History The third dance in the history of dance done with the man and woman facing each other is the Tango. It consists of the man holding the woman’s right hand in his left, while his right arm is around her. The first dance done in this position was the Viennese Waltz, a craze which spread across Europe throughout the 1830s. This was the first form of couple dancing after the traditional dances of couples with highly choreographed steps. The second dance was known as the Polka and was the next craze throughout the 1840s. Finally the Tango evolved into the third dance of its kind which greatly varied from anything before its existence because it introduced the great concept of improvisation for the first time.

The Tango soon after had a great influence on all of the “couples dancing” in the twentieth century. Its evolution was due to the great amounts of immigrants coming into Argentina which brought an array of new dancing with shocking new holds. It is, however, unknown as to how and when exactly the Tango evolved from the Viennese Waltz and the Polka into what it is today. This is due to the fact that it was everyday normal people who helped with the evolution of the Tango. They were the poor and the underprivileged that helped shape this phenomenon.

History The first piece of music written and published in Argentina describing itself as what we know as the Tango appeared in 1857. It was called, “Toma mate, che.” The name “tango” at the time probably referred to what is known today as “Tango Andaluz” or “Andalucian Tango” which was the style of music brought over to South American from Spain—also the home of the Flamenco, another popular type of music in Buenos Aires in the middle of the nineteenth century.

The origin of the word “tango” has many theories of how it came to be. One such theory is that it came from the community of African slave descendents who mixed the name of their god of the drum with the Spanish word for drum, “tambor.” However, this theory has not been accurately proved, as there is not proof of African dances being involved with a man and woman in the same form as the Tango. On the contrary, African people in Buenos Aires joined in and influenced the development of the dance and music just as vast amounts of other immigrant communities did as well. The most important groups of people in the evolution and development of the Tango were the poor, the undereducated, and the underprivileged white men. Finally, Tango was sung in theatres throughout Buenos Aires during the second half of the nineteenth century.

Its emergence in popularity led it to Europe in the early years in the 20th century, where dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires traveled to European cities such as Paris, London, Berlin, and other major capitals where the Tango craze was then born.

However, the onset of the Great Depression in 1929 led to the popularity of the Tango to decline throughout Argentina. New governmental restrictions were introduced after the overthrow of the government leading creating a lack of Tango. After Juan Peron became president, the popularity of the Tango rose again, making it yet again fashionable throughout the country.

Tango Today

Tango Today in Buenos Aires, three different forms of the Argentine Tango can be found: Salon, Fantasia, and one created specifically for the stage. Due to the creation of other new dances of the time, a great amount of influences have been shaping the way the Tango is today—the stage Tango, for example, having been created specifically to get North American English speakers to become interested in the dance. After shows of stage Tango dancing, classes and demonstrations are offered for the viewers, however it is recommended to learn the traditional Argentine Tango as opposed to learning the choreographed steps of the stage Tango.

Tango Hot Spots:

There is no other place in the whole world where you can learn the beautiful Tango as you can while in Buenos Aires. Here is a list of some Tango Hot Spots where you can get yourself started.

Centro Cultural Torcuato Tasso
Defensa 1575, San Telmo - Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
Phone: (011) 4307-6506.

This legendary place was where the tango was born over a hundred years ago. Experience the live orchestras. Enter Fridays and Saturdays from 11pm (ticket $10), Sundays from 10pm (milonga $1). Lessons everyday, ask about timetables and teachers (rate $5).

Club Gricel
La Rioja 1180, San Cristobal - Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
Phone: (011) 4957-7157/8398.
Milonga on Fridays and Saturdays at 11pm, Sundays at 8.30pm (Fridays $5 - weekends $3). Tango lessons: everyday (Mondays at 6pm $2, the rest of the week $5).

El Arranque
Bartolomé Mitre 1759, San Nicolás - Prov. de Buenos Aires.
Phone: (011) 4371-6767.

Milonga on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3pm to 10pm, and on Saturdays from 3pm to 9pm (ladies $3 gentlemen $5). Tango lessons Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 4pm to 6pm (rate $6).

La Baldosa
Ramón L. Falcón 2750, .
Phone: 4601-7988.

La Marshall (Milonga gay)
Yatay 961, Almagro - Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
Phone: (011) 4774-5470 Cel: 15 5406-9784.
Milonga from 10pm. Tango lessons: Wednesdays from 8.30pm to 10pm. Intensive courses and artistic and cultural display.

Venezuela 2939, Balvanera - Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
Phone: (011) 4957-2823 Cel: 15 5221-4624.
Located at the Carbonería, a hall from 1901, here you can dance the tango milonguero and tango de salón. There are young orchestras, plastic artists and singers. Bar with homemade dishes and Italian menu.
The Milonga is from 10pm to 2am. Tango lessons: Mondays from 8pm to 10pm.

Niño bien
Humberto Primo 1462, Constitución - Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
Phone: (011) 4147-8687.
Watch the Milonga on Thursdays from 10.30pm to 4.30am. Tango lessons: Thursdays 9.30pm thru 10.30pm. Ticket $5. They offer snacks and drinks.

Parakultural (La Catedral)
Sarmiento 4006, Almagro - Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
Cel: 15-53251630.
This spot is for those who are 25-year-olds and above. Milonga: Tuesdays 11pm. Tango lessons: all days at 9pm. Tickets $5.

Porteño y bailarín
Riobamba 345, Balvanera - Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
Phone: (011) 4372-6080 Cel: 15 5153-8626.
This is a conditioned hall. There are programs with musicians, singers and career artists. Dancing: Tuesdays at 10:30pm, and Sundays from 7pm (entrance free of charge). Lessons: Tuesdays 9pm (ticket $5).

Rouge Tango
Scalabrini Ortiz 1331, Palermo - Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
Phone: (011) 4832-6753.
Located at the Canning Dancing Hall. Milonga: Thursdays at 10.30pm (ticket $7). Lessons: Thursdays from 8.30pm to 10.30pm (ticket $10 dancing included). There is air conditioning at the Rouge Tango.

Salón Canning
Scalabrini Ortiz 1331, Palermo - Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
Phone: (011) 4832-6753.
Watch the Tango and listen to other rhythms with live orchestras. Dancing: Wednesdays from 4pm to 11pm, Fridays from 11pm to 4am and Sundays from 8pm to 3am. Tango lessons: Fridays and Sundays from 8pm. Ticket: $5.

Sin Rumbo
José P. Tamborini 6157, Villa Urquiza - Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
Phone: (011) 4574-0972/4571-9577.
This is a traditional large room with great masters. Milonga Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10pm (ticket $4). Tango lessons: Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8.30pm to 10pm (ticket $5). Buffet and bar service. Surveilled parking.

Sunderland Club
Lugones 3161, Villa Urquiza - Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
Phone: (011) 4541-9776/4605-8234.
club with a family atmosphere. Dancing on Saturdays from 10pm to 5am, Sundays from 8pm to 1am (ladies $4 gentlemen $6). Tango lessons $5. Dinner service is available as well.

Tango Ideal
Suipacha 380, San Nicolás - Prov. de Buenos Aires.
Phone: (011) 5265-8069.
Live orchestras and dancers show at the Ideal coffee-shop, declared historical heritage. Milonga: Thursdays from 10pm. Lessons: Thursdays at 9pm. Ticket: $7 (it includes orchestra and show). Dinner service is available.

If you are unfamiliar with this intriguing dance, click on the following link to watch a clip of the illustrious Tango.


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