Tango has been setting trends since 1856. Carried from Spain to the Victorian ballrooms, Tango has left its mark. By the Edwardian era Tango had its own color, Tango Orange.
Tango began as a South American dance. This was according to Parisian M. Markowski described in the “Dancer’s Casket” by Philadelphia resident Charles Durang in 1856. Argentinian Tango historians claim in the mid 1900’s African slaves brought Tango to Argentina. A third root is from Vernon Castle and Gladys Beattie Crozier in 1913 that the Tango was brought to Argentina by Spanish Gypsies. Tango apparently has many roots.
By the end of the Victorian Tango became a popular dance in the Moulan Rouge among the Paris Apache street gang. From there Tango became the rage from 1909 -1913 in France. It was so popular that the nickname Tangoville was given to Paris. Everything was named after Tango. Tango teas, Tango train excursions, and the Tango drink. Even fashions were named Tango, including hats, blouses, tulip skirts and harem pants.
By 1913 women fashions were influenced by the Tango trends. Tango tea dresses were looser, shorter, stopping mid-calf. Corsets were cast off and feathers on hats were moved to vertical. The most popular fabric was Satin Tango in yellow and orange. All these changes were to allow fancy footwork and close embrace when dancing the Tango.
Many articles mention the popularity of the color orange for Tango. One of them mentions that a French designer was saddled with a lot of orange fabric that he could not sell. After naming it Tango orange, it flew off the shelf, immortalizing orange as the color of Tango. Trendsetters could don the color Tango orange even if they could not Tango dance.
The Color of Tango Today
What about today? When Tango made a comeback with Forever Tango in the late 80’s early 90’s a new color combination represented Tango. It changed from the Edwardian Yellow and Orange, to Black and Red. This new color combination was introduced in film and theater. It was known as “Tango Escenario” (Stage Tango). Black and Red are the current popular colors of Tango today.
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