From the 1960s until the 80s Argentina suffered under a dictatorship and bad economy which resulted in political and economic crisis. The Tango became restricted during this period and practically disappeared. Rock n Roll and Jazz replaced the Tango for many people. However, in a few radio stations and the old records of the Golden era, the Tango survived because it was in the memory of the culture of the people.
In the 80s, with the revival of democracy in the country, a few people, started to meet to listen to the music of Tango. The old milongueros, like Gerardo Portalea and the show 'Tango Argentino', seduced the upper and lower classes once again and the Tango was revived making Tango become fashionable again. In this period, the old milongueros, were seen by the young people like a fountain of knowledge where they could learn. This old generation of Tango such as Pepito Avellaneda, Gavito, Tete Rusconi etc became celebrities. The Tango was victorious again despite the difficulties it had faced. Composers like Osvaldo Pugliese, Anibal Trolio, Juan D'Arienzo became an inspiration for the new generation of musicians too like Astor Piazzolla. With this generation who had the influences of rock and roll, jazz and the new Tango, the Tango of the Nuevo style or 90s was born. This new Tango took the knowledge of the old milongueros and pushed it to its limits.
The Nuevo Tango became the new social fashion for a while but because it was largely influenced by younger people it focused more on movements, dynamic and skills and lost the drama and intimacy of the beauty of the close embrace. Tango became more of a 'show off' dance demonstrating skills rather than what it had been, which was a partner dance. This is not to say it was not important in the development of Tango but Tango filtered the most important of the different styles, integrated them and survived.
©2016-All material copyright of Leonardo Acosta and Tracey Tyack-King : Tango Fandango, The London Argentine Tango School, 2Tango.