The man and woman face each other, with the man holding the woman's right hand in his left, and with his right arm around her. The Tango is the third dance to use this hold for couple dancing. The Viennese Waltz is the first dance done in this couple hold. It was very popular in Europe in the 1830’s. Couple dancing before the Viennese Waltz was very formal and did not involve a lot of physical contact just mainly holding hands. About 10 years after the Viennese Waltz came the Polka. Also taking Europe by storm, the Polka became the newest craze to use this scandalous new hold. Tango was extremely different from anything that came before it, and was the biggest influence on all couple dancing in the Twentieth Century. The story of tangos evolution is a mystery but, what is known is that it was immigrants coming into Argentina who brought these new couple dances with there more intimate hold.
The first piece of written music that called itself Tango was written and published in Argentina in 1857. “Toma mate, che” was the song. In this period the meaning of Tango probably meant Tango Andaluz, Andalucian Tango, a style of music from eastern Europe mainly Spain.
The origin of the word “Tango” in Argentina is still a mystery but it is believed to come from Argentina. The most common theory was that the community of African descent put the name of their god with the Spanish word for drum (tambor) and then came up with the word “Tango”. In Argentina Tango had a much different meaning then that in Spain. Members of the African community in Buenos Aires certainly joined in and influenced the development of the dance and music, just as members all the other communities in Buenos Aires did.
Nowadays the Tango is something of high class or upper society. It’s very sophisticated but, during the times of its origin, it became popular in the slums, or the underbelly of Argentina. The immigrants of Europe, Africa, and other unknown ports streamed into the outskirts of Buenos Aires in the 1880’s. They would find their amusement in drinking and sex. They would go to the whorehouses to satisfy their need to keep busy. From this came a mix of cultures and eventually the creation of the Tango. Although it can’t be proven that this is its exact origin this is the theory that is most logical. The relentless rhythms that the African slaves, the candombe, beat on their drums (known as tan-go); the popular music of the pampas (flatlands) known as the milonga, which combined Indian rhythms with the music of early Spanish colonists; and other influences, including Latin. Some say the word "tango" comes from the Latin word tangere (to touch.) It was the dance of sorrow. It speaks with body language. More then just frustrated love, it is also said to speak of death and pain. It was the perfect dance for social outcasts; it epitomized their feelings about their life.
The act in the Tango was originally intended to be for a prostitute and her pimp. Even some titles in the...