Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Temptation Tuesday:: The Lure Of The Tango

This Tuesday at The Pink Heart Society Irish author Abby Green talks to us about one of her personal temptations... the sublimely sexy Tango...

Tempted by the tango. I’ve been tempted by the tango ever since I watched a blind Al Pacino waltzing across the dance floor with a beautiful woman in the movie ‘Scent of a woman’, although it was many years later before I actually went and signed up for classes. To say that it has surpassed anything I could have imagined in terms of its sensuality is an understatement. I’m not talking about ballroom tango, I’m talking about the real thing, Argentine Tango.

The dance originated in the backstreets of Buenos Aires and was danced firstly by immigrants, where the men danced with men in the absence of women. Then it was hijacked and taken into the salons and dancing halls of the upper classes. Tango embodies to me everything that the classic modern romance stands for. Passion, intense attraction, integrity, pain, love, hate, strength, balance and beauty. When you see two people in love dance a tango together it is truly the most mesmerising thing. The observer feel like a voyeur.

A tango dance can be fun, or melancholic, or flirty or intense. Or sometimes all those things in the space of one dance! Some people’s image of tango is the cliché of rose in the mouth, staccato music and what looks like a man being overly dominant. But the true tango is much more subtle than that. In the milongas of Buenos Aires a man will catch a woman’s eye from across the room and with the most subtle inclination of his head indicate that he wishes to dance with her. She then has the choice to reciprocate or not and can with just a flick of her hair dismiss the man. If she does accept the dance, it is customary to dance three tangos together. The space in a milonga is usually heaving with couples so dramatic steps are not welcome. It is much more intimate, much less like the showy tango you might see in the movies. The high leg flicks, while very impressive, could take another person’s eye out in a milonga!

Tango speaks of an unspoken language. And while it looks impossibly intimate, there is a space between the couple that allows for movement. A true tango dancer will allow his partner the freedom to make the most beautiful steps. It is completely led by the man, but within that, the woman can make her autonomy known. When he stops her foot with his and then moves back, she draws her own foot up his leg provocatively. When he bends his knee, touching her thigh, he leads her to flick her leg under his, giving her a chance to show her flair, her style, her passion.

The best tango teacher I ever had always took great pains to show the men that really, all they are doing is being the support for the woman, who is the real flower of the dance.

I’ll leave you with a quote of what the essence of tango is about:

Tango is a dance, the music a melancholy, the embrace a hope and the movement a dialogue…

And some youtube viewing so you can see what I mean:



Happy Dancing! Abby Green

Abby's most recent release is The Mediterranean Billionaire's Blackmail Bargain for the Modern Line in the UK and Ireland. You can order the book right now from the Mills & Boon website and it'll be on the shelves at the end of June!

To find out more about Abby and her books you can visit her Website


  1. Oh, Abby, terrific post! I have to go and see Scent of a Woman immediately. Some of those tango clips are fantastic.

    Looking forward to seeing you tango one day!

    Congratulations on the new release. I know it's going to be a huge seller - it's such a great read!


  2. Thanks Annie! Yes tango is amazing, my dream is to go to Beunos Aires for a month and learn Spanish and take dancing lessons. Hopefully one day!
    x Abby

  3. OK Abby, you've convinced me.... and since I'm the laziest person on the planet that's quite an achievement. I think the sentence 'the observer feels like a voyeur' kind of seals it for me-- this is something I have to experience!

    (So-- when are we going to Buenos Aires?)

  4. Can I put my hand up for that trip too? Sounds just perfect.


  5. I'm feeling smug now because not only have I seen Abby dance the tango, I wrote the book that added to her interest in the dance (Hostage Bride) - oh, and that scene in scent of a woman was the one that I studied again and again before I wrote the 'tango scene' in HB.

    And if anyone's flying to Buesnos Aires, can I come too?


    PS Is Dublin still standing with you two there together, Abby and India?

  6. I've been obsessed with that scene from "Scent of a Woman" every since I saw it too Abby! In fact I made the pianist at my wedding last month learn that very tune - Por Una Cabeza - to play as part of our ceremony!

    Can't wait to read the new book.