One of the reasons I find tango so fascinating is the various forms in which it can be danced. It’s not always a serious undertaking or hot and sexy or gut wrenchingly dramatic. Los Hermanos Macana are from Buenos Aires and are a pair of super talented choreographers and dancers who bring their unique dancing and humour to stages across the world. They’ve shared stages with artists such as Mikhail Baryshnkov and Placido Domingo and I am hoping, hoping, hoping they’ll return to Australia in the not-so-distant future.
Many tango experts will happily give an opinion as to why men traditionally danced tango together. In fact, there are a lot of theories about how tango started and who danced with whom and why. That’s a whole can of worms and I’ll do a blog post on this in the near future. But I will mention a couple of theories for now and they’re the ones that really get the tango aficionado’s knickers in a twist. The idea is tango originated in brothels where the men danced with women while they were waiting their turn to step into a room and close the doors. This theory rose in popularity when Argentine writer, Jorge Luis Borges, declared this as a fact and his fans agreed without raising any question. But as Argentina was short on women early last century, it’s hard to imagine why they would be dancing with clients when they could doing … um … what they were employed to do. Another brothel theory is men danced with men while they were waiting their turn to spend time with the prostitute of their choice, and they honed their dancing skills in tango as a way to impress women who had never stepped foot inside a brothel.
Whatever the true reason, when men dance tango together it tends to take people by surprise, even in this modern era. The Macana Brothers have taken traditional tango, added some personal touches, and turned it into a magnificent art form that has captured the hearts of many. I hope you enjoy their work and it brings a smile to your lips!
You can learn more about the Macana Brothers on their website here.