The Tango began in the 1880’s with influences from European and African cultures. The dance form began along the River Plate in lower class areas of Montevideo and Buenos Aires. At first, it was only performed by couples where slaves gathered to dance, but before long, it hit Europe and in 1913 was the craze in Finland as well as New York in the United States. In the 1914’s, more variations began to appear as well as forms such as Minuet Tango created by Albert Newman.
There are several different versions of the tango with each one different than the other according to the location and the culture. The same goes for the type of clothing that is worn for each style of the Tango that is performed. In most cases, the styles will have a man and woman have some space in between their bodies known as an open embrace or the man and woman touch some part of their bodies which can include the hip and upper thigh or chest, known as the close embrace.
The styles include Finnish Tango, Show Tango referred to as fantasia, Ballroom Tango, Contact Tango, Tango Nuevo, Tango milonguero, Tango camacupense, Tango orillero, Tango salon, and Tango liso, Tango Oriental, Uruguayan Tango, Tango Argentino, and Tango Vals.
The tango can be performed on electronic music that was inspired by the tango, and what is known as Alternative tango. The dance form in 2009 was listed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.
You can watch various films that have couples performing the different styles of the tango. A couple of these include Chicago which came out in 2002 and starred Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Renee Zellweger in which the dance is performed during the song – The Cell Block Tango. Another film that debuted in 2002 where you can see the tango was Frida starring Ashley Judd and Salma Hayek that perform the tango to the song Alcoba Azul.