Temptations of the Tango
Bath Recitals brings the UK’s leading tango company to the city on Saturday 22 October with Tango Siempre and their unique blend of music.
“A superb band…” – The Telegraph
But what exactly IS Tango?
Mention the word Tango and you’ll either think of fizzy Orange drinks, or hopefully, the exotic and captivating musical style from South America. The latter conjures up seductive dancing, flamboyant accordion playing and lively rhythmic music.
Tango as a music and dance form originated in the 1880s along the River Plate on the border between Argentina and Uruguay. Yet its influences can be traced from a fusion of African and European cultures. The word ‘tango’ and ‘tambo’ originally meant a musical gathering of slaves – which the colonial authorities of the day attempted to ban – combined with a fusion of various south american and european music.
The dance continued to thrive in lower-class districts of Buenos Aires and Montevideo and soon became popular throughout all levels of society. The first European tango craze took place in Paris, London and Berlin in the early 20th century as dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires travelled to Europe.
Tango declined in Argentina in the 1950s as a result of economic depression and the banning of public gatherings by the military dictatorships, but today the tango is thriving. As well as being included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List it has infuenced, fashion, cinema (remember Last Tango in Paris?), and even an annual World tango dance tournament in Buenos Aires. Different styles of Tango have evolved over the past century such as Tango de Salon, Tango Canyengue, Nuevo tango, Contact tango, Ballroom tango and even Queer tango which breaks down the conventional gender roles.
With appearances on BBC television’s Strictly Come Dancing, The One Show, ITV’s “Surprise Surprise” and Radio 3’s “In Tune” under their belt, Tango Siempre will present a programme of authentic tango music including works by Troilo, Pugliese and Piazzola.
“Here is the tango, raw, intoxicating, speaking with its true voice” – Financial Times