About Argentine Tango
Tango originated in Buenos Aires, Argentina in the late 19th century.
There have been many attempts to categorize tango into various styles, however, there is no consensus opinion. Still, some broad generalisations can be made, namely, estilo: milonguero, tango de salon, and tango nuevo. There is also tango fantasia, aka show tango, which you may have seen on TV. With us, you will learn tango de salon and milonguero so you can dance socially on a crowded floor. If, however, you plan to do a performance, we can teach you elements of tango nuevo or fantasia. Learn more about our Private Lessons.
Milonga Etiquette (Códigos)
Codigos developed over a number of decades in the milongas of Buenos Aires. They are not necessarily adhered to in tango events in other parts of the world, but we run our ‘La Milonga Conexion’ keeping this tradition in mind. The list of codigos is extensive, but if you take the time to familiarise yourself, you will see that these rules have a lot of common sense and are intended to create an enjoyable and safe environment for everyone in the milonga.
Tango throughout the world today
There are milongas in almost every city in the world. Sometimes, you can find them in very remote areas too, so it’s always worth packing your dance shoes and checking when you plan your next trip. Going to milongas in a foreign country is a great adventure because it gives you a chance to learn about the locals. Tango is a unifying language. For those wanting to gear their trip specifically towards tango, there are a growing number of tango festivals you can go to. These vary in what they offer, so do some research before making a commitment.
La Milonga Conexion
Origins of Tango
It arose from a melting pot of different cultures and traditions brought together by people inhabiting the region during this period. These included natives, Africans, and a massive influx of European immigrants, mostly from Italy and Spain, which is why tango is often referred to as “the dance of immigrants”.
Tango Music and Lyrics
During class we play tango music from the 1920 – 50s, known as the Golden Age. During this period, tango music was written and played mainly for dancers. The lyrics often evoke nostalgia for the homeland, for lost love, for friends and family. After this period, Peronism came and prohibited tango dancing in Argentina. The music, for example that of Astor Piazzola, turned very complex and sophisticated and was created mainly for listening and performing in concert auditoriums. In the past decade, there has been a revival in the creation of tango music, namely in form of electronic tango (for example Gotan Project). When you go to traditional milongas (social tango dancing parties), the music you will hear will be from the Golden Age. We encourage you to start listening to this music and begin your own collection. We’ll be happy to give you recommendations.
A number of movies featuring tango, unfortunately, show distorted caricatures of the dance, evoking images of “couples in dark, smoky rooms holding a rose in the mouth”. Some noteworthy exceptions are: The Tango Lesson (1996), Tango (1998), Assassination Tango starring Robert Duvall (2002), Je Ne Suis Pas Là Pour Être Aimé (2005), and our favourite Tango Bar (1988) starring Raul Julia.
Learning Argentine Tango
There is no better time to start learning then right now. Check out our Calendar for the next beginners class at Dance Conexion.