Electronic Tango Resources
Tango in movies
Books about tango
The tango originated in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the nineteenth century. A form of this tango was introduced in Spain and France at the end of the 19th century, and in England at the start of the 20th. Maurice Mouvet, a New Yorker of Belgian descent, learned this tango in Paris, and introduced it in New York in 1911, where it became an instant hit.
According to the liner notes for the cd "a passion for tango":
"in its earliest incarnation, (the tango) was a kind of free-form, danced catharsis that told a story, intended either to work out the frustration of the violent life in the orilla or to contend for the favors of a woman, usually a prostitute. originally, men danced it only with other men while lingering in the bordellos." this took place in about the 1880s in (of course) buenos aires.
i thought it was strange the first time i heard of the man-man thing, but the more i dance it, the more i can actually see how it really could have started off as a competitive thing between men. in the movie 'tango bar," there's a moment when the two main characters are talking about how tango started off as a dance between two men, and they assume this position in which they face each other, leaning toward the other, but with the hands behind the back. i've heard that in the national geographic special on tango, robert deniro (or whoever the actor is who does tango -- i can't remember) demonstrates the original. ALSO -- again, i haven't seen this -- there's supposedly a powerful man-man tango in the movie "house of orange."
This file is part of the FAQ list for the newsgroup rec.arts.dance. The FAQ list is being maintained by Victor Eijkhout (victor at eijkhout dot net, talk about vanity), who appreciates being sent additions or corrections on the material in this collection. Copyright 1994/5/6/7/8/9/2000 lies with the maintainer and the contributors of various parts.
Listen up: Victor did not write most of this stuff; he just collected it. So don't send him any dance questions.
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Last modified on: 2000, Saturday August 5.