I learned tango as 'one-step with attitude.' One-step, another dance from the period, is essentially walking, so really tango is just 'walking with attitude.' There's a little more to it than that, but attitude is by far the thing I find most important for our circus opening!
Since I wasn't able to find much to illustrate tango in the period, I'm just going to share the things I love most about the tango. There's a reason I keep returning to it...
1. One of my favorite examples of tango attitude (and also great storytelling through dance!) is the Tango de Roxanne from Moulin Rouge!. If you remember from the very first Look Book post, the gritty sparkle of Moulin Rouge! was an early inspiration. If you haven't seen the movie (or just want to watch some awesome dancing), here's the clip I'm talking about:
2. Of all the couple dances I do, tango is by far the most passionate. Obviously, if you're not dancing with somebody you're attracted to it's not going to be the same, but I find tango to have to most potential for spark. Here's a clip from another favorite dance movie, Strictly Ballroom, where the whole scene is about the connection between the characters, and they're working it out during the dance (ignore the plot bits):
3. I will be the first to admit I have a flair for the melodramatic. The tango is an extremely dramatic dance-just listen to a 1920s or 30s tango song! So here is a great example of the drama of tango, from Take the Lead, and a great classic dramatic tango song:
4. While there are songs written specifically for tango (like Tango Bolero, above), the cool thing from a performance perspective about the dance is that since it is mostly walking with attitude, as long as the song is the correct time signature there is a lot of flexibility. Which isn't to say you can tango to anything--it would be pretty silly to do such a dramatic and passionate dance to, for example, Katy Perry. But there are a LOT of options. This is actually from Step Up 3-D (which I hate to admit I've seen!), but the song is a really neat choice:
5. Anyone can tango! I wouldn't say it's easy to tango well, but it can definitely be an approachable dance, especially if it's choreographed and you don't have to worry about leading or following. Follow the circus long enough, and you may just pick up a few steps...
Even Mr. Darcy can do it--although technically this is from Easy Virtue, Firth will always be Darcy to me.