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October 2, 2009 Permalink


On September 30th, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added 76 new items to its "List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity", for safeguarding and preservation. The "Intangible" list is a companion to UNESCO's World Heritage list, which focuses on physical sites worldwide. Submitted jointly by member states Argentina and Uruguay, the "symbolic universe" of tango was among the traditions added to the list. Tango is a deep-rooted tradition of dance, poetry and song, tied closely to the Rio de la Plata region of the two countries, and remains popular in competition, for pleasure, and for health - doctors worldwide are experimenting with tango as dance therapy to treat problems ranging from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease to phobias and marital breakdowns. (29 photos total)

A couple dances during the inauguration of the 2009 Tango World Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina Sunday Aug. 23, 2009. (AP Photo/ Natacha Pisarenko)
more photos
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95 comments so far...


Posted by Xie Xiaohua October 2, 09 11:03 AM

Beautifull pictures of a beautifull dance.
Dance to express not to Impress

Posted by Prinse October 2, 09 11:11 AM

This makes me feel sexy!

Posted by chillmost October 2, 09 11:12 AM

Oh my word this makes me miss Argentina all over again...

Posted by mainfr4me October 2, 09 11:32 AM

I love the music too, this dance shows seduction when dancing

Posted by MAndrake October 2, 09 11:33 AM

Pretty nice... gain new perspective !

Posted by André Weigel October 2, 09 11:45 AM

nice break from hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding, war... thanks TBP!

Posted by JM October 2, 09 12:09 PM

Beautiful pictures! However, I have wondered about the spike heels causing discomfort to the feet and picture number 23 is the answer.

Posted by Mary Anne October 2, 09 12:15 PM

To me, tango is perhaps the most beautiful dance in the world.

Posted by Andy October 2, 09 12:21 PM

sensual... seductive... sexy!

Posted by spyra October 2, 09 12:46 PM

passionate about dancing !

Posted by Marcel October 2, 09 12:48 PM

Best round of pictures EVER.

Posted by Amanda October 2, 09 12:48 PM

great dance, boring photos

#13 is the only okay picture

Posted by GZ October 2, 09 01:08 PM

These are nice image but a far cry from a San Francisco based photographer who shot live performances of Luis Brava's Forever Tango.

Posted by Tracy Martin October 2, 09 01:28 PM

I loved #8, that a doctor and "inmate" (patient?) would be dancing together.
The rest were very sexy!

Posted by April October 2, 09 01:38 PM

The girl in the purple dress in # 17 doesn't look too happy ;)

Posted by Bryant Bustamante October 2, 09 02:28 PM

Hola amigos, desde la cuna del tango les mando un abrazo cordial. Visiten Argentina, Buenos Aires, La Boca, Caminito.Casa de Gardel, Fangio, Maradona, Y La Gran Mercedes Sosa.

Posted by Ernesto October 2, 09 02:29 PM

Wonderful shots!
fantastic # 13, all very sensual!

Posted by T-étoile October 2, 09 02:32 PM

Lovely set of photos. The lighting in #1 is sublime.

PS: typo in #5: "cance" should be "dance"

Posted by Pam in Missouri October 2, 09 02:32 PM

Such passion!

Posted by Kelli October 2, 09 02:35 PM

Stunning collection of photos

Posted by Rupert Hitchcox October 2, 09 02:49 PM

Thank you! Awesome. I can only wish for a body with which to dance!

Posted by Judy in Sumrall October 2, 09 03:09 PM

Great pictures, and very classy.

Posted by Dave October 2, 09 03:40 PM

Worst round of pictures... dancing is not captured well at all in photos. Unless it is people flying through the air, and then that is cool in still motion

Posted by Bob Jingle October 2, 09 04:39 PM

Hermosa galería

Posted by lopezjd October 2, 09 04:47 PM

Twice as hard for the women, because of the shoes.

Posted by Hi October 2, 09 05:17 PM

To be honest, the pictures from Borda hospital moved me much more than the International Festival ones, which I feel are a bit cliched. But still, you always manage to impress me. Congratulations.

Posted by Anonymous October 2, 09 06:19 PM

Absolutely beautiful--such striking images. You've captured the passion.

Posted by aighmeigh October 2, 09 06:22 PM

Now I have beautiful images to enjoy while listening to my wonderful collection of tango music. Thanks a million!

