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A Brief Introduction to the Tango

By: Adam Sweet

Before I begin, let me say I know very little about the tango. In fact, I’ve only had one encounter with the dance in my 22 years. The tango originated in Buenos Aires, Argentina in the late 1800s, and is now a common ballroom dance all over the world that brings together a variety of cultural rhythms. The tango is a very upbeat, passionate dance that captures the emotion of an entire room. Naomi Hotta, a professional tango dancer in Los Angeles, interprets the tango like this: “tango contains highly addictive ingredients, such as pain, pleasure, passion, excitement, connection, freedom, torment, and bliss. In seven out of ten cases it takes over a person’s life”.

Now that we know a little bit about the Tango, let me explain to you my one connection with the dance. I play the violin, and was in my High School’s orchestra. My Junior year we played “Por Una Cabeza”, which is a Tango that refers to a horse winning a race by the length of one head. As we learned the song, I felt like I was actually a part of the dance, as if I was actually dancing. But believe me, you don’t wanna see me dance! We performed this piece as part of our holiday performance and it was a huge hit. The piece is a blast to play, and the dance certainly captivates an audience. Below is a brief clip of the song and dance from the 2008 movie Easy Virtue:

So why are we talking about the tango? Well, the Jewish Museum Milwaukee has a new exhibit coming soon! We are proud to display our upcoming exhibit, Southern Exposure: The Jews of Argentina. The exhibit opens to the public on Sunday, October 4, and will feature tours of the exhibit and family activities, such as scavenger hunts and art projects, and community member, local businessman and native Argentinean, Jose Sectzer, will lead a Tango Karaoke Sing-A-Long session at 2:00 pm with dynamic dance accompaniment by local Tango expert, Luz Sosa.

Free with Museum Admission 

Please RSVP by October 1 

Call: (414) 390-5730 or e-mail programs@jewishmuseummilwaukee.org

 This is your chance to feel the “pain, pleasure, passion, excitement, connection, freedom, torment, and bliss.” Who would want to miss that!?