Tango Fever – The Dance Music of Yesteryear

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An Adventure into the Musical Golden Age of Milonga and Tango…

This past Mother’s Day I heard an NPR broadcast of Weekend Edition which piqued my interest.  Two journalists, Jasmine Garsad and Felix Conteras, shared two songs in tribute for the women who had raised them.   Jasmine’s first song is one of her grandmother’s favorite milongas, Se Dice de Mi, which she describes as a musical  predecessor to tango with fun, feisty and overtly sexual lyrics.  And she likens Tita Merello’s milonga style to modern artists such as Nikki Minaj and Lil’ Kim, who have a particular style of fast-paced lyrics which are outspoken and somewhat rebellion in nature.  And then she played this…

I was immediately drawn to this rustic, quick and syncopated rhythm which might have pre-dated tango.  So I went in search of more milongas.  I find, that as a dance style, milonga is a beautifully relaxed and fast-paced rhythmic walk.  There aren’t exactly complicated figures but there is A LOT of amazing improvisational footwork which is created by the partnership connection.  

It is very useful to learn about the era-specific music which develops along with a particular dance style – just another layer of historical context for understanding how and why dances change and evolve the way they do.  Milonga music and dancing mixed with other influences in the Rio de la Plata area and branched into a new music/dance, Tango.  So, inspired to know more, I went off in search of milongas and songs from the early or  ‘Golden Age’ of tango music.  Here’s a little of what I found…

Need more Tango Music?

Join Miguel Cardoso every Thursday at Atomic Ballroom Placentia. There is a group practice and then social dance to your favorite tango tunes at Tango Nuevo Practica.

By |2012-05-22T14:19:20-07:00May 15th, 2012|Music, General, Tango Dancing|0 Comments

About the Author:

Shani Brown discovered swing dancing in the late 90s as she eased out of gymnastics into a new physical activity. When she moved to Orange County in 2000, she discovered a whole new world of Balboa and Lindyhop - and she's been obsessed ever since! When she's not hitchhiking to dance events across the country, she's probably got her nose in a book...And when she's not dancing, she's probably talking about dancing or watching dancing and being a typical dance-geek.

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