Tango is not only a fascinating dance but also a fascinating philosophy, culture and lifestyle. The search of tango is the search of humanity, connection, love, unity, harmony and beauty, i.e., an idealism that is not consistent with the dehumanizing reality of the modern world. The world divides us into individuals, but tango unites us into a team, community and species. In tango we are not individualists, feminists, nationalists, liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, etc., but interconnected and interdependent members of the human family. Tango calls us to tear down the walls, to build bridges, and to regain humanity through connection, cooperation, accommodation, reconciliation and compromise. It is a dance that teaches the world to love.
March 30, 2022
Two Tangos, Different Charms
We describe Latin dances such as rumba, cha-cha and samba as passionate, sexy and hot, but we no longer describe tango in that way. Rather, we use graceful, soulful and elegant to describe this dance that once belonged to the Latin dance family. In other words, in its development tango has been gradually refined and gentrified, evolving from the dance of brothel to Tango de Salon.
But once upon a time, tango was a hot, sexy, passionate Latin dance.
Comparing the two tangos, we can see the following differences.
1. Tango de Salon is danced at a slower pace. Earlier tango is danced at a faster pace.
2. In Tango de Salon the steps are larger. In earlier tango the steps are smaller.
3. In Tango de Salon the woman's hip movement is moderate, remaining relatively paralell to the man's hips, but in earlier tango the hip movement of the woman is quite large, perpendicular to the man's hips.
4. Tango de Salon highlights elegance and harmony. Earlier tango highlights hot gender identity and gender expression.
5. Tango de Salon focses on subtle, inward feelings. Earlier tango focuses on exaggerated visual impression.
Both tangos have their merits, one shows maturity and elegance, the other shows vigor and passion.
The fact that earlier tango is no longer seen is more or less a pity because it still has an aesthetic value and its techniques are worth studying, in my opinion. The change of human aesthetics, however, has its own logic that is beyond anyone’s personal will. Perhaps, that "Elegance is the only beauty that never fades." - said Audrey Hepburn, is the underlying logic of human aesthetics and tango. Vigor loses with time, but elegance remains.