Posted by Rex October 2, 09 07:44 PM

Reminds me of a quote about Ginger Rogers: "Sure he was great, but don't forget Ginger Rogers did everything he did backwards . . . and in high heels!"

- Bob Thaves 1982 © NEA Inc.

Posted by Eric October 2, 09 08:56 PM

The tango is one of the most provocative dances that there is. To feel the burn of passion, the resistance of rejection and the heat of pursuit are all tangled into one continuous blend of motions. It is about chase and retreat and finally - acceptance and the fire of desire.

Great set of photos! I remember the dance that I shall never forget.

Posted by M.L. Zupan October 2, 09 09:00 PM

Incomplete sampling of Tango. Not a photo of Uruguay! Cuna del Tango, Gardel, and Cumparsita, anthem of the tangos! ... among others

Posted by Yael October 2, 09 09:13 PM

All performance tango. What about the tango done by "ordinary" people from Argentine?

Posted by Karla October 2, 09 09:30 PM

these were not that good, just being honest.

i hope there is a set coming soon of all the crazy quakes/tsunamis in eastern asia

Posted by maltman October 2, 09 09:42 PM

That's very beautiful

Posted by Manish October 3, 09 02:43 AM

Wow, that was amazing.
Beautiful set of pictures.

Posted by Thijs Weenk October 3, 09 03:06 AM

These are pro's dancing to impress. Never been to Argentina, but would guess going to local tango clubs in BUenos Aires and seeing locals do their performances would be the real thing. I've been to Spain to see the difference between pro's in night clubs and amateurs in Cadiz doing their versions of flamenco. I can tell you the is a difference!

Posted by Juha October 3, 09 03:12 AM

Rather disappointing compared to most other sets on the site! I missed a touch of popular culture as well...

Posted by Tangist October 3, 09 03:46 AM

So sexy!!!

Posted by Giò October 3, 09 01:52 PM

....And there is WHY I love Tango!!!! BRAVO!

Posted by Ilona Glinarsky October 3, 09 02:53 PM

I think it's very erotic! Wonderful dance, wonderful dancers!

Posted by Lefteris October 3, 09 03:57 PM

Like #38 -- not so interesting, and not very versatile within the topic.

Posted by NP October 3, 09 04:10 PM

EVITA would be proud

Posted by capt rick October 3, 09 04:28 PM

Wow Picture #6!

Posted by Young October 4, 09 01:33 AM

very nice pictures ...
reminds me to take to dance lessons ...
hehe ...

Posted by subcorpus October 4, 09 04:24 AM

i will love you forever!!

Posted by lea October 4, 09 07:01 AM

Tango is a fantastic passionate dance I'm a huge fan and it's great to see it get the recognition it deserves

Posted by Sophie October 4, 09 03:52 PM

Great photos and the topic is a breath of fresh air compared to the usual ones.

Posted by Jon October 4, 09 04:39 PM

I miss photos from dancers in LA BOCA barrio and from SAN TELMO. There one can see popular and more authentic tango street dancers.

Posted by Naldo October 4, 09 10:52 PM

where is america's most famous tango dancer.???

Posted by DON ANDERSON October 5, 09 12:20 AM

If you mix anything with Brazilian DNA you come up with the perfect human.

Posted by Greg October 5, 09 01:39 AM

tango ... my dream =)

amazing pictures !

Posted by kate October 5, 09 03:18 AM

....And there is WHY I love Tango!!!! BRAVO!

Posted by Ilona Glinarsky October 5, 09 03:46 AM

Thanks Bus-tonGl...

Posted by michael October 5, 09 04:14 AM

Picture number 9 is surely Firpo? Not Duplaa!

Posted by J October 5, 09 07:27 AM

I totally agreed with you!!!

Posted by LP October 5, 09 08:08 AM

it's not an acordion. the instoment is called Bandanion, the instroment of the devil. look it up, cuase the sound is completly different.

Posted by lola mora October 5, 09 10:18 AM

It's go to be brutal to dance in heels like that!
why do women do that to themselves?

Posted by alm October 5, 09 11:00 AM

La 28 es para mi gusto la mejor..

Posted by Juanjo October 5, 09 11:23 AM

There is a group in Chicago, St Loius and Altlanta that is documenting the effect of tangp as a recovery strategy for people with strokes. If you would like to join us please email Valerie Wright at

I love to dance tango. It has enhanced my life.

