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Tango

The Art History of Love

Robert Farris Thompson

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Description

In this generously illustrated book, world-renowned Yale art historian Robert Farris Thompson gives us the definitive account of tango, "the fabulous dance of the past hundred years–and the most beautiful, in the opinion of Martha Graham.”

Thompson traces tango’s evolution in the nineteenth century under European, Andalusian-Gaucho, and African influences through its representations by Hollywood and dramatizations in dance halls throughout the world. He shows us tango not only as brilliant choreography but also as text, music, art, and philosophy of life. Passionately argued and unparalleled in its research, its synthesis, and its depth of understanding, Tango: The Art History of Love is a monumental achievement.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Jul 11, 2005 – Here at last is an antidote to those trite coffee-table books that treat the tango with purple prose. In language no doubt inspired by the lyrics of its subject, this serious volume examines and celebrates the cultural history of the famed Argentine dance, conveying its real passion and the author's passion for it. Thompson, the renowned Yale Africanist and art historian, convincingly evokes the often-obscured African roots of the dance, whose name comes from the Ki-Kongo word for "moving in time to a beat." He then explores the tango's relationship to cakewalk and ragtime, Cuba's habanera and Rossini's operas, along with the mutual admiration between the father of tango, Carlos Gardel, and the tenor Enrico Caruso. Thompson tells the stories of tango's composers and performers, from the female composer Eladia Blázquez to poet and lyricist Jorge Luis Borges. Hollywood versions of the dance pale once Thompson begins to mine the riches of tango's rhythms, lyrics, philosophy and steps. He explains the sinuous figure-eight footwork of ochos, the boleo circular leg thrusts and the dramatic corte y quebrada cut-and-break steps that mimic the real-life emotional combat of relationships. There may be too much detail for generalist readers, and even devotees will need to pause to digest all of the information given. Still, for fans of dance, music and cultural history, this is the real deal. B&w illus.
Tango
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  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Performing Arts
  • Published: Sep 20, 2005
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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