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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most vital and valuable insight
This book is required reading for anybody who is interested in Tango. The more I re-read it, the more I like it. It takes us back to the roots and very reason for Tango's existence and survival into our own era. Christine Denniston's unique experiences offer us the missing link between the Golden Age of Tango popularity and today. Her encounters with older dancers in...
Published on 22 Jan. 2008 by D. Press

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves. Ignore the stars and read what I say - there is nuance to this review
As I finished this book I found myself wondering who this book is aimed at. The first half is a largely brief history of tango. This is well written, explained the historical context well and is excellent for beginner dancers and those new to tango. I caveat that with saying it is weak in its coverage of the eras after the Golden Age. In particular the coverage of the...
Published 6 months ago by Brian M


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most vital and valuable insight, 22 Jan. 2008
By 
D. Press "A Bookworm" (Midlands UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Meaning of Tango: The Story of the Argentinian Dance (Hardcover)
This book is required reading for anybody who is interested in Tango. The more I re-read it, the more I like it. It takes us back to the roots and very reason for Tango's existence and survival into our own era. Christine Denniston's unique experiences offer us the missing link between the Golden Age of Tango popularity and today. Her encounters with older dancers in Buenos Aires at an exciting time when Tango was being reborn after many years of neglect are interesting in their own right but also explain so much about the dance as a vital part of Argentine culture.
In another sense, this book squares the circle. Those who currently learn Tango often find themselves taught a shallow pastiche of the dance and, particularly after one or two unpleasant experiences at Milongas, may come to wonder why they should bother. They may even have come to believe that Tango is no different from any other couple dance. Christine explains why the real thing is so much more rewarding when taken to heart as a vehicle for couple intimacy raher than aerobics or attention-seeking display.
This is a book for reading over and over again. Yes, the publisher has economised on paper. It really doesn't matter. A copy should be handed out by every Tango teacher to every newcomer to Tango
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars properly researched and authentic, 22 Oct. 2007
This review is from: The Meaning of Tango: The Story of the Argentinian Dance (Hardcover)
Christine is very well respected amongst the Tango community. She made the effort to live amongst, dance with and learn from surviving milongueros from the Golden Age. Through her research she brings a more credible history of Tango, avoiding the usual cliched caricatures. Her book covers the social history, the evolution of the music and the dance itself.

Her discussion of the dance is particularly interesting. Tango is much more nuanced and subtle than the strutting acrobatics often associated with the term "tango". It is a language for communicating with your partner, it has a grammar, a vocabulary and is incredibly expressive. Christine goes into some detail about the social dance as it was danced, and in particular the rationale behind its technique. Argentine tango is about "two hearts" moving as one, in a pleasant and comfortable way ... and not about strenuous kicks and flicks, and Christine gets this. Many books and even teachers do not get this.

This is a small easy to read book, but its full of valuable content. I have many books on Tango and this one is my favourite.

The only things that stops this being a 5-star is the book is printed on horrible cheap paper and the photos and illustrations are not very good. If she does a second edition I hope they sort this out!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb insight into the thoughts behind the actions., 13 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: The Meaning of Tango: The Story of the Argentinian Dance (Hardcover)
A wonderful book for anyone who wishes to look beyond the mechanics and asthetics of Tango as seen on 'Strictly'!!

A brief historical mintroduction is followed by a step by step (No pun intended!) guide through the relationship between two people as they learn and follow each Tango move; the importance of maintaining the heart to heart connection for the Tango Magic to work!