Posted by Valerie Wright October 5, 09 11:28 AM

A beautiful dance for sure, but why do the dancers have to wear so much make-up, hair-gel, and tasteless outfits (not in terms of how revealing they are, I don't care about that, but in terms of how over-the-top they are)?

It really takes the classy atmosphere down a few notches in my book.

Still, great photos yet again.

Posted by Mattan Ingram October 5, 09 11:36 AM

I'm also a little disappointed in this set. After reading the intro about the Tango being used as therapy and other such uses I was hoping to get a glimpse into a more "regular joe" world of the Tango, less glitz and more populist takes. I was expecting to see images from lessons, therapy sessions, little children learning to Tango, open air performances like #7.... While you selected a number of such photos they aren't particularly strong and it's mostly blurry and dark shots of competitions and as such, while the individual photos are mostly strong captures they are just not that "interesting" as a curated set.

Of course, I can talk all i want as it's not my blog, ;). And so I don't come across as complaining, I did enjoy the little moments like the dancer in her tennis shoes, the expression on the Japanese couple, the photos of rehearsals and number 14 is interesting, it is like trying to decipher a puzzle of limbs. The grace and power of dance can be a hard subject to capture as a single frame.

Posted by Maria October 5, 09 12:10 PM

I do like many of these pictures from a photography point of view but for a real tango experience I do in deed like number 62 like normal people dancing. And prefered not in a show way but in a way thats relaxed and fun.

In case you just want to see Regular people dancing please check salon reflet (youtube) or

Posted by Smartuser October 5, 09 12:50 PM

Beautiful pictures indeed, but to my eyes it is but a macho dance ...the women in tango makes me think of trained horses, playing to appear untamed while they are so well breaked in.
To Andy (# 9) :One of the most beautiful dance of the world is the "bourrée", and the most beautiful bourrée is the "bourrée d'Auvergne" (France). What photograph shall ever picture the intensity, the bond & the strength of two dancers, playing with music & with their partner, male or female ? It is a dance, though, to be felt, not a show to be seen.

Posted by aline October 5, 09 03:25 PM

I too love the tango and other ballroom and latin american dancing as i teach... not only is dancing good for the health issues mentioned here but also very good for the motor muscules, i.e. if you suffer from tight muscles in the legs...also tones up the rest of your body and promotes weightloss with a healthy diet. Also keeps your mind active and is great for your confidence....
Love the photographs on here...amazing based in London uk.

Posted by Sue Pollard October 6, 09 05:30 AM

You are an artist!!!!

Posted by Livia (Brasil) October 6, 09 08:36 AM

It is not tango. Thare are not photos in the milongas.

Posted by Marcelo Solis October 6, 09 12:44 PM

Agreed, show tango is a far cry from the tango that is danced in the social dance halls all over the world. Very different tango tastes of exhibition (that is what is made for), social tango is about real life.
I loved the picture in the hospital that to me expresses the most amazing feeling of courage - very real.

Posted by Shastro October 6, 09 03:34 PM

Most of these are beautiful and I love tango. I agree that I would also like to see some of the real life social tango dancers who are not professional show tango dancers. The shoes are designed to fit the dance and the heels help put the woman in the correct angle for dancing with a partner the steps that are the tango. They are not designed for ordinary walking, and we only wear them on the dance floor. and I LOVE the shoes.

Posted by Catherine Ryder October 6, 09 03:44 PM

To respond to some of the comments about the dance. The women wear those shoes to make it more comfortable dancing backwards - it keeps them from having to fall back on their heels! If they were dancing forward, they would wear different shoes. To those that do not dance, it would seem the dance is macho and the lady has all the hard work. The dance is SYNERGY and passion. The man has the hard job - ladies often dance with their eyes closed, simply feeling the intention of the man. The man must CLEARLY communitcate this intention with very subtle movements, while walking around the room and navigating a crowded dance floor. Tango is passion for both - not just a show, but a real connection between the two dancers.

Posted by Kenny Grooms October 6, 09 08:32 PM

Hi Jann:
I thought you would enjoy these pictures
ali akhavan

Posted by Jann Gibbs October 6, 09 11:43 PM

Utterly fantastic photography on such an utterly beautiful expression and communion of two people...

And picture #1 is killer awesome!

