By Gustavo Zimmermann
The tango is a cultural phenomenon which is expressed through its music, poetry and dance. It was born in the late 19th century in the region of Rio de la Plata, between Argentina and Uruguay, as a consequence of the African roots and those of the Rio de la Plata as well as the ethnic diversity that originated from the large immigration wave of that time. In 2009 it was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. It was also considered as a valuable contribution to the safeguarding of cultural diversity and as a guarantee of permanent creativity. The tango is an important artistic expression, constantly evolving.
The tango in Rio de la Plata, the jazz in the United States, the bolero in Central America and the samba in Brazil emerge at the same time. These new styles with their new concepts started the musical modernity of that time. The tango, a melodramatic, popular and danceable genre, manages to express the deepest emotions of the human condition and reflect on the man’s role in the society, through the brilliance of its composers. It represents through its lyrics, most of which timeless, a nation’s way of feeling and thinking. Therefore, the tango is without doubt a philosophic expression.
The tango is the pre-eminent social dance, passionate, refined and elegant in all its expression, where the education and the courtesy ought to prevail inside and outside the dancing floor. The embrace, the tango’s principal symbol, suggests a “divine” communication. Body, mind and soul, the music and two hearts comparting and creating a unique and unrepeatable moment, here and now. Dancing a tango song means living, feeling, looking after someone and being looked after. The tango does not have a certain age, social class, religion, colours nor borders, but it does have a flag that is called “love”. The tango is a fascinating learning path that makes us more human and enriches ourselves in a psychological, physical, spiritual and social way.
Discépolo was an Argentine composer, musician, dramatist and filmmaker. He was the creator of several of the considered fundamental tangos.
Gardel was a singer, composer and film actor. He was considered as a symbol and the maximum representative of the tango history and culture.
D`Arienzo was an Argentine violinist, composer and conductor. His energetic and rhythmic style gave light to the social dance and made it popular.