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  Argentine Tango.
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.

Charter Plan

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.
copyright 04/2000