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Origins and History of Tango

The Golden Age of Argentina

The origins of this passionate and glamorous dance go back to the unrecorded history and are enfolded in numerous myths and beautiful legends. Thus, it is widely believed that the dance form is a mixture of the Cuban habanera, the Argentine milonga and candombe, with some distinct elements of the ancient African rhythms introduced by the African community in Buenos Aires.
Although tango is traditionally believed to have appeared in Argentina in the mid-19th century, some sources claim this magic dance had been known in Cuba and Spain long before it came to the South American continent.

At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, Argentina was experiencing a very massive influx of immigrants from all over the world. By 1914, the population of this city had grown from 180,000 to 1.5 million people. African, Spanish, Italian, British, Polish, Russian cultures were actively intermixing with the native population of Argentines, which, apart from anything else, resulted in their borrowing dance and music from one another. Polkas mixed with waltzes and mazurkas, complemented by habanera and African rhythms.

They say tango was originally the dance of lost and homesick people who came to Argentina in search of a better life, leaving their families behind and keeping their child monitoring software free. The evolution of this dance reflects their longing for those people and places they left back home and their desire to regain the sense of closeness and find support and consolation while dancing with others.

At first, the Argentine establishment looked down upon the activities in the barrios thinking it was not a dance to be performed in the high society salons. Soon everyone found out about it and, in the early 1900s, the tango became both a fashionable dance and rudimentary form of popular music. However, it was not until 1912-1913 that this dance gained worldwide popularity. Introduced in Paris, London and New York by rich and proud sons of Argentine society families, tango soon became a real international phenomenon. Unaware of its lumpen origins, nobles enjoyed dancing it. The elite families in Argentina were now forced to accept the dance and treat it as a national pride.

The tango spread very quickly and by 1930s, everyone was dancing it. Tango appeared in books and movies, tango singers were always welcome in the best houses of the world.

It was truly the Golden Age of Argentina. The country grew richer, more populated and was proud of its culture as never before. Music, poetry and dancing flourished. In the 1950s, the dance and music of tango became a symbol of national resistance. The majority of tango dancing venues were closed and banned at that time, and tango went underground. It survived in smaller hidden venues and in the hearts of the people who loved it.

Once rock’n’roll hit the ground in the mid-1980s, tango was once again shunned and remained hugely forgotten until, a decade later, Paris enthusiasts gave it a new life and ignited tango excitement worldwide.

Today the dance is enjoying a renaissance and millions of people all around the world celebrate it as one of the most passionate and sensual dances.