazy things. I’m excited, and I hope you are too. Please reroute whatever you were thinking about before you loaded this page and let his exploration of and paean to this venerable dance form take hold, and, of course, report on the effects to Mr. E. Thank you, and thank you very much, David! ** Steevee, Hi, Steve. Thanks for investigating. How was your big film of yesterday? Any luck or news re: your doctor’s new proposal? ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! Very nice to see you, of course, and I’m glad your internet connection de-shittified. What do you think was the problem with the latest group meeting? Could you tell? Whoa, you’re working on the edit! Excellent! I think you know editing is my favorite part of writing, so just reading that gave me a rush. I didn’t end up doing anything for the Night of the Museums because nobody I knew who was in town was in the mood, and the idea of going alone just didn’t get me out the door. Oh, well. I think my weekend and yesterday were pretty even-keeled and unmemorable in general. But this morning at 10 am Zac and I start editing our film, and I’m jumping out of my epidermis in excitement, although I’m sure the laboriousness of the actual editing process will sober me up quickly. Still, the wait is over! How did Tuesday suit you, pal? ** David Ehrenstein, Hi, David. Thank you once again for this fine and super fresh post. I saw your comment yesterday, and I did go ahead and restore your LaTouche Day. A few of the links are dead, so I had to create some detours, but I think it’ll be just fine. I’ll launch it here on Tuesday, June 6th. Thank you for the great suggestion! ** Amphibiouspeter, Hi, welcome back! I’m so happy that Peter Campus’s work interested you. Very interesting about that perceived loss of all sense of desire in art. I think that’s very true. What that means will now be haunting me all day, for which I’m grateful. It is very funny, that. I guess I figure it’s some kind of pragmatism = salvation thing. Yes, there’s definitely a connection between my theater writing and the film work, not as much in the detailing, I don’t think, but more in the sense that writing film seems kind of like a perfecting of the theater writing. Or something. I don’t know if my GIF work has clear connection to the film work. Off the top of my head, I would say no, but that ‘no’ doesn’t feel very confident. ‘TVC’ was suppose to play in Lisbon just the other day, but apparently the shows got cancelled a while back due to the usual budget cutbacks at the venue, and Gisele forgot to tell me about the cancellation. So, yeah, it was supposed to but didn’t, sadly. Thanks a bunch. It’s great to get to talk with you. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. My pleasure, and I hope his work shows up in your vicinity so you can see it in person, which is, as I said, kind of key. I haven’t watched the new ‘Twin Peaks’. I suspect I’ll probably have to wait until there are a bunch of episodes available before I start. But, yes, the reports I’ve read have removed all wariness from my expectations. It sounds to be what I had hoped it would be. Great! ** Jeff J, Hi, Jeff. Excellent to see you, man. I don’t know if the French Campus show is traveling. It certainly should. There’s a really fantastic catalog — this — put out by les presses du réel whose books and catalogs are always pretty amazing. Thanks so much for the good words about ‘DC(Y)’. I really appreciate it. No, other than thinking idly but deliberatively about writing about the GIF work, I’ve had no time and brain space to be practical about that good idea. I am looking into doing more GIF work-related live events like the one that happened at the New Museum, in Paris and maybe other places. I think that event was not only quite interesting and fun but also a good way to explain the GIF works in a way that’s conducive to the form itself. No, haven’t seen the new ‘Twin Peaks’ yet. From everything I’ve heard, yes, I’m pretty excited and hopeful. My fear was the it would be too dedicated to the pre-existing series and operate within a nostalgia, and I’m relieved that isn’t the case, yeah. ** MANCY, Hi, S! Cool, yeah, Campus’s stuff is pretty great. I’d known his work before I saw the retrospective, but the totality and consistency/ development in his work was pretty revelatory. Yes, I thought a lot about your GIF work’s use of yellow when I was making ‘Dunce Codex’, and those thoughts were very shaping. Sucks that we can’t just meet up for a coffee and blab about this stuff. Internationality blows sometimes. ** Misanthrope, Hi, G. It’s kind of true about most visual art vis-a-vis the blog format, which is why I don’t put as much art I like here as I want to. Bad translation. Yeah, I think I live in this kind of rarefied world at this point in my life for whatever reason because I don’t hardly ever, and even kind of never, meet people who aren’t already familiars with gays and artists and so on. Re: your fiction question, yes, that novel-in-progress you describe is still, at this moment, my next novel. It has been pushed into the background because I’m just feeling much more interested right now in making films and making fiction with GIFS, and I honestly haven’t even opened the doc it’s in for about two years. But I definitely intend to go back to it, and, assuming it still looks as good to me as it did, finish it. I still have my longish standing plan to write one more novel then stop writing novels, and I still think that unfinished one is the one I want to close with. So, hopefully, that’ll be the case, although I don’t know when I’ll return to it. It could be a while, or I could just jump back into it any minute. Thank you for asking about it, George. ** Jeff Coleman, Hi, Jeff. Thanks a lot for that alert. I didn’t know. Everyone, Jeff Coleman alerts all of us to a new fiction piece by the awesome writer and local James Nulick that’s newly up and accessible on the Fluland site. It’s called ‘SIDEWALK PENTAGRAMS’, and it’s here, and I highly recommend you get your butts over there and read it post-haste. Thanks again, man. I hope all is super well with you. ** Okay. Return to or begin your blog affair with the tango and Mr. Ehrenstein’s wonderful directives in that regard. See you tomorrow.