May 23, 2019
Latest News

Slower-paced tango is conquering thousands in Taiwan

By Francisco Luis Perez,

Taipei, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- Taiwanese Tango has become a rage on the island where thousands of aficionados have taken the sensual dance form out from ballrooms to trip the light fantastic in public gardens.

With a strong Japanese influence coupled with some Mandarin and local lyrics, Taiwanese Tango has developed its own form and appeal among thousands of its followers who can be seen dancing in gardens and, of course, in studios on the island.

However, the slow-paced Taiwanese version, which is simpler than the original tango that originated in Argentina in the early 20th century, is not so well-known beyond its borders.

"It is impressive that Taiwan could develop its own tango," Argentinian tango instructor Fernando Waisberg, living on the island, told EFE.

“It is a very magical and mystical matter," he said.

According to Lili Chang, one of the managers of Amanda's academy of dance that has six branches on the island, there are millions who dance to tango including in the community colleges and centers for the elderly.

So what is so special about the Taiwanese Tango and how did it come out from ballrooms to gardens, roadsides and into homes, becoming like a daily ritual for many?

"We don't know. We listen to it, we dance to it, but we do not a have an exact idea as to how it came to us," said a dancer at Amanda’s.

Musicians and instructors of Taiwanese and Latin American dances also do not have any definitive answer about its evolution.

“The are two versions: one that came with the Japanese during the occupation here (1895-1945) and another from the United States during the Vietnam war and it mixed with the ballroom dance and the Taiwanese Tango was created," said Isabella Huang, a tango instructor.

Paraguayan musician and composer Roberto Zayas, who played with the tango legend Astor Piazzola in Japan, told EFE that "until now only a very shallow analysis has been done" on the origin of this tango, which remains unknown outside the island as well as among young Taiwanese people.

"Tango, like traditional music composed in Taiwan, with Taiwanese and Mandarin lyrics, was born during the Japanese colonial times, with Japanese musical influence, which does not exclude other origins, especially in dance, " Zayas pointed out.

Tango rhythm was liked by the Taiwanese and they "used it with pentatonic melodies in certain compositions” with a unique touch to it, because they "could dance in groups and in pairs," the musician said.

Musically, Taiwanese Tango "is not European or Argentinian at the least” but is more closer to the former and shows a great influence of not only traditional Taiwanese music but also of Bizet's "Carmen" and tango's "Jealousy", said Zayas.

Tango instructor Waisburg said the Taiwanese tango is distinct from Argentinian because it doesn’t involve frequent change of pace and “is much simpler to dance”.

Much of the lyrics for Taiwanese Tango are inherited from the Father of Taiwanese folk songs, Teng Yu-hsien (1906-1941), who began writing these compositions until the late 1930s when Japan banned singing in Taiwanese.

In fact, Japan - which had its presence on the island for over 40 years - had a deep influence on the popular traditional music of Taiwan as majority of the musicians until 1950 studied in Japan.


News history
Journalism in digital age must rethink how to reach its audience

By Gina Baldivieso

Craft-making on the decline in southern Mexico due to lack of pupils

By Mitzi Mayauel Fuentes Gomez

Israeli scientists brew beer using 5,000-year-old yeast

Jerusalem, May 22 (efe-epa).- