So I have been sick lately and as bummed as I was to miss class this week I still was able to practice. Its a very important part of Tango that I learned about in the Ladies styling class I took with Sarah and Natalia, Musicality. This required no moving which was good because I was in bed loopy on cough medicine for a few days and moving was not an option.
I was able to listen to many different Argentine Tango songs that I was somewhat familiar with from listening to them in our classes at Strictly Tango NYC, and some that I have never heard before. To be honest at first they kind of all sounded the same to me, but eventually I was able hear the distinctions and how the many dance styles evolved out of the different music and how it is still evolving today.
There is a rich and complex history that I encourage anyone who is interested to look into when it comes to how Argentine Tango evolved. Its a great story how it started in the slums of Buenos Aires and made its way to Europe and American. At this point, I’m more interested in exploring where we are now with the music. Obviously as I have mentioned in many posts how important the music is to the dance. The dance reflects the music and is the physical expression of the music. This to me is the main reason why there isn’t just one way of dancing the Tango.
Here are the main styles and a few tip to help you remember them as you are learning.
Smooth tango, popular where you have more room to move on the dance floor. This style of music is more generous with the pauses and allows for the variations in timing that are characteristically tango .
A Milonga is a social dance and a Milonguero is someone who dances at these social dances. The style of Milonga has a very close and intimate embrace and is most suited for crowded dance venues where the dancers have limited space. This means no kicks or lifts are typically done with this style.
Tango Val (Waltz)
This style of music has the same time signature as a Waltz but in Tango you don’t step on every beat giving it a little personality. This is a good style for the leader to play with the rhythm of the dance.
The “Golden Age” of Tango or traditional Tango are the bones of the dance but Tango Nuevo is the latest evolution. The dance evolves as the music evolves and the dance is staying alive with modern music as well. Usually it is a combination of Salon and Milonga styles and incorporating traditional instruments and electronic.
The most popular style seems to be Tango Salon, at least in the Traditional sense. This is what is being danced in Argentina. Take a look at our very own Sergio Segura dancing Tango Salon with his partner.