Where Did the Tango Dance Come from?
Tango has two very different origins as there are two types of tango, which include the Argentinian tango and the Spanish Andalusian tango. These two types of tango do bear resemblance to each other but differ in many ways as well, including the fact that the Spanish tango is danced by single women while the Argentinian Tango is typically a partner dance.
There were not always multiple types or forms of tango, and the original Tango was actually born out of a combination and the influence of some street style dancing that was being done and performed by lower class and poorer citizens of both Buenos Aires and Montevideo as an affordable, enjoyable way to pass time and enjoy themselves. The dance evolved over time and was noticed, picked up and adapted by many performers and dancers all over the world. Today, it is no longer a preserve of the poor.
The largest burst and surge in the popularity of tango is perhaps credited to the arrival of thousands of immigrants to Argentina who came in search of a better life. They learned the tango and re-shaped it into a more modern dance and did so in a way that was so impressive; it ended up catching the attention and curiosity of many wealthier citizens. It was these wealthier people who were able to bring the dance all over the world. There was also the arrival of a band that changed the music and tempo of the dance as well. With this kind of evolution, the dance was an instant hit, and it made its way into New York, U.S.A, in 1910. Shortly after that, it made its way into Paris, France, in 1912 and only a year later, tango became one of the most popular and well-known dances in these wealthy and influential cities of the world.
Spanish tango, the independent dance done by women, is thought to have developed in the middle of the 19th century where the women performed what were seemingly flirty dances with mixed reactions and reviews from the population. Today, there are variations of tango, which are well beyond Spanish and Argentinian, with many countries and regions of the world having their own spin-off or version of the dance – each with a unique flair or spin. Some of these versions include the following:
- Uruguayan Tango: Uruguay is one of the oldest adopters of the Tango and also home to the world’s renowned tango: “La Cumparsita.”
- North American Tango: The tempo of North American tango is different from that of the traditional tango, and the music is not always traditional. This version of tango is often danced with mainstream or pop music.