I had the opportunity to go to Greenville’s Greek Festival last night (May 19-22, I would go if you can!) and after gobbling up the amazing Spanakopeta and Baklava (my fav!) I went outside to listen to the Greek music and watch the dancers. Observing this amazing culture in the middle of Greenville, SC really made me think about how music and dancing is an important part of many cultures.
Think about it…. in the Caribbean Carnival is a major part of life and the Caribbean culture, here in the U.S. we jived to Big Band music in the 20s and 30s, out of which came East Coast and West Coast Swing, and of course Spanish culture is infused with many kinds of music and dancing. And I’m sure if I asked a group of students, “What do you think of when you think about Spanish?”, at least one of them would say the Tango.
I’m no historian, but I do know that the Tango’s beginnings are a bit obscure. Many believe the dance originated in Spain with ‘los gitanos’ or the Gypsies, and then traveled over to South America when the Spanish colonized the area, particularly Argentina. Today, the Tango is still a major part of the Argentinian culture and is danced throughout the country, but it claims a home in Buenos Aires.
I was fortunate enough to take some Argentinian Tango lessons while I studied abroad in Argentina (and I learned quickly the Argentinian Tango is vastly different from what is taught here, American or International Tango) and I saw how the dance is full of passion and expression.
And today, as I clean the dust off my dancing shoes to (hopefully) teach a few Tango basics to a friend I’ll leave you a few pictures of our Tango group (2008)