The tango was first developed along the Rio de la Plata towards the end of the 1800’s. In the beginning the tango was a dance of the poor people, from Buenos Aires, immigrants from Europe, and other poor citizens who lived in Argentina. The Tango was looked down upon by the wealthy aristocrats living in Buenos Aires but the dance gradually made its way up through the classes and the Europeans brought it to Europe where it became very popular in Paris in the early 1920s (Hamre).
From Europe the Tango returned to Argentina where it became very popular during the 1940’s and 1950’s. Several Tango singers such as Carlos Gardel, Anibal Troilo, and Astor Piazzolla became very famous during this time. However, as time went on, and the tastes in music began to change, the tango became less popular with only a few dedicated individuals continuing dancing. Then Tango Argentino, a popular show in the 1980’s, brought back the tango in full force (Hamre).
Today people around the world still dance the tango. It is very popular in Scandinavia, Japan and several other countries. There are also many classes and clubs that offer Tango lessons.
The steps of the tango are very stylized but it’s the individual dancers who personalize the dance. The Tango is an expression of romance, of mood and emotion, of love gone wrong, of heartbreak and passion, of life and death (Hamre). The tango singers convey the emotional content of the lyrics with their voices. Today the dancers and singers perform in clubs, in shows and other places where tango fans gather.