Show Tango (sometimes called Fantasia, Stage Tango) is the term used for exhibition and competitive tango dancing. It is characterized by a choreographed performance (no improvising), exaggerated movements, and steps taken from other dance genres.
Show Tango (photo attributed to Ertug Tahma)
Show Tango has the following attributes:
Lack of improvisation: the steps are choreographed for purposes of performance by professional tango dancers.
Elements external to the 'standard' tango vocabulary may be utilized, particularly from ballet and modern dance. Examples are pirouettes, jumps, sequences of theatrical steps without contact, and the lead holding the follower high up in the air.
Embellishments are highly exaggerated, for example ganchos and boleos.
Makeup and costumes are frequent components of this style, with formal dress codes such as suite-and-tie, tuxedoes and very sexy outfits for the followers.
Dancing is usually either quite fast to impress the acrobatics of the dance, or very slow to dramatize its sensuality.
The performance may be made up of one or multiple couples.
Both open and closed embraces are used.
Head turns are sharp.
It should be noted that the audience plays a large part in determining the characteristics of the performance. An exhibition as part of a milonga is very likely to keep to tango vocabulary and would not be strictly classified as Show Tango, though it may be be choreographed nevertheless. A performance to non-dancers however will usually incorporate elements discussed above.
Show Tango - Fabian Salas and Carolina del Rivero
Show Tango - Tango Fire
Show Tango - Otango
Show Tango - World Tango Championships
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