Unknown to many people, the dance of the tango had extremely humble beginnings in the slums of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Several theories exist concerning how the tango evolved into the sensual, romantic dance that people currently know and love. One theory states that some of the tango's unusual movements originated along the gauchos of Buenos Aires, who were their smelly, hardened chaps into the city's congested nightclubs. As the story goes, when a gaucho began dancing with a girl, she placed herself in the crook of his arm with her head thrown back in order to avoid the smell and her right hand was positioned close to his pocket as a demand for money in exchange for her hospitality. Such a theory is difficult to prove true or false; however, it is an interesting example of the colorful history of this intriguing dance.
In the early 1900s orchestras and dancers from Buenos Aires traveled to the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe where historically the dance became wildly popular in cities such as Berlin, London and Paris. After this, the first American tango craze took place in New York. By 1914 several authentic tango styles were introduced in many nightclubs including unique variations such as Newman's Minuet tango.
The Many Faces of Tango
Many individuals are unaware of the fact that the dance of the tango has many variations and each has something special to offer both spectators and participants. These variations include the Tango Canyengue, which is a rhythmic style tango that follows a percussion rhythm as opposed to the traditional instruments used in tango music. Introduced by the younger generation in the 1980s, the tango nuevo features complex positions and more fluid movements rather than the classic rigid lines of the traditional tango. Ballroom tango emphasizes leading and following skills as well as the character head snaps and staccato movements seen in competitive tango dancing. Many other variations of the tango exists and some dancers enjoy trying them all one by one for an exhilarating experience.
Tango from the Rio de la Plataregion was used in a clinical trial for persons suffering from Parkinson's disease. The study provided evidence that dancing the tango was helpful in healing this debilitating neurological disorder. Parkinson's sufferers who participated in tango classes demonstrated a marked improvement in coordination that was not present in the second group of Parkinson's sufferers who participated in traditional exercise. Medical scientists state that while dancing in general may be beneficial, tango dancing was even more so due to the fact that the dance features several types of movement especially relevant for those with Parkinson's disease. These include walking backward, moving at various speeds, initiation of movement, turning and dynamic balance.
The Tango In Buenos Aires
In 2009, Uruguay and Argentina stated that the tango should be placed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List and this became a reality that same year in the month of October. Throughout the years, tango has enjoyed a brilliant sequence of popularity booms and subsequent Declines. The tango leads a continuous life through Buenos Aires where both the music and the dance have been developed so thoroughly that the tango has attained a level of perfection in Argentina that is not seen in other parts of the world. The tango is a timeless dance and those with a strong interest in an authentic tango experience should visit the enchanting city of Buenos Aires where the tango was born and will live on eternally.