Tangos for Beginners

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1 Tango Elena 7:03 349

About this album

There is a charm about the tango, both the dance and the music associated with it, that is not to be denied. The tango is sensuous, provocative, sinuous, full of energy and life, dangerous, sinful (if you are a catholic priest, perhaps), erotic, suggestive (and how!) together with another whole galaxy of epithets and qualifying adjectives/adjectival phrases which I will omit here.

What I will admit to is the fact that tango is a new experience in my life. Of course, I have listened to dozens of tangos before. Who hasn’t? I haven’t really heard them properly, though. It was always a superficial, glancing, casual encounter as I listened to the radio or browsed iTunes or Spotify (silly name). For the last few weeks, though, I have begun in earnest to try to understand exactly what makes the tango tick. What makes it so deliciously special and different from other dance/music forms or styles. Its history is the first port of call — literally. As is now well known, the tango developed inside and outside the brothels of Argentinean seaports in the late nineteenth century — the musical and terpsichorean ‘come hither’ as the working girls and pimps strutted their stuff for the ‘johns’. Thus its salacious beginnings destined it to be a dark secret amongst ‘upright’ dancers in ballrooms and bars from Buenos Aires to Barcelona – and beyond. Yet like all of us, the tango grew up, shed its sordid, tainted past and became a fully-fledged citizen of the world, applauded and admired wherever she went.

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