Tango Macho

Why do men dance with each other? What made men dance since early times?
Many theories exist; ritual, religion, celebration, brotherhood, spiritual expression, war preparation, hunting practice or recreation and possibly sheer joie de vivre.

But why tango dancing between men? The first reason is related to where tango was initially danced. Remember that tango, was the dance of the poor, the underprivileged – the ‘lower class’. This group of people had less access to venues where to dance, and furthermore had less cultural taboos or boundaries. As a result of these influences there evolved a culture in which it was acceptable for tango to be danced in the streets. Hence even before tango was danced between men, we can imagine a culture where it was quite common for couples to dance out in the open. In fact a very specific style called Tango Orillero, evolved from outdoor suburban tango dancing.

Another of the reasons for men dancing tango with men is that tango was considered immoral by the Argentinian upper class and authorities. So much so that there was a formal initiative to close all cafes and ban tango music from being played on the streets. In 1916 a law was passed in Buenos Aires that banned dancing between men in dance establishments. An attempt was made to slowly eradicate it from Argentina, and there’s an account in 1919 by Joaquin Belda, who during his 6 months visit to Buenos Aires, wrote that most of the cafes were either closed or empty. This of course resulted in further reduced access to couples dancing tango, so to dance tango, men ended dancing with each other.

Another key reason is probably the lack of females and catholic morality in the early 1900’s. Most men in the lower classes were immigrants who came to Argentina from mainly impoverished areas in Italy and Spain.
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Featured are the world-renowned tango dancers "Los Hermanos Macana" The twenty-some Argentine brothers Enrique and Guillermo De Fazio have become the famous dance couple: “Los Hermanos Macana.” They are known worldwide for their breathtaking and witty tango interpretations. With their two-man shows they thrill audiences from the Americas, Europe and Australia.

Special thanks: Josep Antoni Lahoz for dance video. See more at :: http://www.youtube.com/user/pepetantonet
Music: Reliquias Porteñas – Francisco Canaro

Enjoy the show,
Leo

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