Rhythm Through Diversity on Metronome Online is an exploration of exciting rhythms from around the world. With this in mind we are heading over to Rio de la Plata on the border between Argentina and Uruguay, where tango was born. Tango, a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, started as a social dance in the areas of the underserved and was a mash-up of different musical style: habanera, milonga and candombe.
A sensual dance, present in the suburbs where the working-class lived, it became a cultural shock when achieving international recognition in the early 1900s. Many neighborhoods of Buenos Aires speak of different tango origins, but a certain pivot began when the dancers and orchestras took the dance to Europe in the beginning of 20th century. Tango took Europe by storm, achieving popularity in cities like Paris, London and Berlin and even Finland, all of which had a great influence on the development of the dance in the society at that time.
A sensual dance, present in the suburbs where the working-class lived, tango became a cultural shock when achieving international recognition in the early 1900s.
Tango is a dance in 4/4, however we can find examples using the 2/4 meter as well. Today we know many different types, some of which are tango argentine, tango conyengue, tango oriental, tango list, tango salon, milonga and even finnish tango, to name just a few. The style typically evokes elegant and provocative movements. The dance can also be found regularly on concert stages largely thanks to Astor Piazzolla, an Argentinian composer who spent most of his time abroad, and who has been instrumental in stretching the boundaries of the tango as a composition.
In Argentina, the dance’s popularity fluctuated according to the changes in the political regime. In 1929, when the Great Depression took the world by storm, the local government saw its overthrow, which caused tango to decline. 20 years later the Perón government supported the idea of the dance as part of national pride. In late 1950s when the economy faced another economical blow and the military regime prohibited public gatherings, the tango went out of fashion yet again. Now, years later, this is one of the most popular musical forms world-wide.
The best way to enjoy music is to experience it, so let’s take a look at the famous El Choclo, a tango written by Ángel Villoldo!