Come let's make a date to Tango quite late and when we get tired, we'll just Hesitate

Published on by CMe



Come let's make a date to Tango quite late and when we get tired, we'll just Hesitate


El Tango es el producto cultural más auténtico del país de los argentinos


The tango evolved and had many different interpretations throughout the ages. Clyde Mendes and Ivy Mendes are experts in the old and almost forgotten styles of Canyengue, Orillero and Tango Fantasía. They are also experts in tango salón and stage tango of the 1980s. Their great passion is the show “Tango Argentino” in which they are well known experts. They recreate choreographies from the show in original makeup and costumes. 

Sergio Segura began photographing many young tango dancers in Buenos Aires, being one of the first to introduce digital photography in Argentina. In the last few years, due to his deep interest in tango, he has dedicated himself to photography. His exhibits have been shown all over the United Status and have been recently presented in the World Tango Festival and the NYC Summer Tango Festival. 

His best known works are the tango photography recreations: “Tango in París 1920” and "Tango Argentino show in 1983" with have been shown in The World Tango Festival 2006. The magazine Tango Danza, of Germany, has bought the rights to Mr. Segura’s photos to make a production of tango postcards on sale all over Europe. 

"Tango canyengue" refers to a style of Tango that was popular during the1920’s. Reportedly, the long tight dresses in vogue during that era restricted the follower's movements. Therefore a short step style of dancing the tango was evolved. The dancers tend to move with knees slightly bent, the partners slightly offset, and in a closed embrace. This style of tango is usually performed in a 2/4 time signature. As the canyengue style was mostly not danced in ballrooms, but in taverns and on the street, the typical soft feet movements with close contact to the ground, were not possible, leading to a more "hopping" style of doing the Tango. 

It is the pure essence of the beginning of tango. Its afro meaning “walking with cadence”. It contains the original tango embrace. It is sensual and enjoyable style of tango with playful gait and rhythm. Its main characteristic is its musicality, as dancing canyengue precisely means to be in time, walking in the right musical tempo. Its movements are syncopated corresponding to 4 by 8 measure, played by orchestras such as Francisco Canaro, Felipe Antonio, La Tipica Victor, De Caro,Tubatango. Canyengue uses body dissociation for the leading, walking with a firm ground contact and a permanent combination of on and off beat rhythm, All these elements are essential to dance any good Tango Walking with ground contact, with cadence, marking the rhythm with each step, change of weight that you do not see but very much feel. Unstructured, free of choreographed sequences, but with rapid playful movements of the feet and flexible legs, agile steps linked to the rhythm, similar to the happy style of the milonga. It allows you to approach improvisation more rapidly and easily, and thus to enjoy the dance. All of that and more is....Tango Canyengue!

Canyengue lesson (Tango Canyengue Class Roxina & Adrian)

Tango CANYENGUE - ROXINA Villegas & ADRIAN Griffero

Canyengue with Ernest Williams & Fabienne Bongard

Maurizio El Tano e Carla Tango canyengue

What is Tango Orillero?
What would I say from a dancer's point of view? 

Orillero is an Argentine Tango style. As soon as you start to dance with D'Arienzo, playful, sharp, with jumps, kicks, ganchos, crazy twists it becomes Orillero. What else? Refine it from the "bad street influence" and it becomes Salon. Pepper Salon with the street influence, and it becomes Orillero. This is that easy. 

Orillero is everywhere ! Since it is jumpy and flashy and spectacular it became an obvious candidate to use in shows. So nowadays many confuse Orillero with Show dancing. So once they see Orillero, they just say, "Oh, it is just show..." ( with negative connotation. Why? )

Of course not all shows are in Orillero. But Orillero always looks showy. That is what it is!

Many musicians recorded music in Orillero style. What is the difference between Orillero and Canyengue. Canyengue is a close embrace dance, while Orillero is mostly done in open embrace. Canyengue music and dancing style is different. 

It is more smooth, minor. While legs may make fast and crazy things in Canyengue, the body feels as if it levitates above the floor. No wonder, it is danced in Apilado position. There are people who might not agree with me regarding Orillero, but does it make sense to argue about? Consider it a convenient name for the sharp, street style of tango dancing as contrary to smooth Salon. 

What about relation of Orillero and Nuevo. While some other researchers consider styles from historical position, I consider them purely from the dancing style difference. In this way, even if there is no direct ancestry between Nuevo and Orillero, there is a vivid connection between them since Nuevo is more energetic than Salon, uses much more flashy and sharp figures like ganchos, sacadas, and boleos. On the contrary, as a difference, still it uses much less of the old "Ric-Tic-Tic" rhythms, and still much smoother. It tend to be as smooth as Salon. Cortes and quebradas, traspies are not used in Nuevo, while they should be abundant in 

Orillero!  As you have noticed, I differentiate between Salon of 50s, and Salon of 20s. While Salon of 20s is purified and directly counterposed to Orillero, Salon of 50s might borrow a lot from show dancing. And as I mentioned above, show dancing was based on Orillero. It means many elements and feel * * *of Salon 50s Argentine Tango style originated from Orillero ! 

Paradox of Orillero, why this name can not be found often is that for practitioners of this way of Tango dance it is not a special style to keep distance from something else. It IS Tango. Many very prominent names as well as simple dancers in Tango world are dancing like that and not paying slightest attention to distinguishing their dancing by a special term. However, for some reason, this way of tango has not found addictive and entrepreneurial followers in other countries. May be it is TOO Argentinean. May be the whole way of life and personal problems of a modern western person rejects this dance: too free, too flamboyant, too exotic, too earthy, too risky. One has to have Argentinean sun, wine and meat in unlimited quantities, time and mind free from problems to step out on the dance floor and proudly say: I am a man, I am a woman, we are happy, we are who we are, and our spirit dances !


TANGO ORILLERO (Kenji y Liliana)

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Comment on this post

Pete | The Tango Notebook 11/24/2009 16:53

Thank you for writing this article. It has inspired me to learn more about these dance forms and even try them myself. I especially like the heavy, yet controlled, steps of Cayengue.