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5 Styles of Argentine Tango

Learn about the different styles of Argentine tango from tango instructor Diego Blanco in this tango dance video from Howcast.


So styles of Argentine tango, before I start I want to mention that these techniques evolved through time, not one set technique was brought and then took over another one, they all live within each other in harmonious dancing, so one dancer doesn't dance one style in particular, they might lean towards one style more then the other, but we all pretty much dance a generalized dance, so canyenque's actually the first part where tango comes in, and canyengue is bent knees, bent back, cheek to cheek, and this happened around the nineteen hundreds. So here we have canyengue, and tango has morphed into tango criollo, that's the next term you probably would hear. And what tango criollo did is straighten up the back. Then we hear the term tango liso. Tango liso was more influential in Europe and it even further straightened the dance even more where the knees weren't bent any more. Tango liso means smooth tango, this is why, it's not bent any more. So tango liso, liso means smooth. There was a book published in 1916 that codified the dance at the moment, and the main point that changed in tango was that the feet got a little closer, so that later on this would provide the basis for the footwork that we do nowadays. Tango liso was taken to Paris, and Paris loved it, I mean it really boomed, and from Paris it moved all over Europe, Germany, Russia, everywhere, it moved to Japan, it even came to the United States during those times. But in this boom tango was stereotyped and you had the people dancing with the straight arm, with the rose, with the face, you know all this stereotype that when you hear tango people think of. This is where it began, but to the rescue came a very interesting step around the 1940s, or late 1930s, '38 something like this, it was to cross. So the cross provided the cheek to cheek to fall apart, so before there star tango with a forward step, and now they would cross which meant that the cheek to cheek would have to release and the feet got closer so now the interaction in the feet became more possible. This change paved the way for arrastres, ganchos, boleros, and all the types of footwork that we can interchange. Tango fantasia came about in the 1970s,1980s, where fantasia means fantasy and is related to tango on stage. Tango became so sophisticated that there were jumps, lifts, but all this couldn't be performed in the milonga or tango salon so they did it on stage, and it even reached to the level of ballet, you know a whole company of tango dancers doing performing arts. After this you often hear a term like tango nuevo. Tango nuevo is the mixture of the music, electronic music with tango, and also it really emphasizes the open embrace a little more. So this is a summary of the different styles of the tango.

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