Where Did the Tango Originate?

in Ballroom Dance - Tango

tango-historyArgentina is popularly known for Tango dance and music. But where did the tango originate from? Tango history is very complex in Argentina and its origin is unclear. One certain thing however, about Tango’s origin in Argentina, is the fact that it was influenced strongly by African culture during the 18th century. The first time African slaves were featured in Argentina was in the 17th century and they came in to serve as domestic servants or provide hard labor in the haciendas. After the abolishing of slavery 30% of Buenos Aires residents were African.

As a result and in a bid to find an answer to the question, where did the tango originate? The Argentine Tango was used to refer to the meeting places where working and freed slaves came together to dance. The Tango evolved to make a reflection on music and dance beautiful diversity from Argentina’s immigrants influx between late 18th and early 19th centuries. Initially The Tango was for the poor immigrants eager to change their families’ fortunes.

The Tango depicted the passion, sexual innuendo and desperate longing the immigrants experienced because of being separated from their female partners and wives for the whole time they were in Argentina. It was initially accompanied by a mixture of the rhythms of African drumming and Italian and Spanish melodies. However, as the evolution in musical accompaniment took place, an instrument called bandoneon was introduced. The bandoneon was a small type of accordion and to date still remains a key Tango sound element.

To answer where did the Tango originate? It is recorded that Tango venues were attended by Argentina’s indigenous, poor and young men as well .These men in turn took the Tango to the Buenos Aires slaughter house district where it got introduced to brothels, dance venues and bars. The Tango dance evolved to also include the Argentine Milonga music that had a faster pace that Polka and this explains the dance’s quick steps.

It is not surprising that the Argentine high society looked down upon the Tango and its dancers.  The dance was perceived as distasteful and vulgar. This was a consequent of its association with prostitutes and brothels. Regardless of this some of their sons ultimately engaged in tango. At the start of the 20th century, tango was able to transverse class and then spread throughout Argentina until it reached Paris because of the geographically mobile and wealthy families. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the Tango was considered to be an international success. People from all over London, New York and Paris were enthralled by the new and exciting innovation. The year 1913 was considered to be the year of the Tango because it made its way back to Argentina and became a global hit that was also quite refined.

The Argentine elites came to accept the fact that the Tango emerged from Argentina and were able to view it with a lot of national pride and love. Argentina will no doubt remain popular for Tango and therefore it would be a great opportunity for one to visit Argentina personally and get to see the Tango performed in its country of origin. This will also be a good way to answer the question many have asked for long, where did the Tango originate?

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