TANGO: “The origin of tango” (PART 2)


Tango, the prohibited dancing

Condemned by the Church and banned by the police for inciting the scandal, that dance was associated with lust and fun “non sancta” together with drinking. Until the early nineteenth century, that prohibition forced to dance in hidden places so its nostalgic atmosphere of passion.

Shrouded in the darkness of the night, “guapos” y “arrabaleros” slid deep feelings of a verse, a melody or dance clutching his burning companion. At that time, only the humble social strata who lived in the suburb, danced the tango. The tango originated in brothels, villages and clubs and was encouraged by brothels´ owners in order to align the male and female bodies. It was known as “vulgar” by the most conservative strata and was socially marginalized because according with them, tango had as a goal the sensuality and pleasure.

The unusual fusion of languages, knowledge and practices generat the phenomenon of tango in parallel with a slang language known as “Lunfardo”. This way of talking took the words of some Italian dialects, and other languages brought by immigrants, absorbed and adapted to Buenos Aires language: the porteño. At first it was the language of the prisoners and offenders, commonly spoken by the people of the port. Lunfardo is the Spanish language what the cockney and slang are to British and American English languages.

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