Argentine tango is a musical genre and accompanying social dance originating at the end of the 19th century in the suburbs of Buenos Aires and Montevideo. It has a 24 or 44 rhythmic time signature, two or three parts repeating in patterns such as ABAB or ABCAC, its lyrics are marked by nostalgia and laments for lost love. The typical orchestra has several melodic instruments and is given a distinctive air by the small button accordion called the bandoneon, it has continued to grow in popularity and spread internationally, adding modern elements without replacing the older ones. Among its leading figures are the singer and songwriter Carlos Gardel and composers/performers Francisco Canaro, Juan D'Arienzo, Carlos Di Sarli, Osvaldo Pugliese, Ástor Piazzolla; the origins of tango are unclear. However, in recent years, a few tango aficionados have undertaken a thorough research of that history and so it is less mysterious today than before, it is thought that the dance developed in the late 19th century in working-class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Uruguay and was practiced by Uruguayan and Argentine dancers and immigrant laborers.
Argentine tango music is much more varied than ballroom tango music. A large amount of tango music has been composed by a variety of different orchestras over the last century. Not only is there a large volume of music, there is a breadth of stylistic differences between these orchestras as well, which makes it easier for Argentine tango dancers to spend the whole night dancing only Argentine tango; the four representative schools of the Argentine tango music are Di Sarli, d'Arienzo and Pugliese, all four descendent from Italian immigrant families. They are playing music for dancing; when the spirit of the music is characterized by counterpoint marking, clarity in the articulation is needed. It has a clear, repetitive pulse or beat, a strong tango-rhythm, based on the 2x4, 2 strong beats on 4. Ástor Piazzolla stretched the classical harmony and counterpoint and moved the tango from the dance floor to the concert stage. His compositions tell us something of our contemporary life and dancing it relates much to modern dance.
While Argentine tango dancing has been danced to tango music, such as that produced by such orchestra leaders as Osvaldo Pugliese, Carlos di Sarli, Juan d'Arienzo, in the'90s a younger generation of tango dancers began dancing tango steps to alternatives to tango music. Tango nuevo dance is associated with alternative music, see nuevo tango, but it can be danced to tango as well. List of tango bandleaders during the Golden Age of tango: Argentine tango dancing consists of a variety of styles that developed in different regions and eras, in response to the crowding of the venue and the fashions in clothing. Though the present forms developed in Argentina and Uruguay, they were exposed to influences re-imported from Europe and North America. There are records of 18th and early 19th century tango styles in Cuba and Spain, while there is a flamenco tangos dance that may share a common ancestor in a minuet-style European dance. There is a good deal of confusion and overlap between the styles as they are now danced - and fusions continue to evolve.
Argentine tango is danced in an embrace that can vary from open, in which leader and follower connect at arms length, to closed, in which the connection is chest-to-chest, or anywhere in between. Tango dance is walking with a partner and the music. Dancing appropriately to the emotion and speed of a tango is important to dancing tango. A good dancer is one who transmits a feeling of the music to the partner, leading them throughout the dance. Dancers keep their feet close to the floor as they walk, the ankles and knees brushing as one leg passes the other. Argentine tango dancing relies on improvisation. One of the few constants across all Argentine tango dance styles is that the follower will be led to alternate feet. Another is that the follower has his or her weight on both feet at the same time. In many modern variations of Argentine Tango in Europe, teachers of Tango may establish a "basic step" in order to help students to learn and pick up the "feel" of the dance. Argentine tango is danced counterclockwise around the outside of the dance floor and dance "traffic" segregates into a number of "lanes".
In general, the middle of the floor is where one finds either beginners who lack floor navigation skills or people who are performing "showy" figures or patterns that take up more dance floor space. It is acceptable to stop in the line of dance to perform stationary figures, as long as the other dancers are not unduly impeded; the school of thought about this is, if there is open space in front, there are people waiting behind. Dancers are expected to respect the other couples on the floor, it is considered rude. Ballroom tango steps were standardized by dance studios; the steps have been fixed in style for decades. However, Argentine tango has been an evolving dance and musical form, with cont