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It takes two countries to tango

January 27, 2009 |  1:25 pm

They take the tango seriously in South America, where Uruguay and Argentina have squabbled for years over which country gave birth to the sensual dance.

Now comes a report in the Observer that the culture ministries of Montevideo and Buenos Aires have set aside their rivalry to jointly petition the United Nations' cultural agency UNESCO to grant tango world heritage status.

The British newspaper reports that if UNESCO approves the status, both cities plan to build tango museums with permanent exhibits on each side of the Rio de la Plata (a.k.a. the River Plate).

The impetus for collaboration stems from tango's explosion in popularity. Could "Dancing With the Stars" have anything to do with it? Celebrity tangos may not be as impressive as dances seen on the streets of San Telmo, but the pairing of Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff was pretty seductive.

-- Sherry Stern

Comments () | Archives (1)

Obviously, in todays world everyone needs the status of being something special.

Therefore, the efforts by Argentina and Uruguay to reach via petition to the UN world heritage status to the Tango sounds a bit strange to me, seeing that the Tango has it source in various European music styles.

Out of those roots by migrants to their home countries the Tango is being developed as a kind of multicultural marriage. Pieces like the muzurkas by Chopin or the polkas by Smetana are concentrated on the dance music in those particular era.

And out of this self-pitiness and the longing for a place to live Piazolla developed vice versa his Tango Nuevo as an expression of deed and a power of moving forward into the future.


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