UNESCO Declares “Tango” Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Tango musicians, 1918
Tango musicians, 1918
The Intergovernmental Committee for the safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage declared “Tango” as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in the meeting held today in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.

111 nominations were proposed for inscription from which 76 were chosen for consideration. The nomination for tango was the first one examined and approved by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

Argentina and Uruguay, member states of UNESCO, proposed together the nomination of Tango on behalf of the cities of Buenos Aires and Montevideo respectively, which share the birth, tradition and passion for Tango. The genre includes dance, music, poetry and singing; elements that together create a symbolic universe, which lasts in society of both capitals.

Tango is the deepest and most vibrant expression of Rio de la Plata, It has is origins in a strong cultural root and social history, bound as well with the massive immigration settled on the Rio de la Plata region in the second half of XIX century. Due to its intensity, Tango conquered a long time ago a universal transcendence.

El choclo (excerpt)

“Con este tango que es burlón y compadrito
se ató dos alas la ambición de mi suburbio;
con este tango nació el tango, y como un grito
salió del sórdido barrial buscando el cielo;

conjuro extraño de un amor hecho cadencia
que abrió caminos sin más ley que la esperanza,
mezcla de rabia, de dolor, de fe, de ausencia
llorando en la inocencia de un ritmo juguetón.”

Lyrics by Enrique Santos Discépolo – Music by Ángel Villoldo

Photo: Anoche – Un baile de tango, courtesy of C.C. Borges

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Contemporary and electronic tango

Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central

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