Basic information about al Tango and about tango:
al TANGO! – the literal meaning of the band’s name is an invitation to dance tango.
al Tango is composed of students and graduates of the F. Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw.
Arrangements based on musical compositions coming from countries where tango has planted its roots constitute the core of the band’s repertoire. Pieces created by Carlos Gardel, Juan D’Arienzo, Roberto Firpo, Marianito Mores, Carlos Di Sarli and Osvaldo Pugliese are the basis of the artistic activity of al Tango.
The music for al Tango! is prepared by composers and arrangers: Marcin Maciejewski, Paweł Jankowski, Bartek Woźniak, Tomasz Filipczak and Krzysztof Urbański.
The band usually performs during tango evenings, the so-called milongas, and has been popularizing the combination of dance and live music in this way since the beginning of its activity.
Probably if it weren’t for the cult Argentinian singer, Carlos Gardel, tango would not be as popular as it is nowadays. Piotr Rafałko is the al Tango vocalist – his interpretations, his timbre, engagement and the band’s music make it possible for the audience and the listeners to travel back in time to the beginnings of the XX century, when tango reigned in clubs, during balls and milongas and on the streets.
What does the mysterious word MILONGA mean?
The word milonga has two meanings:
1. A place where tango is player and danced.
2. A fast-paced cheerful piece (faster than tango salon), danced to in a particular manner…
Argentinian tango – means both music and dance whose beginnings date back to the XVIII century.
In tango music, a synthesis of elements from different sources can be heard:
– African candombe rhythms
– milonga – folk music from the Pampas
– Cuban habanera
– polka – influences from Central Europe
Argentinian tango reached its peak in 1920-1950. That period was called the Golden Tango Age. That is when tango spread all around the world in a fast manner. At that time, tango used to be very popular in Poland and in Europe as well.
During the interwar period, many remarkable Polish composers created tango pieces: Jerzy Petersburski, Henryk Wars, Władysław Szpilman, tango lyrics were written by: Julian Tuwim, Marian Hemar, Andrzej Włast … We also had outstanding tango performers: Stanisława Nowicka (known as the queen of tango), Hanka Ordonówna, Jan Kiepura, Janusz Popławski, Pola Negri, Loda Halama, Eugeniusz Bodo, Adolf Dymsza, Mieczysław Fogg and many more.
Tango was and is performed in films, revues, operettas, theaters and used in advertisements. Since the beginning of the XX century, tango has existed in an almost unaltered form, it is danced on the floors of milongas just like a hundred years ago.
Nowadays in Poland, just as everywhere else in the world, tango is back and it is getting more and more popular. This is possible thanks to people for whom tango has become a lifestyle. They concentrate around the Akademia Tanga Argentyńskiego (Argentinian Tango Academy) association, the aim of which is to popularize Argentinian tango in Poland. Thanks to tango fans, events such as milongas, dance workshops, dance courses, concerts, exhibitions of paintings and photos linked thematically to tango are organized in numerous towns and cities. In Warsaw, milongas are organized every day.