The Canyengue style

The Canyengue was one of the earliest forms of Tango and has a different embrace from later Tango styles. The Canyengue, together with the Orillero style were the first styles in the history of Tango. They are mainly danced to the music of: Francisco Canaro, Orquestra Tipica Victor, Maglio Pacho and the Old Guard Orchestras.


The Canyengue was a 'cocky' style born in the orilla, (close to the harbour in Buenos Aires). This style and the Orillero style was developed from the knife fighting common at this time. The dancers studied the technique of balance and speed in the rhythm of the music, and the reaction, to control the transfer of weight. From this idea of balance, transfer of weight and rotational movement, the men in Buenos Aires created a dance where the men and women could have a conversation with their bodies. For the immigrants, it was a way to compensate for the fact that they were isolated. The contact they had when dancing replaced the affection they were missing being far away from their country and relatives.



Watch the video on the right to see a sample of Leo and Tracey dancing an improvised Canyengue at the Waldorf Tango Supper which they host.

Leo and Tracey dancing Canyengue

©2016-All material copyright of Leonardo Acosta and Tracey Tyack-King : Tango Fandango, The London Argentine Tango School, 2Tango.