Argentine Tango first gained its hold on the US
in the 1920s, when screen idol Rudolph Valentino
appeared in Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
. It originated in the West Indies
, where it was brought to the ranges
, which is where it gained much of its distinctiveness and individual character
Tango is very much a "dancer's dance", as its unique rhythms offer excellent training in timing and footwork. Contrary to popular belief, tango is not considered a latin dance
because it doesn't include Cuban motion
It's considered a smooth
, or ballroom
, dance because dancers hold themselves erect
, and swing their legs from the hip.
American Social tango differs from true Argentine
tango because in social tango dancers use a normal dance hold, while in Argentine, the dancers are often cheek to cheek, enabling a more complex interacting involving their legs.
You can be a star
in the United States
-- but if you ever get into Buenos Aires
-- you'd be lucky if you can hold your own.
It's impossible to describe the tango as other than the expression of the soul of Argentina
. A concept called the 'Pinta' is very important-- It means the way that one stands or walks, or 'attitude'. This is the hardest thing to learn. Friends tell me that in Argentina
, the quality of dancing doesn't depend on how many steps you know-- because everybody knows so many-- but on your individuality
, steps you invent, and your attitude.
Efficiency in movement, doing more with less is important
, and the finishing touch is very tiny movements of the feet, called chiches
, which embellish a step and can fill a moment of stillness with a musical flutter of controlled passion
Done well, it's not just a dance
-- It's an emotion that cannot be expressed in words