The Tango Lesson

The lights dim. A couple dressed for a black-tie affair intensely embraces. As the bandoneon hits a sharp note, they quickly turn and gracefully march across the dance floor.

It’s easy to imagine that the sensuously elegant dance of tango originated on a high-society ballroom floor in a sophisticated corner of Buenos Aires. But the story is not so simple. The reality is that it takes far more than two to tango. It takes African slaves in Argentina dancing the condombe late into the night, an underprivileged working-class co-opting what was considered a vulgar dance form, and Europeans eventually reinventing the imported dance craze.

In Eras del Tango — presented by dance company Tango Axis — dancers, accompanied by a vocalist and five-piece orchestra, interpret tango’s sordid history.
Sat., Aug. 28, 5:30 p.m., 2010

 
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