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Tango Nuevo$
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Carolyn Merritt

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813042190

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813042190.001.0001

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Locating the Tango

Locating the Tango

(p.143) 6 Locating the Tango
Tango Nuevo

Carolyn Merritt

University Press of Florida

Where does Argentine tango exist? Does it rightly belong to some more than others? How will dependency upon global interest and tango tourism impact the dance over time? Do government efforts to market Buenos Aires and Argentina through tango curb innovation? Why is it that foreigners so vehemently protest the dilution of tango's purity? Can contemporary trends find their place within this beloved tradition, or do they represent rupture-not only with the past but also with the romance of culture and place? This chapter presents the political economy of contemporary tango. While government patrimony policies, tourism campaigns, and advertisements often reduce the tango to stereotype, foreign desires to preserve and consume authenticity bespeak equal parts reverence and arrogance. Discussing my own journey in tango and across continents, and my evolving feelings toward experimentation in the wake of a life in Buenos Aires. I highlight the enduring significance of place, and I argue that the evolution of the dance represents continuity through transformation.

Keywords:   Argentina, Argentine tango, tango nuevo, cultural politics, globalization, tourism, cultural commodification, cultural change, authenticity, cultural heritage programs

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