Tango is famous for being the world's most amorous styles of music, a reputation bolstered by the passionate dance that shares its name. Virtually synonymous with Argentina, the musical tradition that caused a sensation in its day still resonates throughout the world. Which is why Puerto la Boca is proud to invite customers to enjoy live tango music at our Argentinian restaurant in Little Italy on a weekly basis.
What better way to mark our 12th anniversary coming up on May 5th than by celebrating the romantic history to tango music and dance?
A melding of cultures
Like Argentinian cuisine itself, tango music grew out of a wide mix of cultures, as 19th-century working class people from all over Europe and Africa lived in close proximity in the tenements of Buenos Aires. Even as the asado barbecue traditions we celebrate in our Argentinian restaurant were coming to life, musicians were contributing their cultural musical traditions to create a new style. The dramatic, syncopated elegance of live tango music was like nothing the world had yet experienced.
Early in the nation's history as a Spanish colony, adventurous men came from around the world to seek their fortunes in Argentina. However, relatively few women made the journey, which led to a great disparity between the sexes. This fact had a major impact on the tango's development.
Since men greatly outnumbered women, young men seeking wives would find themselves in competition for females' attention. Dancing was deemed the best, most appropriate way for men and women to engage with one another, so it became very important for a man to become an accomplished dancer, in order to stand charm the woman of his desire. Thus, wherever musicians gathered to play, any young men in attendance would take the opportunity to practice their dancing together. Consequently, danceable music was in constant demand, pushing live tango music in a decidedly rhythmic direction.
The original forbidden dance
The importance of dance as a means to woo women contributed to tango being the most intimate dance the world had seen at the time. Not only did the man and woman face one another, their bodies moved in close concert, causing one religious leader to claim the tango "gives rein to every appetite." Even as the both the music and the dance gained worldwide notice during its 1930s golden age, its popularity often precipitated a backlash, and the music and dance were banned in many global locales.
Even in Argentina, following the coup that overthrew Juan and Eva Peron in 1955, restrictions were put on tango clubs — though primarily that was to keep Peron loyalists from using live tango music as a guise for political gatherings.
We often bring accomplished tango musicians to perform this historically rich music at our Argentinian restaurant in Little Italy. Check our events calendar to find live Argentinian tango music by Jaime Rivera, for example! Or to find live music by Daniel Giaconi, all at Puerto La Boca!