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Gabriela Rojo, Instructor
The Tango is the most popular dance and music of the Argentinean culture. It is the people's expression of music and dance. When a couple dance, this passionate musical composition becomes a secret, a secret shared by two bodies united in emotion. The Tango is a search... a search with the eyes it is not only a step but it is a feeling, a feeling of great music and passion. It is one heart and four legs. The Tango is much more than a dance it is a moment of truth. The Tango is a dance for love, for conflict... it was the dance of the poor and has now become entertainment for the rich.
My love for the Tango is easy to explain.in Argentina everyone does the Tango children,parents, grand parents, everyone. It is the national dance, a pastime everyone participates and the dance is taught in the schools so everyone has the chance to learn how to dance the Tango.
The passion, finesse and the sheer sensuality of this music is a venue that allows me to express the depths of my feelings through this intimate dance form.
Although I have always included Tango routines in my Flamenco shows, I became more involved with the Tango since relocating to Vancouver. My group also performed the Malambo, a very traditional folk dance of the "gauchos" with "boleadoras" (a tool used by the Argentinean cowboys). The combination of the various dances the Flamenco, Tango and the Malambo made for a very international flavoured show.
love to watch people of other cultures and nationalities dancing and being entertained by the Tango.
I have been fortunate enough to be able to study in Buenos Aires with the great Argentinean Masters. Currently, and currently I am dedicated to teaching, promoting and organizing organizing Tango workshops and Tango Gala events.
I do my best to invite high profile dancers to demonstrate their skill and conduct workshops. A show and a social dance follow these workshops. This is what keeps me alive, it is my way of keeping my culture dynamic and I believe it contributes to the development of the local dance community in Vancouver.
Visit my Tango Photo and Video Galleries to see some of the best world class dancers
I feel compeled to share my knowledge and passion of this dance. My promise to you is that your lifestyle and maybe even your love life will change.
Lets all of us just dance!
A History of Tango
Enthusiasts of tango are almost never satisfied with merely learning the movement of the dance they eventually seek to understand its pulse, how it came to fruition. The origins of tango have been interpreted widely and in contradictory ways: it began in Argentina; it began in Spain with the emergence of flamenco; it was initially danced only between men; it was initially danced initially only between men and prostitutes; it was a dance that was created by the lower classes in response to upper class tyranny; it was a dance that the upper classes enjoyed in private; it was influenced by Tango Habanera; it was influenced by Condombe, another type of dance that involves deep flexing of the knees.
Not withstanding such varied opinions about the evolution of the dance, most agree that tango began in Buenos Aires, Argentina, around 1870. Around this time, so one of the stories in currency suggests, a man who was a "compadrito" laid the foundations for the choreography of the dance that evolved into what we now recognize as Argentine Tango.
(A "compadrito" was a term applied to men who were descended from "Gauchos," those who opposed the political establishment in Argentina, who were deserters of the Argentine army, or who were Black runaways.)
Around the turn of the twentieth century, the music of Tango became popularized worldwide because of two figures: Rudolph Valentino, who made Tango a hit in 1921, and Carlos Gardel, a French-born singer whose interpretation of the sensuality of the music was pivotal to the rise of Tangos eventual success and acceptance. His travels around the world from Argentina, to Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Venezuela corresponded with the recordings he made of approximately 515 tangos. Having also done two films for Paramount Pictures, he brought visibility and attention to Tango and might have accomplished more, but his life was foreshortened by his untimely death in an airplane crash. By this time and shortly threafter, however, interest became widespread: recording studios in the 1940s and 1950s what is now referred to as the "Golden Age" of Tango sought to record other Tango singers and orchestras.
By the Second World War, however, the intrinsic quality of the music had also altered. In part, the change may be attributed to the introduction of the bandoneon, an instrument that bears resemblance to the accordion and that was used to replace the organ for communities that could not bear the expense. Its melancholic sound was reflected in the new tangos being created and consequently changed from the more light-hearted tangos of the turn of the century to music that was more forlorn and sorrowful in nature. The change in its audience may also have had a bearing on its evolution no longer a dance that was practiced covertly by a select few, tango inevitably changed to reflect its new participants.
In the 1950s, Tango saw another resurgence as the result of the composer, Astor Piazzolla. Trained in both jazz and classical music, he employed his background to introduce new instruments to tango and thus created sounds that were considered uncharacteristic. Although many Argentines believed such intermingling created an adulterated or inauthentic form of tango, his work successfully drew attention to both the music and the dance.
Since then, tango has had periods of decline and resurgence. In the past few years, it has been growing again, in part the result of the number of Argentineans traveling abroad to pass on the riches of their skills and knowledge about the dance to others. Here, in Vancouver, the community has grown and, within the past 4 year, doubled to its current size. We are delighted to be part of the Tango community and hope to see its growth continue over the next few years.