In 2009, we traveled for business to Argentina for the World Forestry Congress.
There was no end to the excitement in preparing the trip, during it, and when we arrived in Buenos Aires that October morning! In Argentina, that is the time when spring arrives and the first travel through the city, from the airport to the hotel in the city center, took us to a completely different time and a different space.
When you say Argentina, first everyone thinks of football and El Grande Diego Armando Maradona, but Argentina is so much more! We were delighted with the beauty of the city, which did not look like literally anything we have seen before in Europe, North America and a small part of Asia and Africa we travelled to.
People are so nice, kind and polite. We were welcomed everywhere! Congress is so well organized and during the day we are there with other participants from all over the world. Still, there is enough time for walks through the city, tours of museums, popular places (list is here). During the day, snack and coffee, which you can drink only in South America! Late dinners, with steaks of the best meat, beer in large pints, a lot of noise, loud talks and music. Spanish language that is spoken in Argentina sounds like Italian which adds certain charm to it.
And of course, tango, literally at every turn. And at any time of the day.
We watched tango on the streets of the city, in the famous tourist part of the city, during walks and even during lunch. In the end, my husband also danced. As it should be, he danced Argentine tango in the famous Caminito of beautiful Buenos Aires.
I often remember our stay in this beautiful city, but this time Dr. Christiana Northrup reminded me of the city and the tango in the book “Goddesses Never Age“; it was my best friend gift, a great one for a 50th birthday. 😊
Dr. Northrup, gynecologist with over 25 years of experiences, adores tango, dances regularly and considers it a therapy. She talks about how tango gives the body pleasure and joy, which then spread and so positive energy heals both us and the people around us. Dancing is a form of healing and she says that any pleasant experience can be healing not only for you, but for others around you as well. She also concludes that we must be joyful, dance and deliberately bring pleasure to life. When talking about all the benefits from dancing Dr Northrup is saying the same things as Dr Mae Carol Jemison which we already wrote about at our blog: Space and Dance.
Based on my previous knowledge of this dance, the experience of my colleagues who regularly dance tango, I recently recommended this dance to one of my clients. He likes the idea to start with dancing classes; it’s something completely different from anything he’s tried so far, and he considered himself a terrible dancer. I mentioned tango and he said to me: “I am trying to persuade my wife to go. If nothing else, we will look into each other’s eyes for two hours”.
But let’s see where tango originated and what are the benefits of this dance.
TANGO – BRIEF HISTORY
On August 31, 2009, UNESCO approved a joint proposal by Argentina and Uruguay to include the tango in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.
Here is what UNESCO site says about tango:
“The Argentinian and Uruguayan tradition of the Tango, now familiar around the world, was developed by the urban lower classes in Buenos Aires and Montevideo in the Rio de la Plata basin. Among this mix of European immigrants to the region, descendents of African slaves and the natives of the region known as criollos, a wide range of customs, beliefs and rituals were merged and transformed into a distinctive cultural identity. As one of the most recognizable embodiments of that identity, the music, dance and poetry of tango both embodies and encourages diversity and cultural dialogue. It is practised in the traditional dance halls of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, spreading the spirit of its community across the globe even as it adapts to new environments and changing times. That community today includes musicians, professional and amateur dancers, choreographers, composers, songwriters, teachers of the art and the national living treasures who embody the culture of tango. Tango is also incorporated into celebrations of national heritage in Argentina and Uruguay, reflecting the widespread embrace of this popular urban music”. (Source: Tango – intangible heritage – Culture Sector – UNESCO).
TANGO – BENEFITS
In the text Tango-Magic Therapy, the health benefits of tango dance are emphasized. Here are just a few.
U.S. scientists from the University of Washington conducted a study on how 20 one-hour Argentine tango lessons significantly improve the mobility, balance and coordination of people who have Parkinson’s disease. They believe that tango is more effective than other dances or exercises, because it requires calm and measured movements that are not in a fast rhythm and the social aspect associated with dance, with physical effect, improves the quality of life of patients.
This text presents application of tango therapy with people with mental disorders in hospitals in Buenos Aires and it concludes that: dancing allows people to forget about problems, to be in society and to feel needed, because in tango dance partners have to rely on each other, they need each other, and the hug and closeness imposed through dance make people feel better during the dance and after it (Source: Tango – čarobna terapija (parentium.com – Vijesti iz Poreča, Istre i regije).
Pope Francis who is from Argentina also likes tango; there are videos on internet where you can see him dancing tango.
And for the end of course, tango! Here you can see and hear La Cumparsita Tango – Gerardo Matos Rodriguez – Tango Dancers
* Dr Northrup is medical doctor who opposes vaccination. We want to point out that sharing her opinion about tango doesn’t mean that we share all her views.
Buenos Aires Free walks