Tango Words

Tango: Sensual or Sexual


Argentine tango is a sensual, emotional dance. But sexual? That seems often to be the perception of those outside the tango scene…

We are sexual as well as sensual beings, and perhaps at times there may be some kind of overlap between these two aspects of sensuality at certain times, in certain dances, with a certain partner, in the same way that there may be in day-to-day contacts or conversations. But this isn’t what tango is about. Perhaps the confusion comes because tango is certainly about passion.

This is a trailer for a documentary entitled Tango and Sex by Junior Cervila:

The film “… explores the sub-text of Tango, and every aspect is colored by sexuality. Tango is not just a dance it is an historical tradition, a social contract between two people, a philosophy. Because sexual expressiveness was forbidden, the early years of Tango bore this stigma. Tango is a social contract with strict rules defined by the very nature of ‘leading’ and ‘following’. These rules provide perspective for understanding both relationship between the sexes and how the individual relates to their own sexuality. How one perceives these roles ranges from sexual repression to total release or sexual freedom. As a philosophy the documentary explores the dance as a sensual metaphor for life…with trust and true intimacy as its highest level.”

I’ve not seen the documentary so I cannot comment further. But, a sensual metaphor for life… I can go with that. And certainly trust and true intimacy are as essential in tango as they are in any real relationship.

Feel free to add your thoughts.