Whose dance - theatre experiences? By the anniversary of Mahmud Esambayev
"Such people as Mahmud Esambayev, meet at all I don't know in how many years. He is, in fact, so plastic, so musical and so expressive... that everything he performs,…

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Argentine tango. How did it start?
Argentine tango is perhaps one of the most mysterious and enchanting dances of our time. It is not just a dance — it is a concentrated passion that is available…

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Whose dance - theatre experiences? By the anniversary of Mahmud Esambayev
"Such people as Mahmud Esambayev, meet at all I don't know in how many years. He is, in fact, so plastic, so musical and so expressive... that everything he performs,…

Continue reading →

Why the Argentine tango is the national dance?

Tango! Who does not know this gentle, romantic and at the same time incendiary and erotic dance. At school in the mid 50-ies we diligently tried to remember his simple movements, listening to the enchanting melody. Then we were recommended, in addition to Russian folk or famous ballroom, dance only waltz and tango, considering everything else bad taste, planted decaying West. The source of Course, the tango that we were learning and trying to reproduce was the most chaste and innocent of all the tango in the world. Then anybody and in a head could not come that you can hug and squeeze around the girl. The classic pose of the male hand on the waist of the partner, it also on the shoulder of the leader, two free hands are joined and extended forward or bent. The distance between the dancers should be sufficient for a football to pass between them. That’s how we used to tango back in the day. Now, after many decades, when you can dance that anyone only in the head will come, tango has remained the same exciting and loved. His popularity, of course, somewhat decreased, but on any dance floor you can see tango dancers, closely closed bodies or, conversely, moving away from each other almost the entire length of their hands. So what is the popularity of this dance, when and where it originated, and why about tango say that it is an Argentine dance? No one can answer these questions precisely, but it is generally accepted that in the middle of the nineteenth century there were African slaves in Argentina, who coined the word “tango”, meaning “enclosed space”in one of the African dialects. This was the name of the place where slaves and free Negroes danced. By the end of the XIX century Argentina was overwhelmed by a wave of immigrants. Within forty years, the population of Buenos Aires grew from 180,000 to 1.5 million. People came from all countries, most of them, of course, Spaniards and Italians, but there were also many poles, Russians and Englishmen. There was a rapid fusion of cultures, Nations borrowed from each other customs, recipes, clothing items. Not remained in side and dances. Most of the guests were poor with an adventurous streak, the young men hoping to strike it rich and then return home to Europe or to take the family to a new home. It is assumed that there was a new dance on the Afro-Argentine dance evenings, attended by young poor Argentines, wearing soft felt hats with wide free-hanging fields and bandages on the neck instead of ties scarves. It was there that African rhythms collided with milonga — a fast Polish, common at that time in Argentina, with Spanish flamenco, Cuban Habanera, Italian and French dance motifs. All this and much more gave rise to new musical rhythms and new dance steps. Creole milonga, originally a humorous cheerful song that eventually turned into a dance, was performed to the accompaniment of an accordion. And when he was joined by a guitar with violin, mandolin and flute — there was tango. At the beginning of the XX century there was a new musical instrument — bandoneon, sounding like an organ. It was with his appearance that tango became slower and more lyrical. Tango is fundamentally different from anything that existed in dance culture to it. Because it allowed so many possibilities for improvisation that each couple is dancing in his own right. There are no clear canons in the performance, there are only a few basic elements and settings, such as: the partner should not carry weight on both legs, and tear them high from the floor, and is obliged to constantly keep them slightly bent at the knees. After all, originally it was a man’s pair dance, and most often it was danced in long queues in brothels. The fact that women in the country were sorely lacking, an average of 50 men there accounted for one free woman, which caused an unprecedented increase in prostitution. Here in wait for women men and whiled away the time with accordion music, inventing all new and new steps. It came to the fact that they began to arrange a kind of dance tournaments and the winners were awarded the honor of extraordinary service by the priestesses of love. For some time the Argentine establishment tried not to notice the emergence of a new popular dance, considering it a dance of the poor and slums. Tango became more and more popular and in the first half of the XX century became known and loved by all segments of society not only in Argentina, but also around the world. To a large extent, this was facilitated by the unexpected popularity of tango in the trendsetter — Paris. This probably happened at the beginning of the second decade of the XX century, because in 1913 tango was danced not only in Paris, but also in London and Berlin. The magical spread of tango began. There was even such a thing — Tangomania, that is, the fashion for tango and everything that was in the style of tango: parties and tea, drinks and cigarettes, shoes and clothes. Not always and not everywhere it went the official way. Thus, Pope Pius X opposed the tango, the Austrian Emperor forbade him to dance in the army, and the British Queen said that she “it” will not dance herself. In Russia in 1914 it was forbidden even to mention tango. But after the Pope lifted his ban in 1914, tango officially became a recognized dance. In the young Soviet Republic, tango was also initially in disgrace, but people’s love was stronger, and soon the sincere voices of Kozin and Leshchenko, Sokolsky and Vertinsky, who performed tango, sounded everywhere. And remember the wartime songs, because most of them were tango — Russian tango. In Argentina, the tango quickly became a national treasure, and when it appeared in the movie, began the “Golden age” of Argentine tango. Hollywood singer and actor Carlos Gardel, recognized as the “king of tango” and died in a plane crash in 1935, became a national hero of Argentina. Monuments and museums have been erected for him, and on December 11, his birthday, is recognized in Argentina as tango Day. However, in the fifties, interest in tango fell all over the world, new modern rhythms and pas began to displace it. And the tango owes its second birth to Paris again. It was there in 1983 that the Tango Argentino show opened, bringing the dance back to the masses. And once again the pilgrimage to the dance clubs, everyone wanted to learn to dance tango. The show became so popular that the dance again rushed around the world and again became one of the most popular dances. In fairness it should be noted that the first known tango “La Morocha” — “Fadeless” — created the Uruguayan author, Enrique Saborido, and the most famous and popular tango “La Cumparsita” was also composed by the Uruguayan Gerardo Rodriguez, so Uruguayans are rightly also think tango is their national dance.

 

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