Tango Argentino > Videos > When international, english and argentine tango still were one

Discussion in 'Videos' started by opendoor, May 4, 2012.

  1. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    You must have a player installed that digests opp video files to watch this document



    Sorry but the site is a bit nasty and hides the file sometimes.

    No, There is a smily in the way. DF server alters the address to ../File:Grin:emonstratie_van_de_tango_1930.ogv

    now you have to change the url to ...Demonstration.. manually in the address field. Then it should work.
  2. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thanks, sub. Interesting video, opendoor. I could only guess at what the titles said, so maybe I missed something. Why are they demonstrating tango in from of an auditorium full of people? It seems a dtad strange to me that they're not in a dance venue, but on stage.

    I do catch your meaning, though, OD. I can see elements of all three tangos you mention in this dance. Hmm. Evolution is a funny thing.
  4. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    If we took one particular scene out of "The Tango Lesson," and redid the dancing and filming to 1930 standards, we might ask the same question.

    Tango had been in Europe since about 1912, so I DO wonder where this came from.

    Regardless, great find. Glad to see you using your time off from dancing to good effect!
  5. pruthe

    pruthe Member

    There's a famous Tango dance scene in early 20s silent movie starring Rudolf Valentino. Just go to YouTube and search for "Rudolf Valentino Tango".
  6. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    The dance looks much like a basic movement from the Ragtime Tango I was learning before being shanghaied by AT.
  7. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Ragtime tango?
  8. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    We should be able to do better than that!
    Tango was coming of age during the ragtime period, and there are plenty of songs that sound "ragged" which were written by Argentine composers

    Here is video prepared by the Library of US Congress

    I believe "An American Ballroom Companion" was a dance book published in the US in the teens. (don't quote me though) And all of the posted videos are recreations of the described steps.

    Now, how closely this third hand "Argentine Tango" resembles what the lower classes had been doing in the Rio de la Plata area (Buenos Aires and Montevideo) can (and has been!) debated.
  10. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Well, I was looking for something that showed the dance. If you want to hear Ragtime Tango music, look up anything by Tango Project. They have two good CD's available.

    The American Ballroom Companion has many demonstration videos, I guess recreated from written descriptions of the era. I think their demos are simplistic and way overly formal.

    Added: Actually, the Scent of a Woman tango is not a bad representation of Ragtime Tango, intentional or not.
  11. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    you you mean the characteristic left hand action (or the guitarist´s right thump)?
  12. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    It's a Dutch dance pair (teachers) demonstrating a number of what they see as well-known sequences, called "French Tango", "Argentina", "Promenade", "Reserve Wave" and "Habanera", followed by some close-ups, grabbed in the Netherlands on a theatre stage --presumably in an empty theatre (for a movie news reel, from a company who made movie news from 1919 to 1987).

    Given the names given to sequences and the setting it's not quite the same as BsAs social dancing. Cor Klinkert and Liesje Santen are very obviously _not_ stage names, but then this is part of a series that also includes fox-trot and other dances and Cor published a book about "the Modern Dances":


    So it's certainly already tango that is assimilated into European culture and partly standardized by Europeans, rather than Buenos Aires social tango.

    If anyone is interested, someone sells the 1938 English translation of that book:


    Here's a page in Dutch about the discovery of tango (and its subsequent assimilation) by the Dutch dance teachers after some trips to Paris, and the tussle between the different forms:


    It's actually fascinating reading and has some hilarious and less hilarious early 20th century quotes from Dutch people (including Cor Klinkert which you see dancing in the video).

    To summarise, tango was imported first ca. 1910-1913 to the Netherlands (through teachers from Argentina visiting Paris regularly), as a dance that was improvised without set steps and an embrace many teachers found lurid; there was a second wave called "French tango" around 1925, a third wave called "English tango" around 1930, with the two latter battling for hegemony, and some teachers lamenting that it had less and less in common with the original dance.

    There's a direct quote from Cor Klinkert which shows he's definitely _not_ a friend of the Society of Imperial Teachers' attempt at standardizing the dance _their_ way, but in it he also says he's "glad" the 'French tango' which he says still looks a lot more like the Buenos Aires social dance has been stripped until there are only a limited number of set figures (as a dance teacher, he does not seem to like the gazillion possible combinations of the original at all palatable).