Posted by Shalin October 7, 09 12:09 PM

Bog picture rocks! Amazing collection. Dance is beautiful.

Posted by armeen October 7, 09 01:01 PM

beautiful but i do need videos on this one.

Posted by mx October 8, 09 07:57 AM

Shikarno, Velikolepno, Bravo!!!!

Posted by Constantin October 8, 09 01:15 PM

As I wrote to a friend: You can have your hip-hop, boogie, two-step, waltz, rock & roll, fox trot. The tango is without doubt the sexiest dance ever devised by man. I just wish this was a video!

Posted by Katherine Friend October 10, 09 01:38 PM

Tango!!!! siempre evocador y nostalgioso!!
Soy argentina que lleva mas de 30 años en el extranjero. Me encanta ver estas fotos, aunque no me gusta que el tango se considere solamente una demostración de habilidad dancística para turistas y exportación, es eso y mucho mas .Probablemente muchos no sepan que, aunque no con toda la pirotecnia histriónica que se ve en espectáculos públicos, sigue siendo expresión de identidad, orgullo y alegría en reuniones familiares,de amigos o amantes del género aunque no sean tan hábiles. El tango es eso que creo que cada argentino siente al oírlo y que le hace intentar un ¨pasito¨, una ¨quebrada¨ o un ¨corte. aunque esté solo en su casa. Es parte de un pueblo y sigue siendo expresión popular. Eso es, para mi, lo mas valioso del tango y lo que lo va a mantener siempre vigente y siempre vivo. Hermoso, siempre !.
Excelentes las fotos!!!! Gracias!.

Posted by Laura Zamboni October 10, 09 03:24 PM

I am exited to see a Japanese couple win in Buenos Aires.

Posted by David Comas-Diaz October 11, 09 06:44 PM

Ragyogó felvételek!!
Kifejez mindent a tánccal kapcsolatban!
Köszönöm hogy láthattam

Posted by Harkai Antal October 13, 09 04:36 AM

Picture #7 -- tango in the street is simply beautiful. The couple looks sculpted . . . and the crowd watching . . . the lady with the green shopping bag is adjusting her camera and the lady with the cell phone looks like she's calling friends to come out and watch this couple.

and WOW! that red dress . . . . it is fire incarnate!

Posted by Todd October 16, 09 02:44 PM

Tango: the vertical expression of a horizontal desire... ;-)

Posted by Luigi October 17, 09 10:44 AM

#7 was majestic...

Posted by TareX October 17, 09 02:42 PM


Posted by heck tor October 17, 09 09:42 PM

just wonderful!!! all the lights and shadows and lines and movement.........can literally fell the dance just need the music:o)))))

Posted by Gita October 18, 09 04:34 PM

#6 is outstanding.

Posted by blah October 19, 09 12:20 AM

you get negative comments even on such kinds of pictures anyway
though there is nothing much controversial as it may be with other series
i was wondering if here they could be avoided

Posted by poetesse October 19, 09 10:38 AM


Posted by Pilar October 22, 09 05:33 PM

for the record...#29 is claude murga and jr. Cervila if anyone is interested.

Posted by Caron Malecki October 23, 09 04:59 PM

I may have made an error of recognition with my last comment. it's not jr. on my next look.

Posted by caron October 23, 09 05:09 PM

While the pictures are beautiful and the dance is entertaining, this is not "your father's tango". This is not the tango that was danced over a hundred years ago. This is not the tango that should be mistaken for a heritage. It is merely for show.

Posted by George October 30, 09 09:08 PM

Excellent work to Present what a tango is.
Seriously I would love to learn Tango. Feeling too sexy to dance.

Posted by Sujay Kharat November 29, 09 11:53 PM

beautiful, sexy, emotional, tragic- this what tango is about

Posted by legalicious January 8, 10 01:09 PM

Nagyon erdekes, koszonom

Posted by tool January 22, 10 09:49 AM

Our Buenos Aires way of life, the music,the night, the TANGO

Posted by Gonzo February 8, 10 02:46 PM

Beautiful, inspiring photos.

For those that don't know. Medellin, Colombia is the 2nd city of Tango after Buenos Aires.

ZORBA offers tango tours which combine an intensive one hour professional tango lesson followed by a tour of Medellín's underground tango scene; including the ghostly shrine to Carlos Gardel at the place of his death.

Posted by ZORBA July 23, 10 05:19 PM
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