10/11/2017 Culture

Tango: history and passion of Buenos Aires

They say that the word tango predates dance and that by the year 1803 it appeared in the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy as a variant of the tango, a bone or stone that was used for the game of that name.


Romina Santarelli/ARCHIVE LANA (11/03/2017)


But already in 1889 the normative institution of the language included a second meaning of the tango like "party and dance of blacks and people of town in America". However, almost 100 years had to pass before the dictionary defined the tango as "Argentine dance of a linked couple, a binary musical form and a two-for-four rhythm, spread internationally".

Other students of the citizen music argue that the word is typical of the African languages ??that arrived with the slaves to the Río de la Plata and whose meaning would be "closed place".

It is very probable that tango is a voice of Portuguese origin introduced in the new continent through the Afro-Portuguese creole dialect. When comparing tango and tambo, Blas Matamoro affirms that both are onomatopoeias of the tam-tam or candombe used in the black dances. Moreover, in the muzzle dialect the expression was "play tango" or "play tambó" (play the drum) to start the dance. The meeting place of the slaves, both in Africa and in America, was called tango.



End of the Tango World Championship



And so he named Buenos Aires to the houses in the suburbs where, at the beginning of the 19th century, the blacks met to dance and temporarily forget their condition.

Of imprecise date and even more uncertain origin, there are theories that refer to their black roots and others that assure their immigration origin. The truth is that in the mid-1800s, the well-known conventillos of the thriving city of Buenos Aires were filled with countrymen from the interior, "gringos" fresh from the ship and several porteños with few resources who, perhaps to differentiate themselves or to generate roots, marked with its own impulse the new popular expressions.



End of the Tango World Championship



Mixture of closed codes and with particular language, the tango germinated in the dance houses, skirted the Riachuelo, the bowling carts and barracks, the conventillos of the south district. In those years, many of the immigrants came alone and the few women who came were in the academies or in the houses of appointments.

The Buenos Aires of the '80 little by little was discovered in the academies and in the theaters. In the comedies, zarzuelas and other works, the actors began to sing and dance tango.

The academies, also called peringundines, worked only under authorization in the suburbs or neighborhoods far from the center and, although in principle they were only for men, then incorporated women hired to dance.





The History of Tango

The handsome, compadritos and malevos were in the Café Sabatino, the Almacén de la Milonga and the Viejo Bailetín del Palomar. In the clubs of Necochea street of La Boca, began to hear this happy, youthful and mischievous music that, under the rhythm of two by four, performed Rosendo Mendizábal, Eduardo Arolas, Angel Villoldo and other self-taught composing without knowing the scores.

The tango ceased to be exclusive of the suburb to be inserted little by little in the center of the city. The little street organizers spread it through neighborhoods where it was common to see couples of men dancing in the streets.


Tango Museum, Montevideo, Uruguay

Presidency of Uruguay/ARCHIVE LANA (01/28/2017)


Essentially Buenos Aires, many writers consider that the tango of the late '80s combined several styles of music. In it, the choreography of the milonga, the rhythm of the candombe and the melodic, emotional and sentimental line of the habanera would be involved. But he also received influence from the Andalusian tango, the chotis and the cuplé, to which are added the payadas puebleras and the milongas criollas.

It is believed that the first tango composer was Juan Pérez, author of the tango Dame la Lata. However, it is very likely that other authors and previous songs existed. In addition to Pérez's work, the first compositions were El Tero and Andate a la Recoleta.


Tango Museum, Montevideo, Uruguay

Presidency of Uruguay/ARCHIVE LANA (01/28/2017)


Although its origins still polemicize the coffee tables of the tangueros, the prestige and recognition acquired internationally is not disputed.

Like any authentic artistic expression, tango unravels our inextricable human condition, revealing the Buenos Aires spirit. Perhaps because of this truth, he lives in the neighborhoods of Buenos Aires and in the academies of Japan, in the streets of Paris and in the New York cultural centers.