Essay exploring the origin of The Tango Dance and its importance to Argentinian Culture


Candombe federal

 

The term colonization is described as a stronger nation migrating to another region where the people are very primitive in nature or not as advanced. Colonization is similar to Imperialism and nationalism. The region that colonized the modern world and established its culture across the four corners of the Earth was Europe. The most important countries for colonization were Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Holland and to a lesser extent Italy. Colonization in the Americas created a caste system that fell in the order of Europeans, Jewish people, native Indians and black people. The early conquest of Latin America was primarily carried out by male soldiers and sailors from Spain and Portugal. These early colonizers married Indian and black slave women because no respectable European woman would have migrated to the colonies in during this period.

The sailors brought music and culture from Southern Spain and the slave men and women brought the drums and the sensual movements to dance. The outcome of this was the Tango. “Tango started as a dance, a tense dance in which a male/female embrace tried to heal the racial and class displacement provoked by urbanization and war.” (Savigliano; 1995, Pg. 30) It was the black man and woman who started the Tango and therefore from its humble slave beginnings it is able to create so much chaos and segregation. The Tango implemented a social war and created a class system that is strongly connected to colonization. This colonization of dance and culture extinguished the black slave from Argentinian culture, and it as separated and created struggles between the poor mestizos and the PARDOS. With the coming of more Europeans to Argentina and the city becoming more industrialized the fight between these shades of non-whites become shadier and intensive.

The GUAPOS struggle for maleness, fighting over women and the losing the fight. The world was changing and it was changed by these new European men who had taken Argentina to a world of Industrialism as opposed to cattle farms and male dominations over women of low birth. This migration of people as colonized and changed Argentina and the Tango. Colonization as effectively made the black extinct in Argentina and it has also created a caste system and social war between the descendants of Europeans, Indians and blacks. The reason for writing this essay is to identify the history of the Tango and to give evidence how this dance as changed and created subtle forms of racism that is still prominent in Argentinian society. Our conclusion supports the theory that culture and dance as had a negative effect on the woman of Argentina.

The Tango originated in Brazil and moved to the Spanish Americas with the slave population. In the early stages Tango was only performed by lowly slaves, thus today it is hard to fathom this dance being derived from black people because of the European acceptance of this dance. Because of racism something that as survived in one country and culture is not learned from the roots. It is only learned from the poor mestizos and pardos. The word Pardos means of mixed culture European, Indian or black. The Mestizos is a European and Indian. In the eighteen hundreds, the pardos started to marry and intermingle only with mestizos and other poor people of a fairer complexion. The racism was harsh and cruel in Argentina.

The mixed people also segregated themselves more from the darker ones. They then created a caste system between themselves which eventually wiped out the dark skinned black or had them migrate back to other parts of New Spain which had dark skinned Negroes. The goal of these people was to eliminate the skin color and hide their black line. This was done through interracial marriages or migration. Evidence of this on page thirty six and thirty seven, |when the author describes subtle racism and the termination given to the various groups. “Moreover he states by the time the nation constituted, most of the black and Amerindian population had died in war or had been whitened through interracial marriage, but the wide spread belief is that the blacks left (for Uruguay) and that there were never a scattering of Indians in our end of the continent.” (Savigliano: 1995, Pg37), Thus proving the colonization of a land through wealth and the suppression and extinction of a group of people by taking their resource or dance and using it for their own means. tango-free

 

 

 

 

 

 

As molanguito dances with her partner macho man they act submission and subversion. She is dancing with anthropological theory; she is playing with the move of met aphorizing dance. Rather than situating tango in critical class, feminist theory as a spectacle cultural form. During the mass urbanization and industrialization, tango developed especially in Buenos Aires. Nation, gender and colonization are all contextualized here as well as ethnicity. Tango becomes an agency in terms of spectacle consumption- spreading worldwide. Furthermore Bourgeois Argentinians who repress their low birth are also involved with tango. Tango became a discourse of art, cleaned up to be used by Bourgeois and become a national symbol. Bourgeoisies who try many years to become repressed and proper got mad to see tango showing up because recognized it was spurned out of the loins of the black man.

Think about tango as exoticism and eroticism and see how constructs and uses the eroticism. All is centered on the idea of passion. The tension that is created in the dance is also tension of social class, gender and ethnicity. It is idiomatic structure of Argentinean nation, sex, gender, and class relations. Dances do not come out of nowhere; they signify much more powerful subversive action. It happens through the body as a sense making organ, then it moves to make sense of other meanings. After Buenos Aires became independent nation, tango developed transforming into a labor city. Elegant, violent, and strong characters of males start to dance tango.

