Argentine Tango is a sensual and sophisticated dance. It builds a deep feeling between partners, creating a dance full of expression.
The Argentine Tango has a rich history from the lives and music of Buenos Aires. As immigrants from Europe and Africa came to Buenos Aires in the 1880s, they began dancing in the dark lit cafes to tell the story of the male-female relationship. The dance spread to Paris, along with its music which included an accordian like instrument and became popular across Europe.
With the popularity in Europe, the Argentinean upperclass decided to incorporate in into their circles. In 1926 Hollywood capitalised on the popularity of the Tango and used it in the movie, The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse with Rudolph Valentino, thus creating the craze for the dance which is still alive today.
Argentine Tango is danced using an embrace. The embrace position has the dancers' chests closer together than their hips and often has both the leader and the follower in complete contact dancing cheek to cheek. However, the embrace is not rigid, but relaxed, so that all figures can be danced comfortably. The Argentine Tango is a dance full of emotion and is often dictated by the highlights in the music.
The characteristic swaying walk of the Milonga adds fun and style to this dance. It's a dance full of energy and personal interpretation which makes it an indispensable dance for anyone who has danced Argentine Tango.
The Milonga actually preceded the Tango in history and was originally a solo song by the Gauchos during the 19th Century. It stemmed from two singers (Payadores) accompanying themselves on the guitar, improvising on different topics in a competition like practice. The term Milonga is an African-Brazilian term that means the 'words of the Payadores'.
Milonga uses the same basic elements as Tango, however it tends to be faster-paced and less complicated. Milonga tends to place greater emphasis on the rhythm of the music. Dancers must strive to keep their bodies relaxed as there is increased use of syncopation and pauses are not made.
Tango Vals is an inspiring dance, teaching us to fine tune our ears to dance on slow, middle and fast timings while creating a deep consciousness of the body and its sensuality.
Tango Vals is the Tango version of Waltz, danced to Tango music in 3/4 time. However, unlike Argentine Tango and Milonga, Tango Vals has no stopping figures and is danced in a continuous movement. In Tango Vals, the man leads steps and rhythms for the lady that are different from his own. Therefore there is an increased rhythmic complexity that is developed.