Locating the Tango

Carolyn Merritt

in Tango Nuevo

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780813042190
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780813043029 | DOI:
Locating the Tango

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Where does Argentine tango exist? Does it rightly belong to some more than others? How will dependency upon global interest and tango tourism impact the dance over time? Do government efforts to market Buenos Aires and Argentina through tango curb innovation? Why is it that foreigners so vehemently protest the dilution of tango's purity? Can contemporary trends find their place within this beloved tradition, or do they represent rupture-not only with the past but also with the romance of culture and place? This chapter presents the political economy of contemporary tango. While government patrimony policies, tourism campaigns, and advertisements often reduce the tango to stereotype, foreign desires to preserve and consume authenticity bespeak equal parts reverence and arrogance. Discussing my own journey in tango and across continents, and my evolving feelings toward experimentation in the wake of a life in Buenos Aires. I highlight the enduring significance of place, and I argue that the evolution of the dance represents continuity through transformation.

Keywords: Argentina; Argentine tango; tango nuevo; cultural politics; globalization; tourism; cultural commodification; cultural change; authenticity; cultural heritage programs

Chapter.  13850 words. 

Subjects: Dance

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