What Happened To Tango
I have watched the dance I love, and have given up so much for become something different, something for me, watered down, sometimes something I don’t recognize.
I will never forget that first year I went to Buenos Aires, 1994. Things were so different then. The Culture, the ambiance, the codes were still pure. There was very little tourism and the Milongas were more of a neighborhood establishment. I would travel back every year growing my understanding of the subtleties, and making connections with the older Milongueros, loving their ways more and more each time, thinking it could not get any better. Then it happened, change came. More and more tourists ventured with the decline of the financial structure of Argentina and the popularity of the dance. Everyone started to look for ways to capitalize on the new market. New dances and fusions, young new shinny, flashy for sale signs on every dancer.
I read an article about an Argentine lady who danced Tango from the time she was a child, but wanted to stop due to the tourists whom she claimed ruined the dance for her. I am unsure I agree, the tourism can be good, but I would like to see more respect for purity, depth and knowledge than for shinny new things that are meant for the stage being sold as an experience, or something meant for everyone.
I am told in Argentina they are leaving the new styles, letting them fade and holding their honor to the pure, with evolution. Growth is always good, development, towards perfection, which really means reaching for something man can not obtain as one of my ballet masters once said. As always, what starts in Argentina will travel the world of Tango. I feel given time the world will love the pure ways of the Tango, and will allow it to evolve into something beautiful and pure.