Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Tango! - 'Really Dirty Dancing'

Couple Dancing or Impressing the Ladies!
A few years ago I was looking for an agent in America and thought I would do some appropriate
portfolio building and discovered a New york based tango group who published lots of their tango photographs on their website. I was impressed by their apparent dedication to the art and even more so by the fact that they tangoed all over the world, they would even tango in airports whilst waiting for their flight. How cool was that! Sod Strictly!

It's all about Shape and Chemistry
 If you were a man conned into travelling to Buenos Aries in the 19th Century to help build the railways and promised none existant riches you would find that, in those days, there was a distinct shortage of what most young healthy men need, when they are not working, a woman! There were, of course, brothels, very very busy brothels. To keep the clientele from straying the proprietors would have a small band playing and it was at this time that the men would dance with each other to sharpen their tango skills because if they were actually going to find a wife in Buenos Aries they would have to show their skills and passion through dance.

Street Tango
Apart from the wealthy few, who frowned on this form of Dirty Dancing, if a working man wanted a wife he would have to find one in the poorer districts of the city where they would congregate and dance in the courtyards of the tenement blocks. So it was in the streets where the foundations of the Tango tradition flourished and became an important part of social life in Buenos Aries and eventualy spread all over the world and is still carried on by the group who I discovered and used as my inspiration for the Tango series. I did evenually attract an American agent but by this time the world economies were about to go 'tits-up' bringing recession and a bleak time for purveyors of the graphic arts. But I'm richer for discovering the passion and beauty of the dance which I don't partake in because I think that this is something purely for a people watcher like me to marvel at!

Tango Night
And I'm lazy!

1 comment:

  1. Great illustrations John, you get better and hardly lazy to produce such outstanding work.
    Thank God for Tango. My mother and father were Tango partners ( Leeds Metropolitan Hotel 1940) and then they fell in love. Martin Appleson born 1941