In an earlier piece I tried to make the case that dance is a universal human activity that would survive a societal calamity. I think that, given the historical evidence, that is probably true. Next question is what kind of dance would survive? I have assumed in Renaissance that the Tango, famously from Argentina, would survive. It is a classic dance, originating in the late nineteenth century as a fusion of Western European ballroom dances and African dance and reaching the form that most of us recognise from film and television by the late nineteen thirties. There are three common variants danced today that I make use of.
The first form, properly called Tango is, undeniably, a beautiful dance. It is also extremely difficult to learn to do well. Its complexity means that it might not survive a devastating event, though the devotion of its fans is deep, some might argue, even fanatical! The first video is classic salon style – still a show dance in this clip but more like what is danced socially. In a social setting the whole dance is improvised, to work with the music and for your partner.
For those inclined to take the tango all too seriously there is a tradition in show tango of ‘clowning’ – these guys are seriously good to get away with this!