Tango is a rhythm that has its roots in the poor areas of Montevideo around 1880. Then it was extended to other areas and countries. As Borges said: "...tango is African-Montevidean [Uruguayan], tango has black curls in its roots..." He quoted Rossi, that sustained that "...tango, that argentine people call argentine tango, is the son of the Montevidean milonga and the grandson of the habanera. It was born in the San Felipe Academy [Montevideo], a Montevidean warehouse used for public dances, among gangsters and black people; then it emigrated to underworld areas of Buenos Aires and fooled around in Palermo's rooms..." This also implies that different forms of dance were originated in the neighborhoods of Montevideo, Uruguay in the last part of the 19th century and in the early 20th century that was particular from that area and different from Buenos Aires. It consists of a variety of styles that developed in different regions of Argentina and Uruguay.
The dance is often accompanied by several musical forms such as:
One of the most famous and well-known tango songs is La Cumparsita, written by Gerardo Matos Rodríguez in Montevideo in 1919. An annual week-long festival to mark the anniversary of La Cumparsita has taken place in Montevideo since 2007. The Tango Museum of Montevideo currently stands where La Cumparsita was first played, in Palacio Salvo.
Famous Uruguayan tango musicians include:
- Manuel Campoamor
- Francisco Canaro
- Horacio Ferrer, Uruguayan poet who contributed the lyrics to many important tango songs.
- Malena Muyala
- Gerardo Matos Rodríguez
- Enrique Saborido
- Julio Sosa, "El Varón del Tango or "The Man of Tango"
- Bajofondo Tango Club, a music group made up of seven members from Uruguay and Argentina.
- Famous tango singer Carlos Gardel is most closely associated with Argentina where he grew up and became famous, but in 1920 he became a legal citizen of Uruguay. He was born in Toulouse, France, so he held French citizenship automatically, and thus he had been required to register with the French military during World War I. There is no record of his registering, so historians think that he laid a false trail of his birth to avoid trouble with French authorities during an upcoming tour of France. In 1920 he obtained falsified papers saying he was born in 1887 in Tacuarembó, Uruguay; a country that was neutral during the war. Gardel never lived in Uruguay.
Famous Uruguayan tangos include:
- Al Mundo le falta un Tornillo
- La Cumparsita
- Vieja Viola
- La Fulana
- Con Permiso
- Barrio Reo
- La puñalada
- Centro Raíces: Montevideo - Gonzalo Ramírez 2095
- La Morocha Tango y Milonga: Montevideo
- Plaza del Entrevero: Montevideo - Av. 18 de Julio y Río Negro
- Cafe Las Musas: Montevideo - Canelones 1136 esq. Gutiérrez Ruiz
- Tanguería Tabaris: Montevideo - Tristán Narvaja 1518 esq. Av. 18 de Julio
- Tanguería El Farolito: Montevideo - Juncal 1413 esq. Rincón
- Mercado de la Abundancia: Montevideo - Yaguarón 1290 esq. San José
- Confiteria Lido: Montevideo - Av. 18 de Julio 1085
- Casa de Margot: Montevideo - Constituyente 1812 esq. Gaboto
- Casa de Galicia: Montevideo - Av. 18 de Julio 1471 esq. Barrios Amorín
- Palacio Sudamericano: Montevideo - Yatay 1419 esq. Marcelino Sosa
- Casa de Alberto: Montevideo - Uruguay 1391 esq. Ejido
- Club Amigos de Rosilu: Montevideo - Paysandú 1639 esq.Minas
- Hotel Casino del Parque Rodó (Salón Cristal): Montevideo
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- Norese, María Rosalía: Contextualization and analysis of tango. Its origins to the emergence of the avant-garde. University of Salamanca, 2002 (restricted online copy, p. 5, at Google Books)
- Luis Guzman: La Cumparsita. In Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Cultures. CRC Press 2000, ISBN 978-0-415-22971-5, p. 462 (restricted online copy, p. 462, at Google Books)
- Leslie Bethell: The Cambridge history of Latin America. Cambridge university Press 1995, ISBN 978-0-521-49594-3, p. 361 (restricted online copy, p. 361, at Google Books)
- World’s most famous tango is from Uruguay https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017/oct/07/montevideo-uruguay-tango-la-cumparsita-buenos-aires
- Bocaz, Luis (March 1986). "Tango Time", UNESCO Courier, p. 11.
- Collier, Simon (1986). The Life, Music, and Times of Carlos Gardel. University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 5. ISBN 0822984989.
- Barsky, Julián; Barsky, Osvaldo (2004). Gardel: La biografía (in Spanish). Taurus. ISBN 9870400132.
- Ruffinelli, Jorge (2004). La sonrisa de Gardel: Biografía, mito y ficción (in Spanish). Ediciones Trilce. p. 31. ISBN 9974323568.
Borges, chapter "ascendencias del tango" pag 37
- Youtube video; click here to watch tango in Montevideo - Dia del Patrimonio
- Youtube video; click here to watch more tango in Montevideo
- Youtube video; click here to watch La Cumparsita performed in its birthplace - Montevideo, Uruguay
- Youtube video; click here to watch tango at the Torre Telecomunicaciones in Montevideo
- Tango En Ediciones Ayuí/Tacuabé