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Andalusian Tango

author
James Smith
• Friday, 30 October, 2020
• 9 min read

The Muslim leader “Tarim in Jihad,” (whose victory in 711) in a battle near Medina Sonia ended the Visigothic kingdom and inaugurated the Moorish period in Spain. In 711 the Moors (Africans), crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, established there the center of their western emirate (Córdoba).

dance flamenco tango dancing spanish
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Contents

In the Eleventh Century BC, the Phoenicians settled there and founded several coastal colonies, most notably Cádiz and the inland town of Harnesses, which became the capital of a successful kingdom. From the Sixteenth Century Andalusia generally weakened as Spain declined, although the Seaports of Seville and Cádiz flourished as trade centers of the New World.

Gibraltar was succeeded to Britain in 1713, In 1808 Napoleon invaded Spain and seized control of the government. The Havana came from Havana, Cuba and made its way through Spain to Argentina in the early Nineteenth Century.

The Lyric Theater (Carmela) may have had something to do with introducing the Andalusian (Beta) Tango to the Argentines. The Managua (Flamenco) shares with the Fandango the rank of the principal dance of Andalusia.

Originating in Spain or Morocco, the Tango was introduced to the New World by the Spanish settlers, eventually coming back to Spain with Black and Creole influences. In the early 19th Century, the Tango was a solo dance performed by the woman.

Ballroom Tango originated in the lower class of Buenos Aires, especially in the “Mario DE leis Ranks”. Clothing was dictated by full skirts for the woman and gauchos with high boots and spurs for the man.

flamenco spain dancers dancer dance dancing spanish tango baile culture cultura flaminco ballet el dances dress gypsy music es quality
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

They wore chaps that had hardened from the foam and sweat of the horses body. Since the gaucho hadn't showered, the lady would dance in the crook of the man's right arm, holding her head back.

Her right hand was held low on his left hip, close to his pocket, looking for a payment for dancing with him. Originally popularized in New York in the winter of 1910 – 1911, Rudolph Valentino then made the Tango a hit in 1921.

As time elapsed and the music became more subdued, the dance was finally considered respectable even in Argentina. Styles vary in Tango : Argentine, French, Gaucho and International.

Movies that featured Tango dancing include “The Scent of a Woman”, Madonna's “Evita” and “True Lies” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis. Tango is one of the most influential and famous dances of the modern history, originating from the streets of 18th century Buenos Aires in Argentina and Montevideo in Uruguay as the favorite dance of the European immigrants, former slaves, working and lower classes of people.

No matter what its exact origins are, the words tango and Rambo started being used for naming dance and musical gatherings of slaves in the region of the basin of River Plate. First historical record of the word tango can be found in the government proclamation in Argentina dated to 1789, in which authorities place a ban on tango musical gatherings that were frequented by slaves, lower classes of free people living in the port areas of Buenos Aires.

tango andalusian break holidays
(Source: tanguito.co.uk)

It is important to mention that the initial burst of popularity of Tango dance was fueled with the emotions of thousands of young immigrant men who arrived in Argentina searching for better life. Hundreds of their influenced re-shaped original tango into a modern form that managed to eventually capture the imagination of wealthier Argentine citizens, who managed to spread this incredible dance around the world, starting with their visits to Paris in the early 1900s where this dance quickly became an overnight sensation.

Andalusian tango was performed by one or two pairs of women with castanets, with very strong public frowns and fears that this mix of tango and flamenco was immoral and very flirty. One of those newly created things came from the mix of European minute dances, polkas and many African influences that brought rhythms and instruments that formed Tango, a dance that very quickly became very popular in the poor neighborhood of Buenos Aires in the late 1880s where it was known as music of the immigrants ”.

The tango reached the core of the Buenos Aires and other large Argentinian cities, where people of all classes engaged in this dance that became energized with many more types of musical and cultural styles. Today it is believed that one of the first composers of Tango music was s Juan Pérez, who authored songs such as Dame la Late (Give me my pay).

The expansion was not fueled this time by lower classes of dancers, but by wealthy Argentine youth who traveled to these hubs of modern society (NY in the Americas and Paris in continental Europe) and promoted this dance directly to the trendsetters who were craving for any new indulgences and were eager for innovation and change of fashion styles. Same as with the appearance of Waltz during the early Victorian era, the introduction of Tango was welcomed as distasteful and too flirty.

This sentiment thankfully soon subsided, and high class of people soon started accepting it and promoting it with the exploits of famous dancers and musicians. With the arrival of Tango to the elegant dance floors of the best-known ballrooms all across the world, maintaining its popularity to today.

andaluz tango
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Named as “North American Tango ”, this type of dance features faster tempos and uses 2/4 or 4/4 rhythms such as one-step. One of the most famous and well known Uruguayan tango songs is La Cumparsita ”, which was produced in 1919 by Montevideo composer and writer Gerardo Mates Rodríguez.

Other famous Uruguayan tango musicians are Manuel Camphor, Francisco Canard, Horacio Ferret, Galena Mural, Gerardo Mates Rodríguez, Enrique Labored, Carlos Garden and others. The defining characteristic of Finnish tango is reliance on minor keys, which closely follows the style and conventions of their folklore music, with lyrics being focused on the themes of sorrow, love, nature, and countryside.

Tangos is always in 4/4, but it became a “simple” binary rhythmical structure with special accents that actually evolved into quite complex right-hand patterns. From the beginning of the 19th century in Spain, with the classical guitar coming to the world music stage and being played more and more in the elite society, the Gypsies rapidly adopted this new 6-string instruments as their own.

Besides that fact, the Gypsies were the ones that were the carrier and the catalyst for all right-hand techniques because they were too poor to buy metal strings, like normal citizens. They were making the strings from animal intestines and were playing the guitar without any bone pick, using the fingers and fingernails.

Flamenco guitar playing style came from their different approach to this newly emerged and perfected 6-string instruments. Instead of performing it plucking the strings by pulling and releasing them with the fingers (like classical guitarists, which would require a certain level of precision and fingernails hygiene); their approach to it was much cruder.

tango dance habanera cuban uruguay aires buenos derives argentine form music
(Source: highlanderimages.blogspot.com)

The technically rich Iberian legacy brought every single classical guitar technique into the world of flamenco. A note about pronunciation: Moment sings with a “medium” Andalusian accent (according to some information posted to YouTube, she is from Granada) so there are a lot finals “s” that you won't hear.

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