Argentine tango charter 1998 in France
Do we need to preserve the integrity of the Argentine
tango, and if so, in what manner ? This debate was launched a few months
ago with our Toulousian friends from the Tangueando association during the
first meeting of all the French tango associations... We urge you to
continue it !
During this meeting, the idea to create a charter for the Argentine tango
was proposed. It has been called to our attention that a document of this
type could lead it's reader to believe that there was only “one way” to thach
the Argentine tango or could alternatively be taken as the “Bible” of
On light of this we solicit your ideas, critiques, and suggestions
to create a text that will be taken only as a suggestion, a preamble to the
art of argentine tango, a charter project that was elaborated on during several
informal meetings amongst various participants.
The argentine tango (in it's popular as opposed to “show”
form) has seen a spectacular revival in France as well as in most of western
Europe during the last ten years. Not just a passing fad, it is a movement
of lasting effect that has swept up even the youth of Buenos-Aires.
This resurgence of the Argentine Tango consequently mobilizes interest in
all other corresponding cultural aspects of the dance : the music (obviously),
but also it's poetry, song, literature and history.... All these elements
are also sparked by the cultural exchanges between Argentina and Europe,
charachteristic of the tango since its birth, but always evolving.
If the Argentine Tango has developped a personnality of its own in France,
it is thanks to a passionate few who have carefully knitted together a web
of tango associations throughout the country. Starting as merely trickles
across France, the myriad associations have worked hard to create a surging
stream that is becoming the Argentine Tango we know today – a dance unique
into itself, created by improvisation, defying all attempts to reduce it
to a prescribed formula.
We are living in the middle of a passionate wave of the argentine tango as
it approaches its crest – as the media discover it, as traditional ballroom
dance studios start to integrate it into their course offerings.
We seek to attract the largest possible audience to the Argentine Tango by
all possible means (associations, professional tango dancers, dance schools,
high schools, universities, etc...) without it being standardized, diluted
or reinvented, or commercially abused in any way.
Faced with the actuality of the above already starting to happen (Argentine
Tango championship, stylistic clothing and dance technique clichés, teachers
Completely lacking in credibility...), and to prevent further digressions of
this nature, we feel it is necessary to unite all persons (regardless of their
origin) who share the same viewpoint toward a common goal of safeguarding
the argentine tango.
1- This charter's objective is to disseminate
all aspects of the Argentine Tango whill preserving its originality and authenticity
as linked to its history and current culture.
The tango is a fluid dance which constantly evolves –
a dance that, without ever breaking with its past continually reinvents itself.
On the spirit of the dance, the creators of this charter wish to be able
to regularly tap into whether in argentina or by inviting them to our sites,
the teaching innovations and creativity of dancers of all origins renowned
for their ballroom experience.
2- Variety of styles
The many different cultural influences of the Argentine
Tango which originate from a place called “Rio de la plata”, the variety
of styles which contribute to the richness of the argentine tango, render
it completely incompatible with any attempt at certification or standardization
which would restrict it to a single technique or style.
3- An ear for the music and improvisation
The fundamental quality of a well-danced tango lies in
an ear for the music which, filtered through the lead, permits continual
improvisation and adaptation to the constant dynamic of the ball. Felt at
least by the dancing couple, if not visible to onlookers as well, the “silent
lead” of the music prevents any kind of competition between dancing couples,
regardless of their expertise or title, for any reason whatsoever.
4- A dance for balls and practices
The argentine tango and waltz, an milonga should not in
any way, shape, or form be turned into competitive dances. Their proper milieu
exists in balls and practice dances. The signature of these dances lies in
their social and convivial nature, an essential character which this charter
seeks to preserve.
5- Exchange of information
To safeguard complete autonomy, the creators of this charter
(non-profit organizations, informal groups, schools, dancers, etc...) agree
to provide, to the best of their ability, a network of information accessible
to all their members concerning all information available on demonstrations,
workshops, festivals, and balls.
Please share your reflections with us on our forum.