The tango has always had a special place in my heart. When I was a young boy, I was enthralled by family stories about how my grandfather in Chile danced this passionate baile, whose eroticism and sense of danger was intoxicating.
Years later as a young man, I traveled to Argentina where I watched in awe regular people dance gorgeous tango in a public plaza. One of my favourite souvenirs from this trip is a photograph of two women dancing the tango, as a sign overhead in Spanish reads, “If I can’t dance, I am not interested in your revolution.”
Originating in the 1890s in the border area between Argentina and Uruguay, this passionate art form soon spread around the world, but not before scandalising countless people. (Some forms of tango were forbidden, having arisen out of the brothels in Buenos Aires).
It’s been a very long time since this passionate dance was considered sleazy or the creation of criminals. But even though it has now been an accepted art form for numerous decades, its shady past still gives this wonderful dance a certain spark of life, while maintaining its sensuality and beauty.
Local dance lovers can now see tango at its best, as the acclaimed Argentinian ensemble Tango Legends performs this coming Tuesday, April 8, at the National Arts Centre. Featuring fourteen award-winning dancers, a musical quintet and two skillful singers, this performance brings to Ottawa for one-night only a taste of the passionate soul of Argentina.
Get your tickets quick, however, as this show is close to being sold out.
Tango Legends perform at the National Arts Centre on Tuesday, April 8, at 8 pm. Tickets start at $40.