”Tango Nuevo”

Nuevo tango
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Astor Piazzolla 1975

Tango nuevo, nuevo tango, Neotango or simply nuevo (English: new tango) can describe either a form of music in which new elements are incorporated into traditional Argentine tango, or a style of tango dance that began to develop in the 1980s.

Tango nuevo music and dance are examples of constantly evolving forms of Argentine tango.

One of the recent examples of the tango nuevo music was the incorporation of jazz and classical music into tango music. The most important composer of this style was Ástor Piazzolla who revolutionized tango in the 1950s by introducing new instruments such as the saxophone and electric guitar, and who brought new forms of harmonic and melodic structure into the traditional tango ensemble. Tango nuevo includes the fusion of electronic and acoustic sounds.

Some examples of tango nuevo artists are Quinteto Otra Vez!, Tanghetto, Bajofondo, Electrocutango, Gotan Project, Nuevo Tango Ensamble, Ensemble Montréal Tango and Pablo Ziegler.

By the late 2000s, the tango nuevo dance included many improvised and led dance moves from Argentine tango. Some dancers began to adopt led elements of other dance forms such as salsa, ballroom and swing. Tango nuevo dancers include Gustavo Naveira, Chicho Frumboli, Fabián Salas, Sebastián Arce, Homer Ladas, Blaž Bertoncelj and Andrea Podlogar. Tango nuevo as a dance can be performed with music which can be either traditional tango or more contemporary music different from tango.

In July 2009, Gustavo Naveira wrote about Nuevo tango:

”There is great confusion on the question of the way of dancing the tango: call it technique, form, or style. The term tango nuevo is used to refer to a style of dancing, which is an error. In reality, tango nuevo is everything that has happened with the tango since the 1980’s. It is not a question of a style… The words tango nuevo are neither a specific term nor a title (except in the case of a musical work by Piazzola). With this in mind, these words directly express, through their literal meaning, what is happening with tango dancing in general; namely that it is evolving. Tango nuevo is not one more style; it is simply that tango dancing is growing, improving, developing, enriching itself, and in that sense we are moving toward a new dimension in tango dancing… There has been much recent discussion, in the community of tango dancers, on the problem of the embrace, dividing the dance into open or closed style, which is also a matter of great confusion. Open embrace or closed embrace, dancing with space or dancing close, these are all outmoded terms. This is an old way of thinking, resulting from the lack of technical knowledge in past eras. This simple and clumsy division between open and closed is often used by those who try to deny the evolution of the dance, to disguise their own lack of knowledge. Today it is perfectly clear that the distances in the dance have a much greater complexity than a simple open or closed… We have learned, and we have developed our knowledge. The result of this is a dance of greater possibilities, and also of a much more artistic quality.”