BEST OF MIKE’S DAILY JUKEBOX original post May 9, 2014
Edited for December 12, 2014
Special Guest Post: Argentine Tango was born in the brothels of Buenos Aires. The female dancers, tangueras, were elegant, sultry and practiced. Men were not even allowed to dance with women until they were seasoned; they perfected their craft dancing with other men. Traditional tango is not danced with any percussion; as they use the standup bass to keep the beat.
Today Argentine Tango has evolved. To the dismay of traditionalists, late 80’s tango Nuevo brought Argentine tango into modern times by combining sultry electronica and sampling with the traditional sound of the Bandoneon. The embrace is open, the movements are bigger, kicks are higher and lifts are added. Far from the original scandal of the brothels of Buenos Aires, Argentine Tango is now perceived as an elegant dance; not only because the beauty of its famous dancing between the legs but also because the degree of difficulty it demands from tangueros as well. Today tango Nuevo music and dance is embraced for the earthy, sexy, and playful vibe it brings to the tango scene.
La Cumparisita – 1916
Many may not know the name, but Tango’s most famous song, “La Cumparisita” is very distinctive and recognizable within the first few notes. When many people hear it, they imagine a dancer with a rose in her mouth. Although written in 1916, La Cumparisita is still very alive in local milongas (social tangos) in every country. I love how the traditional beauty of La Cumparisita exudes controlled passion but still gives you hints of sultry playfulness.
LiberTango – Astor Piazolla (1974)
Liber Tango feels like passion on a runaway train. Listening gives the feeling of being completely swept up and swept away in a moment that only gets more and more frenzied. The fast pace and intensity of Liber Tango make dancers feel like they are flying across the floor. It is glorious!
Santa Maria – Gotan Project
The Gotan Project is a Parisian tango group that combines the sounds of electronica and sampling with the traditional sounds of the bandon eon. The result… sexy, playful, tango that tangueras enjoy interpreting its musicality through big movements, high kicks, and leg wraps.