The Philharmonic Hall in Berlin, near metro station Potsdamer platz,
will be the setting for The Berlin Easter Tango Festival – a homage to the popular Argentinian style of music which has widely influenced the worlds of literature, theatre and art. The concert takes place on the 23rd of August, with performances from German orchestras and invited Argentinian artists.
tango festival berlin @ Potsdamer Platz
The festival hopes to satisfy an increasing interest in tango throughout Europe, where countless bars and clubs are playing host to musicians performing both classic and experimental styles of the genre. The Berlin festival is placing special emphasis on neo-tango, the new sounds which mix jazz and classical in an effort to attract fans of tango, young and old alike.
The sophistication and the development of tango music and dance is the theme of this marvellous festival, along with participation from Cantango Berlin and Buenos Aires Tangomasterdancers orchestras, and dancers Ester Duarte & Chiche Nuñez and Federico Farfaro & Liesl Bourke.
Tango was born around the end of the 19th century, amongst poor European emigrants in search of a better life in Buenos Aires. It was this illusion of a better life, coupled with the nostalgia for the old continent which would create the chemistry, and key to tango culture.
Tango is from the souls of the working classes, who would lament their bad luck through nostalgic guitar music. The words to the songs reveal a strong social spirit, and a passionate reaction to injustice.
In 1889, The Royal Academy of the Spanish Language recognised the work Tango, defining it as “the celebration and dance of the blacks.” 100 years later, due to its enormous popularity and influence on the arts, the definition changed to “Argentinian dance between two people, binary musical form, internationally known.”
Strangely enough, tango arrived first at the dance halls of Europe and North America, before reaching Argentina. The young Argentinian bourgeoisie would go down to the slums to meet women – and from their travels to Europe and the States would bring back the music which has been prohibited. In Paris society, tango provoked a frenzy, and it became all the rage in the 1920s.
Today the classic beat of 2×4 has been reinvented and reinterpreted many times, and many new instruments and sounds have been added – such as with fusion group Gotan Project. However, figures such as Carlos Gardel and Astor Piazzola continue to be the great icons of tango, with the first representing the macho, sexual side to tango iconography, and the latter famous for mixing the classic European style with the Argentinian passion.