Highly recommended for the curious and the Tango devotee.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifull tango insight, 22 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Meaning of Tango: The Story of the Argentinian Dance (Hardcover)
A terrific presentation of the history of tango and the devellopment of the dance. She base her book on what facts you can lean on and what sources which are doubtfull and foggy. Dennistons understanding of the ethics of the golden age and her use of linguistic pictures in tango is amazing. The way she describes the golden age fellowship in the male practicas and the newcomers in the milongas are just wonderfull. She also describes when and how the cross changed the dance. And how the heart to heart bond functions in the dance. Truly her research of the meaning of tango in expressions like caminada is far away for dance scools teaching and workshops and is the best I have ever read. I can't get enough of her, and I'm forever changed in my way of understanding the dance and completely seduced of her charm and insight. Dance with her.!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tango Book, 28 Dec. 2012
This review is from: The Meaning of Tango: The Story of the Argentinian Dance (Hardcover)
This book is fantastic. It is a must have for anyone interested in Tango and its history. I am an ice dancer and always been fascinated by the dance style. This book has made the dance even more appealing and interesting to me. Wish there were more books like it
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great little book, 27 Mar. 2010
This review is from: The Meaning of Tango: The Story of the Argentinian Dance (Hardcover)
This is a great little book and Christine writes it in a way that is very easy to read. Some books I've read which discuss the history of tango come across as rather dull, which never ceases to amaze me as tango is such a passionate subject! This is not the case for this book however. It is clearly written and easy to understand and really conveys the message of what tango is about - the experience, the communication, the connection, the completeness of the dance and she makes beautiful reference to the 'heart' throughout the book to describe the connection between the two dancers. She also covers the history of the golden age in a really interesting way which leaves the reader wishing they could have been there. She does go into some of the figures, but in all of them she retains the importance of the one to one communication of tango rather than the actual steps the dancer takes (although she does describe the steps as well.) This is bliss for the reader as achieving this is the hardest aspect of the dance and in comparison the steps are easy! It's a holistic view of tango, covering many aspects of the dance and bringing it all together in this little red book. It's well worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 14 Oct. 2013
By 
Mark A Harbor (Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Meaning of Tango: The Story of the Argentinian Dance (Hardcover)
I found this a very readable book describing the development of this facinating dance & culture. While not everything agreed with my ('til now) received knowledge, the logic and rationale, apparently based on conversation & interaction with people that actually lived & danced in the Golden Age, does provide much food for thought

The rationale behind the technique, while very detailed is a must for full understanding

Highly Recommended Reading
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essence of Tango!, 4 Oct. 2007
This review is from: The Meaning of Tango: The Story of the Argentinian Dance (Hardcover)
Learning to dance the Tango can be a confusing and sometimes frustrating experience. For those of us not brought up in the Tango culture of Buenos Aires, our first impressions are often of roses between teeth, and slick, stylish Tango shows. When you first see the social dance, you are presented with yet another variation. Different teachers provide their own take on the dance and may often appear to contradict each other. Even a visit to Buenos Aires - the source and spiritual home of the Tango - may add to the confusion. The Tango developed across a large city over a period of more than a century, as a result of which different styles have developed.

In this book, Christine Denniston has identified the essence of the dance. From her first visit to Buenos Aires in the early 1990s, she sought out dancers who had first started to learn in Tango's Golden Age - the period from the mid 1930s to the mid 50s when the three elements of Tango - the music, song and dance - were at their height. Her time spent dancing with and talking with these older, experienced dancers allowed her to discover the essence that was common to all, regardless of their neighbourhood of origin or style of dance.

This is the book that the Golden Age dancers themselves never wrote! Even if you don't dance Tango, but have an interest in dance and love watching the dance shows on TV, this book will give you a valuable insight into one of the world's most fascinating and exciting dances. If you are already a Tango dancer, whatever your style, this book provides a link to those dancers who came before, and perhaps answers some questions you may still have. If you are already addicted, this book will help you to understand why!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True to it's title, 7 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: The Meaning of Tango: The Story of the Argentinian Dance (Hardcover)
Unlike too many books these days, here is one whose title does not deceive. Once you have read it you will understand the meaning of Tango: what it is and where it came from and you'll almost guess where it is going to. It collides with other fashionable historical conceptions of Tango, such as that of Juan Calos Cáceres and presents solid arguments to couter that teory.

Though it could be possible to learn to dance from a book, I don't think that's the point. This is not the regular do-it-yourself manual; this is serious book way ahead of that. Makes a good companion for tango learners and and will convert the most skeptical.

Excellent book for the initiated that wants to understand the Tango and a precious historical account of an era.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Tango, 23 Jan. 2012
By 
J. Owens - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Meaning of Tango: The Story of the Argentinian Dance (Hardcover)
I bought this book for my girlfriend who is really into Tango. She claims it is the best book on th subject she has read. No doubt I will get to read it once I have managed to prise it out of her hands :-)
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The Meaning of Tango: The Story of the Argentinian Dance
The Meaning of Tango: The Story of the Argentinian Dance by Christine Denniston (Hardcover - 27 Sept. 2007)
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