Its been an on-going argument for the past century: Uruguay claims that tango was born in Montevideo where the distinctive style of music was composed*, while Argentina maintains it originated in the dance halls in the barrios of Buenos Aires. But for the moment the two countries are joining forces to petition UNESCO to grant tango world heritage status.
It was back in 1985 when the Tango Argentino troupe took New York by storm – what started off as a one week engagement at the City Center turned into a 200 performance run on Broadway. I recall how surprised I was, though most of the female dancers had that sultry look many of the male dancers were not the slim, sleek Spanish types I was expecting but stocky, middle-aged men. But once they began to dance they became the sexiest men on earth.
Tango Fire appears to be the same sort of dance troupe – if a little younger and better looking.
And if ever there was any doubt that the tango is about making love, just watch this couple.
* The world’s most popular tango, La Cumparsita, was composed by Uruguayan Gerardo Matos Rodrígues 90 years ago and has spawned more than 2,500 variations. It became Uruguay’s national hymn in 1998. And here it is, I find the bandoneons variations on this version particularly fun.
28 gennaio – San Tommaso d’Aquino