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Tango : Creation of a Cultural Icon

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In Tango: Creation of a Cultural Icon Jo Baim dispels common stereotypes of the tango and tells the real story behind this rich and complex dance. Despite its exoticism, the tango of this time period is a very accessible dance, especially as European and North American dancers adapted it. Modern ballroom dancers can enjoy a "step" back in time with the descriptions included in this book. Almost as interesting as the history of the tango is the cultural response to it: cities banned it, army officers were threatened with demotion if caught dancing it, clergy and politicians wrote diatribes against it. Newspaper headlines warned that people died from dancing the tango and that it would be the downfall of civilization. The vehemence of these anti-tango outbursts confirms one thing: the tango was a cultural force to be reckoned with!show more

Product details

  • Book | 232 pages
  • 139.7 x 226.06 x 22.86mm | 317.51g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • 17 b&w illus., 23 music exx.
  • 0253219051
  • 9780253219053
  • 1,653,199

Review quote

Freelance choreographer Baim sets Argentina's cultural jewel, the tango, in an elegant, scholarly study that draws from primary-source materials such as dance instruction manuals, sheet music, and contemporary newspapers and periodicals. Six carefully researched chapters follow the tango from its origins, to its discovery by Europeans and North Americans, to Argentina's reclamation of its native dance, and on to its music, its connection to the waltz, and its place in the world of art music. Accented with two appendixes-one a description of tango steps circa 1911-25 and one a list of New York Times articles on the tango from 1911, 1913, and 1914-as well as a concise bibliography, this accessible and singular account manages to cover not only the history of the dance but also its cultural reception in both the New World and the Old. Performing arts and popular culture collections will have the most receptive audiences; recommended.-Carolyn M. MulacLibrary Journal "... a delightful text, illuminating the fascinating convergence of cultural influences that produce an art form." -ForeWord "Freelance choreographer Baim sets Argentina's cultural jewel, the tango, in an elegant, scholarly study that draws from primary-source materials such as dance instruction manuals, sheet music, and contemporary newspapers and periodicals... Performing arts and popular culture collections will have the most receptive audiences; recommended." -Library Journal "Tango provides a microcosm of popular culture in the years between the turn of the 20th century and the end of World War I, with social commentators of the day weighing in for and against the romantic and sometimes scandalous tango." -show more

About Jo Baim

Jo Baim is Assistant Organist at historic Trinity Parish Episcopal Church in Seattle and a freelance choreographer. She is an oblate of the Benedictine Monastery of St. Gertrude in Cottonwood, Idaho. She lives in Seattle, Washington.show more

Table of contents

ContentsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. The Origins of the Tango2. Europe and the United States Discover the Tango3. Argentina Reclaims Its Native Dance4. Tango Music5. Tangos in Waltz Time6. The Tango in the World of Art MusicAppendix 1. Tango Steps, 19111925Appendix 2. A Sampling of New York Times Article Titles on the Tango, 1911, 1913, and 1914NotesBibliographyIndexshow more

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