- The city
From the thousand songs dedicated to different cities of the world, some, by popular decision, become symbols of the places to which they sing and therefore in part of their culture. This is the case of Tango in Buenos Aires: it has thousands of fans, others swear they do not like it, but everyone, as the legend tells, raise their head and drop a tear when they hear it far from Buenos Aires.
Tango is a musical style and a rioplantese dance, own of the cities of Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Rosario, of urban nature and internationally recognized.
It has a binary form (topic and chorus) and a two-four time. It is traditionally performed by and orchesta, being the bandoneon the essential instrument.
The choreography, designed from the hug of the couple, is very sensuous and complex. Lyrics are based on a local language called “lunfardo” and they are usually about the sorrows of the men and women of the town, or about politics or they are humorous.
Buenos Aires is full of tango houses with orchestras and dancers. The most prestigious places that offer live shows include dinner (with the possibility of choosing between Argentine meat or international menu).
You also have the “milongas”, places to dance. Many organize classes -in charge of professional teachers- before the dance starts. For beginners and advanced, in groups or individually. Tango, milonga or vals.
Moreover, dance lessons are offered in many cultural centers. Classes are of one or two hours. It is suggested to take four or five. From the first meeting, teachers train beginners to dominate the basic steps: eight simple movements that can be learned in few hours.
Next some basic concepts to understand the jargon and the tango world:
- BANDONEON: Wind instrument, portable, created in Germany in 1835. It has keys or buttons and requires a special technique in order to play it. It gave the popular music of Rio de la Plata its grumbling and melancholic sound that today identifies tango.
- NODDING: Head movement with which men invite women to dance milonga without approaching to them. Consists on moving lightly the head backwards and to the side.
- LUNFARDO: it is the language spoken in Rio de la Plata. It then expanded with terms brought from the immigration, during the second half of the nineteenth century. Later and by tango´s action, the lunfardo became part of the everyday way of speaking and today it has terms that cover larger areas.
- MILONGA: places where you dance tango. Besides it one of the three rhythms that the tango music adopts, together with vals.
- PRACTICE: place where you dance tango in an informal way, between the lesson and the milonga.
- "REBOTAR": be rejected after inviting someone to dance.
- SANDWICH: figure when dancing tango, when the man encloses the left foot of the woman between his feet, a masculine gesture of containment.
At what time: the dance floor is shared with many couples. In order to dance comfortably, without annoying each other, you have to get early or leave late.
What to take: there are some basic elements that are indispensable:
T-shirt or shirt (to change), hair gel, an extra pair of socks, make-up to touch up, dancing shoes, shoes with no heel (to rest), talcum powder for the soles (in case the floor is not slippery enough).
For men: How to invite a woman to dance:
- Nodding. Man and woman look at each other and only if the woman holds her look, he moves lightly his head.
- A more risky method: the man approaches to the woman´s table and invites her verbally to dance.
For women: How to do to make men invite you to dance:
First of all you have to put on the appropriate shoes. Then sit facing the dance floor, with the legs towards the corridor, so that the distracted man will stumble with your foot. Therefore the encounter takes place followed by the invitation