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Tango dancing originated in the barrios and brothels of Buenos Aires in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Originally banned in polite Argentinean society, it thrilled European dancers who saw it performed in Paris. The Europeans flooded to Argentina to learn more about this passionate new dance. Suddenly, tango was embraced by the more elite elements in Argentina and given an air of respectability.

Both at home in Argentina and abroad, the tango has evolved into at least three distinct forms, Argentine tango, American tango, and international tango. A possible fourth form is Finnish tango which is that country’s national dance. Of these, only Argentine tango retains the heart and soul of the original. Today there are nearly 100 registered tango dance venues, called Milongas, in Buenos Aires and many more unregistered and impromptu tango gatherings.

Argentine tango is more than a ballroom dance; it is an intimate conversation between the dancers and is inextricably entwined with the fire of the tango music. Un-choreographed and completely improvisational, the couple joins the musicians and silently interprets the music with their feet, minds, and hearts.

Peter Gysegem

Peter Gysegem has studied Argentine tango for years and has been teaching it for fifteen. Also a ballroom and contra dancer, he performed for six years with the Marysville Cloggers. He has choreographed tangos in productions for Corvallis Community Theater and Albany Civic Theater. A tenor soloist, he is also an occasional actor in dramatic and musical theater with those organizations. In his other life, he operates Beaver Creek Software.

For more about Peter, visit www.gysegem.com or contact him at peter@gysegem.com or 541-231-7330.


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