    Cor Klinkert was also quite clearly a Golden Age Tango Addict avant la lettre, quite clearly preferring Argentine music to dance over European derivatives.

    There are quite some interesting comments about the political views of some of the BsAs musicians during WWII, BTW.

  13. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    More succinctly, the dancer in that video has been attested to say that by the time that video was taken, Argentine, French and English tango were already _no longer_ one, and all at least familiar to him (Argentine tango for more than a decade, French tango for five years, and English tango for a short period).
  14. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Wow. Thanks for all the information, sixela. :-D

    I found your turn of phrase here ... umm ... interesting and telling. He wanted tango to retain its unique flavor, but he also wanted it to be easy to teach? Hmm.
  15. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member


    This clip doesn't represent a unified tango because, from the European persepctive, there were already several styles, and those styles came to Europe, or were developed there?, after the ragtime period?
    And these styles were known to not be the same as Buenos Aires styles of the day(s)?
  16. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    At least that's what Cor Klinkert says.

    There are some accounts on the early development on one of the pages, where S. Martin (in 1913) describes how they go to Paris to be taught by Argentines. How the dance was met with _extreme_ disgust by many (upper class) teachers who thought it was scandalous and low class and with enthousiasm by some. How the different Churches railed against it in 1913. How it became the rage in 1914 --despite the fact that there were very few legal public dancing places-- and how the rage ended soon after the outbreak of WWI (some said because it was 'too difficult, with a rhythm that was too complex and a structure too fine', but also because it was displaced by other dances like the fox-trot, then also different from the later standardised English fox-trot).

    It seems to have laid dormant in the Netherlands (with a few teachers teaching a small subset of all the possible tango combinations but still based on porteño tango) until 1925, where it was reintroduced in a simplified form originating in France (this time in many legal dance halls) as the "French tango".

    It's more or less that "French tango" form that is shown in the video. Cor Klinkert himself says that the hold/embrace is very different from what the English dance societies prescribed (for what ultimately became ballroom tango).

    It seems that around 1930, if you wanted to see something close to real tango orchestras and French and Argentine tango, the place to be was the Paris (amongst others, the 'Florida') and other places in France (amongst others, the Palais de la Méditerranée in Nice, of which there is an iconic 1931 photo with Julio de Caro, Charlie Chaplin and Carlos Gardel).

    The English didn't seem to keen on inviting real Argentine orchestras to dance their tango too, though, at least if you can believe Cor Klinkert. Outside of France and perhaps Belgium, in more Northern Europe even the music became derivative and gradually 'Europeanised', with the exception of the rare visiting tango orchestras (Bianco went throughout Europe several times, even during WWII travelling on a German passport).
  17. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Interesting to note.. Dance Championships were held in Paris in 1919; in the 5 dance program, Tango was included .

    And , to go back a little farther, in a 1913 Tango comp , held in Paris , it was won by a couple from B/A , Bernabe Simarra and Maria la Bella .

    In addition, , it was the "French " who developed the Adagio style of Tango, that was commonly seen in nite-clubs and even movies ( Valentino for e.g. ) .

    It wasnt until 1920 that, the English held a conference open to any Prof. to discuss a format for the B/room dances to be included in a syl.

    Tango was included and listed, as March Argentine .

    It wasnt until the mid 30s. that ,Henry Jaques ( and later Scrivener ) laid down a template that the current form is based upon.

    Most of this was documented by P. Richardson .
  18. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Fits the timing described by Cor quite well. Tango introduced ca. 1907 in Paris, but becoming popular in 1913 only, slowly evolving into "French tango" to ca. 1925 (but with Argentine tango orchestras playing and the porteño version also danced in France in certain clubs until WWII); "English tango", predecessor in interest of ballroom tango, promoted heavily only from 1930 onwards (and resisted for some time by "continental style" teachers who favoured "French tango".)
  19. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    The " english " used the term ,as dancing to Habanera rhythm .

    The english also held Tango" Tea " dances; a concept that carried thru to the ballroom era, and still exists, but to a much lesser degree .
  20. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

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