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Monthly Archives: June 2017

  • A Brief of History of Tango

     

    Like the AYRES beauty collections, tango too was born from a blend of exotic ingredients. Its origins can be traced back to African, European and South American steps and sounds fused together back in the late 19th century. Its birthplace, the docks of the River Plate.

     

    The history of tango is a magical rags-to-riches tale: a genre created in Buenos Aires’s poorest neighbourhoods which made its way to the world’s most elegant dancehalls. To this day, tango is one of Argentina’s most captivating cultural exports.

     

    Following Europe’s dramatic economic downfall of the 1880s, millions of male immigrants made their way to Argentina in search of a better life. By night, after a hard day’s work at the docks, they gathered to express yearning for their homelands through music – sounds of the violin, flamenco guitar, bandoneon, Argentine folk, Cuban habanera and African candombe of the freed slaves were combined to create the first tango. The accompanying dance was also an amalgamation of steps – primarily the waltz, mazurka and polka. It started off as a semi-combative dance between two men and gradually became a type of mating dance in the bordellos.

     

    At the beginning of the 20th century, Argentina became one of the world’s wealthiest countries. The elite took to holidaying in Europe, and news of this risqué, exotic dance called tango spread among Parisian nobility. The craze quickly took off. Only when the genre became the height of fashion in Europe did the Argentine elite embrace the tango as their own.

     

    Throughout the 1900s, tango became mainstream in Argentina. Singers such as Carlos Gardel and composers like Astor Piazzolla became household names and are still revered in Argentina to this day. In the 1940s, populist leaders Eva and Juan Perón were great lovers of the tango – under their government, its popularity soared, only to decline in the 50s and 60s during Argentina’s frequent coup d'états. The 80s saw a revival of the classic tango in Paris and Argentina; while the 90s experienced the rise of electro-tango – a sub-genre that gave the tango a new lease of life.

     

    Although the tango has evolved dramatically since its humble beginnings, it has always retained its key element: passion. It’s this Latin passion that inspired our bestselling Midnight Tango Collection; the nostalgic sounds of the bandoneon, the romance of an embrace and the sensual fishnet stockings of the dancers are all reflected in the AYRES products.

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