If Argentina has a National Independence Day and a National Flag Day, why should there not be a day to commemorate our beloved Tango- the trademark and passion of our country?
Today Tango is recognized and revered all over the world. It originated in the basin of the River Plate, amongst immigrants and the working class. It was this melting pot of customs, beliefs and rituals that gave birth to the unique identity that is present in the music, dance and poetry of our Tango. It represents the diversity that exists within our culture. Over the years it has evolved and adapted according to the changes in society and is currently as popular as ever.
A DAY FOR TANGO
“The National Day of Tango” was an idea launched in 1965 by Ben Molar. Born in 1915, he became a central part of the Tango scene. He lived on the corner of Montevideo and Corrientes, the heart of this culture, where the cafes overflowed with everything that spoke Tango. His passion for our national dance lead him to become an academic of the National Academy of Tango, the Academy of Lunfardo (local slang), and a member of the commission of the Cultural Argentina-Israeli Institute and Association of friends of Avenida Corrientes. He was also awarded Illustrate Citizen of Buenos Aires.
Nowadays if you walk down Corrientes Avenue you will see that its 40 corners are decorated with bronze plaques commemorating the great Tango personalities such as Libertad Lamarque, Mariano Mores, Enrique Cadicamo, Horacio Salgan and Raul Lavie.
The idea of Tango Day was to commemorate the birthday of the creators of the two main currents of Tango: Carlos Gardel –the voice, the idol, “el zorzal criollo”-, born the 11th December 1890, and Julio De Caro –the music, the magnificent orchestra director, the renovator -, also born the 11th December 1899 .
As Molar stood one day on the tanguero corner of Corrientes and Esmeralda, on his way to celebrate the birthday of Julio De Caro, he was struck by this coincidence making the 11th December a landmark date of extreme cultural interest, and decided to promote it as a national holiday in celebration of Tango.
He presented his proposal to the then Secretary of Culture Mr. Ricardo T. Freixá, as well as requesting and receiving the approval of artistic organizations such as Sadaic, Argentores, Sade, Casa del Teatro and the Argentine Musician’s Union.
Eleven years later he still had no official answer and so decided to organise a movement in favour of National Tango Day which would be broadcasted on the television and radio. The movement was a great success. It culminated in a huge festival in Luna Park, and on the 29th November 1977 the decree Nº 5830/77 of the Municipality of the city of Buenos Aires approved the date as a commemoration of Tango. One month later the decree Nº3781/77 extended the celebration nationwide. It was now officially a national holiday.
Nowadays this holiday is celebrated in all corners of the world, evidence being last year when Tango was honoured by UNESCO as Cultural Patrimony of Humanity, a proud moment for us Argentines.
PROGRAMMED ACTIVITIES -12/11/2010
CITY OF BUENOS AIRES
PLAZA DE MAYO AT 8PM (free entry)
Singers: Nelly Omar and Adriana Varela
National Selection of Tango with the direction of Leopoldo Federico
National Orchestra of Argentine Music “Juan de Dios Filiberto” directed by Oscar D’Elía with Amelita Baltar and Juan Carlos Baglietto
(For more information see www.cultura.gov.ar)
The only place to be this Saturday night. The singers and the orchestras are la crème de la crème of Tango today. Be sure not to miss it. If you dance Tango or you just like to watch you can head for SALON CANNING at Scalabrini Ortiz 1335. Here you will feel the passion, music, memories and dance as young and old celebrate Tango on the dance floor.
For those of you who are interested in Tango but not experts, or experts who want to know THE places to go, book a private TANGO EXPERIENCE with leading private tours company Buenos Aires Experience, and enjoy a whole evening dedicated to the enjoyment of Tango including a lesson, dinner and access to the best milongas in town.
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