A Brief History of the Black Roots of Argentine Tango

Primary tabs

When Darnell posted this blog over 4 years ago, "Tango and Milonga: A Close Relationship", I barely understood that Tango had African roots. 

When I was struggling with Milonga over 2 years ago, a kind lady suggested that I look up "Candombe" and "Cayengue".  She also suggested the book, "Tango: The Art of Love" by Robbert Farris.  I looked up the terms, and I purchased the book, which goes into lavish detail about the Black roots of Tango.  There was something about the fact that Milonga was "African" that inspired me to keep at it.  I mean, after all, if these other guys could do it, certainly I must be capable of doing it.  At least, that was my motivation.  And, it worked.

I saw the same lady at a milonga about a year ago.  At that time, I was beginning to talk up our "Diversify Your Dance" workshops and our show, "The History of Black Dance in America".  She suggested that I add a demonstration of Candombe and Cayengue.  In my mind, I said, "Yeah, right."

The show came and went two weeks ago.  By this time, I had been immersed in dance history for over a year.  When I was asked to do a lecture on Tango for the !MpactPeople after-school program this weekend at the Clear Creek Camp, I realized that I wanted to not only talk about the history of Tango, but the history of it's Black roots.

This is my initial effort.

YouTube clips include Valeria Solomonoff and Omar Vega at Blue Moon Milonga, New York 2006 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpvVMvPVmN8 and Anna e Osvaldo - El Chamuyo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsvBwPcvruk

A Brief History of the Black Roots of Argentine Tango.  By Ron Parker.