The Music and Culture of Tango

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Mention the Tango and immediately the image of a handsome man in a tux and tails leading an elegant, passive woman with a single red rose in her teeth comes to mind.

The tango began in the brothels of 1880s Buenos Aires and the early dance was full of sexuality, the music was both sorrowful and celebratory. High Class Argentinian Society would have nothing to do with it until the 1920s when the French lead the way on the dance floor.

Juan and Evita Peron loved the tango, but later dictators and the popularity of 1950s Rock and Roll put it into deep hibernation. Today, the Tango is definitely back.

Musicians like Astor Piazzola and Claudio Ragazzi have modernized the sound. In the late 90s movies like Shall we Dance and Strictly Ballroom, and a smash broadway hit “Forever Tango” helped re-popularize it. Wanna-be Tango dancers have been flocking to studios to learn the graceful ways of seduction and chivalry.

Care to dance?
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Astor Piazzola and Claudio Ragazzi