This month Global Learning for Kids has been exploring Argentina. In the beginning of the month we shared some of the resources we have looked at and ideas to explore. We decided to look at the National Dance of Argentina, the tango. Tango is a partner dance that started in the 1890's along the River Plate, the natural border between Argentina and Uruguay. It originated with lower classes in Buenos Aires and Montevideo. (Source) From the DVDs Hazel and I watched claimed it originated in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina.
It is a very seductive dance and has become popular throughout the world. To explore the tango, Hazel and I checked some DVDs and a book out of the library. We began to watch one of the DVDs during breakfast. Hazel enjoyed seeing the couple dance in the beginning and then it gave lessons to dance the tango. I got to be the male in our couple and lead, but we didn't really have enough room in the kitchen and never got back to it with the busy September we have had.
For Hazel it is more about seeing the dance really for the first time. Here are some dances I found on Youtube, so you could witness the tango.
The tango has roots in European and African dance. A former slave ceremony dance definitely helped shape it. The music derived from European influences. Tango declined in Argentina in 1930 however Juan Perón's government brought it back as fashionable and a matter for national pride. It declined again in 1950 when there was another depression and laws about public gatherings.
There are many different styles of tango now. They developed in different eras and regions of Argentina and other parts of the world. Styles developed due to things like environment (crowded clubs), fashion and more. The Argentine Tango is often more intimate than other styles. Most well known is the Ballroom Tango and it is known for the strong head snaps. It is a very dramatic dance and is often seen as a love story being told in the dance. The basic rhythm of the tango is quick, quick, slow. Hazel and I were practicing that when we watched the DVD.
The tango has gained popularity and recognition in films like Scent of a Woman, True Lies, Take the Lead and more. It is also always included in Dancing with the Stars television competition.
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