The Miami Tango Fantasy Festival 2007
by Jennifer Jordan
There are few things as sexy as the Tango, and certainly no dance steps that match its appeal. From Al Pacino performing the Tango in A Scent of a Woman, to Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider in Last Tango in Paris, people everywhere see the tango performed and think to themselves, “Dang, I need to learn how to do that.” For those who live near Miami, or are visiting, you’re about to get your chance.
The Miami Tango Fantasy Festival 2007 steps off Memorial Day Weekend. Beginning with a Milonga, the term given to tango parties, this festival offers entertainment for those who want to watch, and lessons – with sixteen 90 minute classes offered per day – for those who want to learn. These classes cater to everyone from those with two proverbial left feet to those who dance at a performance level.
For those who want to simply sit back, relax, and be in awed, the Tango Professors – those doing the teaching – will perform in a Masters of Tango Show, which includes a dinner. And, of course, no Tango Fantasy would be complete without the romance. The festival is held in a place where romance can not escape: a luxury hotel with a breathtaking pool, a grand ballroom, and all-night Tango parties.
As for Tango itself, it may seem a little intimidating. For this reason, we offer you a quick course on the history of tango.
Tango comes from Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay. It came to life with both dance styles and music styles (the musical styles are also called “the tango”). While initially called merely “the tango,” this dance ultimately evolved, branching out into different styles including the Ballroom Tango (also known as the American style), the Finnish Tango, the Chinese Tango, and, paying homage to its roots, the Argentine Tango and Uruguayan Tango. The Argentine Tango is believed by many to be the closest thing to the original.
The Tango has become popularized in American culture through the cinema as well as other sports. Specifically, synchronized swimming and ice skating have used many elements of tango in various routines. The Tango is also the feature of some weddings and dances.
On a emotional front, the Tango has become synonymous with romance, a language that transcends cultures. This has led to it being thought of as one of the most sensual, irresistible rituals a dancer can do.
When performing the tango, people typically dance to tango music. Three or four songs are often played concurrently, followed by a break that allows some dancers to clear the floor and others to enter.
One of its birthplaces, Tango’s popularity was compromised in 1960’s and 1970’s Buenos Aires when the military government enforced a ban on assemblies. Since the early 1990’s, however, the interest in Tango has been restored and presently, the dance continues to go on, tangoing across Argentina and everywhere else.