 

These working class men were controlled by politics of the GUAPO. The GUAPO character became COMPABRITO/the guy who falls into peace’s because his girls leave him- GUAPOS struggling for manliness. During 19th century there were more men than women-women became highly valorized for their labor, sex and dance. Bourgeois, men in counter distinction with GUAPO men. Bourgeois have power over the GUAPO. The wealthy elite men are in dire need of the scarce resources of women too. Wealthy and GUAPO men are in competition to get the women for sex and pleasure. It was the desire for control for the bourgeois men that made them goes for prostitutes to dance and have sex, unlike seeking this brutal form of satisfaction from their own class, the women who they would marry.

Macho identity is two definition, one is the GUAPO version of distain that originated by difficult economic situation. Another macho defined by bourgeois identity of a man who has financial power to make very slippery and contested notion of what macho is. Both fought over women as sign of their masculinity. Out of this conflict and contradiction that you need and woman to be defined as a man dance became politics of ownership. Women’s identities were fashioned out of the competition of different men from the two classes. It is how women manipulate the situation for their best interest. Women were not merely passively dominated, they also had power that shifted to them when they moved with a GUAPO and then leave him for a bourgeois on the dance floor in front of everybody. Tension between classes and men and women grew. The larger Buenos Aires became the bigger the tension.compadrito

Tango is made of these conditions, this is tango embrace. It is the push and pull of gender, class, race and nation that is merging out of tango. Despite the mix of different classes of men, there is the distance and closeness at the same time. This is the steps of tango; it is distance and closeness steps. Tangos materialize the class distinction. Women were brilliant dancer who could control the steps and confuse the men they dance with. This is what creates the sexual tension between the two groups. Tango is out of global colonialism and its impact. Sex, class, and race are sexualized and fantasized in tango’s embrace. The embrace is about the power imbalance. The dominator in this is men. There is a struggle that is going on with the push and pull of closeness and distance of love and hate at the same time. Trying to keep each other close the dancers dance while trying to fight for control. The mix of sex, class and gender is never blend easily. Tango shows the edginess of the tension. Seduction, play, sex, and sexism, poverty, control is all played out by the passion of tango. It is deep play and a story of Argentine that they tell about themselves. Tango is never done; it is still changing in moves and steps. The force of holding someone steady long enough to make the next step, the body never lined up for a length of time before it makes another move.

Macho and tango-men say that tango is about dance and true passion and male friendship not about love. Women in these stories are the centre but not the centre, they are the signifier. They signify in the way they are put in the tension. All this is part of the exhibitioner. In tango it is maleness. The whole tango is male ego game, which is class ethnic base of relationships. Macho works to encode other meaning too. Macho present specific type of maleness, this maleness is barbaric savage maleness. The Bourgeois, civilized maleness is the one that all civility is engaged. The patriarch in bourgeois family theme is the ideal maleness. The Argentinean bourgeois live to this. That is what tango gets inflicted with lower body that is why the bourgeois don’t like it. The bourgeois ideal maleness is against the GUAPO idea of maleness. The link in the whole thing is women. The bourgeois of manliness is the relationship between modernism and barbarian. The bourgeois class distinction with GUAPO working class is like cast system, until the GUAPO go to Paris and become stars and come back to Argentina and become wealthy embarrassing the Bourgeois. Bourgeois imperial form shows contradiction in Argentinean society. The return of the low class, when the repressed returns, it becomes cleaned up. All of the sudden the Tango became a national symbol. Tango does play with Bourgeois sensibility. tango_0

Tango style is different for bourgeois. There is romantic style and Rafinesque style played by working class. Rafinesque disturbed the bourgeois respectable identity and family ideology. The mobility in the dance is different for the two styles.

Rethinking the character of tango and women’s position in the tango shows you that women are a melee dispute object. Women also trigger of men’s passions involuntarily. She is situated as object of passion, acted on, considered a living object of passion. Her micro managing power relations is to be taken to consideration. Women are brokers of power between men of all kind including class brokers. Many women Tangiers challenge patriarchal discourse. Working class women’s ability to dance was ticket to independence and sort of freedom, means of survival and workers of labor of love, sex, but it was also a mean for women’s social mobility. That was the way they could organize their mobility. Tango women saw their social mobility as erotic traffic to men of different classes. The women could move closer to social scale. She still would not be able to move up and enter a Bourgeois house as a wife, but she could become closer to wealth by her ability of dance. Wealth, power and sexuality is combined together to do this mobility. She is always considered to be flower of sin, the bag lint passionate eventful figure, yet she gets no figure to her respectability. She could manipulate man’s access to balance through the dance, choosing to face him, while in misaligned position, using angels of steps, hips and legs, always with possibility of misusing the musical timing.

Most women didn’t succeed to become wealthy, but they were able to make a good living for themselves. They produce subversive move to work through her economic benefit. She reproduces the female stereotype of prostitute and mysteries and celebrity to improve her life in an exploitive fashion shifting the power of meaning. Tango women were passionate objects but they were not passive objects. She might have played the theme of victimization, but she made moves producing culture for her and to an extent South American Latin culture it is all linked to tango.

