Tango Reflects Argentina’s Culture
Throughout history, man has over time used music to express himself. Tango lyrics are probably the most popular culture storehouse of the immigrant culture and its linguistic impact to a nation. Clark (2002) says that Tango is a complicated genre that involves dance, music, poetry, philosophy, narrative, and drama. It has its roots in Argentina. It was a popularly way of uniting African, American and the European cultural and artistic aspects, after the immigrants to the Americas came back between the years 1821 and 1932. The immigrants were slowly assimilated into the Argentine community, as the Tango became a symbol of their inclusion into the system. As the black performers of the Tango dance came to cultural and physical contacts with the members of both the middle class and the high class, the dance changed its status and became a national identity (Clark, 2002).
Having it roots in the lower classes of Buenos Aires in the 19th century, the Tango has changed and undergone transformation with time. Buenos Aires was a poor town, populated by immigrants who had come to make fortunes on the plains of Argentina. The coming of immigrants led to diversity in the population that lived in Argentina. This alteration in population changed its shape from hybrid radicalism. Though it was initially design for the black dialect, the white Argentines began to imitate them and carried black instruments, and went ahead to dance the tango. The substitution of blacks with the whites in the performances led to unacceptability. Blacks grumbled because of the fellow blacks who participated in the performances with the whites. The Tango music has undergone through various stages in its life (Bindé, 2001).
Tango was once rejected at home; people in Paris adopted it in the 1910s when the rich in Argentina moved to Paris, which was, then a centre of culture and entertainment as noted in the Very Tango (Tango information and facts, n.d). From Paris, tango quickly spread to other capitals in Europe and later to New York. On the break of the World War 1, the Hispano-American people left Paris and went back to Southern American. They included tango dancers, musicians, and teachers of the dance. Its acceptability in Paris influenced the upper class in Argentina to accept it. Since it had been adopted by the middle class, it easily became the national Music in Argentina.
During the 20th century, Argentina was on the peak of political alterations that led to the emergence of an upper rich class. Foster, being of Italian decent was Argentina’s president from 1946 but was later overthrown by the military in 1955. Juan Peron became a socialist of the working class and in his position, he highly improved their standards and conditions to a paramount status. Aware of Tango’s impacts on revolution, they put restrict legislation on where Tango would be danced. Many Argentineans were against this, as they did not want to lose Tango (Foster, Lockhart & Lockhart, 1998).
As a portrayal of power struggle and the craving to oust unjust political regimes, the Tango is tightly connected to desires for security and equilibrium. Due to their dire love of security, the Argentines maintain security even under difficult conditions. They prefer early conveyance of details and themes since they do not like surprises.
During the dance, male and females perform different roles but with a lot of cooperation. The man invites the woman to the dance and embraces her, confidently guiding and interpreting the music as he devices dancing styles that will suit the music. In addition, the male dancer has a duty to create a peaceful, protective, and enjoyable environment for the female. The female may give in or ignore the invitation but must remain calm and keen as she follows the man’s indication on the directions of the dance. These directions may include the next step, rotation, axis alterations, pauses, stopping instances and even timing changes. The gender roles played by each character in the dance reflect the people’s cultural lives. Though the female dancer may not be seen doing much, their role is not passive. While the duty of the female is domestic, the man is supposed to provide for the family, which is depicted by the dance.
As the Tango has developed over time, it has become more melodic and harmonic. Different Tango music suggests different dancing styles with some of the styles that were originally danced when the dance was invented and dropped. The rules are that every couple should listen and change the dancing styles as music changes. Regardless of today’s mixed and reinvented dance in Tango, one key aspect remains; that we must be able to interpret it. The Tango is a centre of economic activity for Argentina. Its reinvention is relevant to that of companies who have to be innovative to remain relevant in the corporate world. The metamorphosis process in the tango music and dance makes it relevant in the changing society and even in the future (Foster, Lockhart & Lockhart, 1998).
Bindé, J. (2001). Keys to the 21st century. New York: Berghahn Books.
Clark W.A (2002). From Tejano to Tango: Latin American Popular Music. Psychology press.
Foster, D. W., Lockhart, M. F., & Lockhart, D. B. (1998). Culture and customs of Argentina. Westport, Conn. [u.a.: Greenwood Press.
Tango information and facts. (n.d). Very Tango. Retrieved from: www. .verytangostore.com/tango-history.html