It's the time to tango...

It's the time to tango...

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It's the time to tango...

If you have watched movies such as Scent of a Woman, Take the Lead, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, True Lies, Shall We Dance and and Frida, it is highly unlikely that you have missed the brilliant showcasing of a fascinating dance form, the 'Tango'.

Tango is a sensual ballroom dance that is said to have originated in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the early 20th century. According to some, the dance form has Portuguese origins, being related to the word 'tambó' meaning 'play the drum'. Interestingly, tango brings its own spirit to the dance in varied cultures, thereby infusing a new flavour and making it, in some sense, an original dance form.

Tango is usually performed by a man and a woman, though it is believed that originally, the tango was performed only by women. But once it spread to regions beyond Buenos Aires, it developed into a dance for couples.

One gets bowled over by the synchronised movements of the couple dancing, as their scintillating steps make a strong connection with the music as well as their audience, exuding an element of romance.

The beat is 16 or 32. There is a 'leader' and a 'follower'. The spirit is of yin and yang. Through the embrace, the leader gives the cue. There is a collaborative process of expression, improvisation and connection.

Both the partners seem to be in a musical conversation. They get in the groove of sensitivity, trust and respect, and thus their vibrant form of dance is born. 

The styles of tango can be broadly divided into traditional and improvised forms, though the basic principles about the equation between the two partners on how to lead and follow, how to walk and how to pivot, remain the same.

While ‘Ballroom Tango’ with its strong, dramatic head snaps is most popular, it is a delight to see other styles where the couple dances in open or close embrace, sharing a moment of intimacy and understanding as if there is no past or future, only the two exist, and the music is in constant flow.

In addition to traditional tango, there are two other types of tango: ‘Milonga’ and ‘Waltz’. For the former, the music is more upbeat in 'habanera' rhythm and yes, Milonga is danced with a smile. The music for the 'Tango Vals' is similar to a fast Italian waltz, and the dancers normally do not step on every beat, but occasionally take two beats to make one step.

Kiran Sawhney is the first professionally trained tango teacher in Delhi who has been teaching tango for over six years and has been dancing the tango for 15 years. She says, “Tango, according to me, is most meditative. I teach yoga, tai chi, etc. But tango is the best zen therapy. It keeps you happy and healthy. It helps you express your desires. If tango is promoted well in India, it will help everyone. People will learn to touch and embrace, connect and meditate. We will surely see more smiles.”

So, what are you waiting for? It's time to put on your dancing shoes and get on the floor. Chase away all those blues!


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