Desire of erotic and passion, it is all novel and up for consumption. Exotics can be collected. It is taking their passion, the exotic and erotic of the other. It is part of high and low. Argentina and tango becomes associated with nature with raw impulse, the connotation or materiality and lower body in action, the colonizer is there to consume this exotic. The colonial logic of control and authority, the world as exhibition, the desire of experience of fantasy all move to culture of consumption. Feeling your boots and getting as much as you can out of life, all these concepts are up for the recognition of tango in Paris.aptopix-argentina-tango.jpeg6-1280x960

The burden of colonizer with his mastery and his pleasure of consumption is the idea of tango becoming specialized when introduced for spectacle consumption. Europeans were good in taking all kinds of pleasure dances. These enjoyments were for self-satisfaction. 19th century was democratization of enjoyment. Paris was the centre of it all.

Bohemians were all for it. The audience of tango saw pleasure in music and dance of all kinds in the dance halls themselves. Belly dancing became very popular in Paris at that time.

Tango got cleaned up and become a science as a particular entertainment; you find all of sudden people writing about tango and learn it. Tango brought under the control of European spectacle consumption. Tango tea party and so forth started in Europe. The movements got set up and worker out, everything got to get names, in other wards brought under reasoning and colonized. It became a bourgeois dance as a result through the logic of spectacle consumption. It became something that bourgeois family could take a part on. Tango cinema also showed up where tango dancers from Argentina showed up as stars. Tango got colonized and managed by the colonizers, tango did not get through borders as is, it became serious and domesticated for consumption, it became slower, moderated, a bit sweet, formulized with decency, light and grace, with good taste and tab making the dance of savages to fine modest liar.

It became modest with a slight sense of scandal. Dance provided European women to express their homosexuality. Tango became an avenue of change for many, such as European women taking an Argentinean woman instructor. Tango was a vehicle for liberation. Tango allowed new kinds of erotic to establish. Public eroticism was a novel, powerful forms of sexual expression. While it all was being organized, moments of potential forms of liberation it was also possible to become sign of scandal and sin being gestured toward rationality and thinking of savage-hood.

Tango was a local practice in Buenos Aires colonized Europe and comes back as this really interesting reformulated esthetic form of local notions of erotic and exotic. Tango got into national debates of whether it should be considered identity. They wanted to consider Argentinean products rather than tango as national identity. The bourgeo started to slowly to recognize the tango. Argentinean bourgeois started looking at the cleaned version of tango from Paris to consider it their national identity as it was better than the savage version of Argentinean tango. When the new version of tango came back it started to receive dance halls and show up in cinema having the bourgeois people dancing it too as it became a commodity. The tango was accepted by the bourgeois adventurers from the bourgeois elites. Argentineans started to realize how tango was popular in Europe and was danced even by the king and queen of England; they start to accept the significant of tango for the male of bourgeois class and national identity. The bourgeois started manipulating tango, finding their own stars, sending them to Paris to represent tango. The bourgeois colonize the working class of Argentina by choosing the stories of tango.

Passion becomes economic incentive that gets organized and classified of this legitimate form of practice. The total controls of tango get objectified becoming Argentinean value. It became discursively to make up Argentina. It becomes autoeroticism. It is telling your autobiography through this cleaned up story of tango. The bourgeois erotic and exotic turns tango to reasonable symbol of a story. When it goes through that static of eroticism and exoticism under control, which was allows to become national identity. It is Argentinean civilization and identity is made up from the cleaned up tango. Tango now is modified due to globalization and civilization. The best tango now is danced by Japanese.

Tango (the dance with the stop “Baille Con Carte”) is one of the most fascinating of all dances. Originating in Spain or Morocco, the Tango was introduced to the New World by the Spanish settlers, eventually coming back to Spain with Black and Creole influences.

 

In the early 19th Century, the Tango was a solo dance performed by the woman. The Andalusia Tango was later done by one or two couples walking together using castanets. The dance was soon considered immoral with its flirting music!IMG_6409

 

Ballroom Tango originated in the lower class of Buenos Aires, especially in the “Bario de las Ranas”. Clothing was dictated by full skirts for the woman and gauchos with high boots and spurs for the man.

 

The story of Tango as told is that it started with the gauchos of Argentina. They wore chaps that had hardened from the foam and sweat of the horses’ body. Hence to gauchos walked with knees flexed. They would go to the crowded night clubs and ask the local girls to dance. Since the gaucho hadn’t showered, the lady would dance in the crook of the man’s right arm, holding her head back. Her right hand was held low on his left hip, close to his pocket, looking for a payment for dancing with him. The man danced in a curving fashion because the floor was small with round tables, so he danced around and between them.

Behnaz Moeinzadeh

 

 

 

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One thought on “Essay exploring the origin of The Tango Dance and its importance to Argentinian Culture”

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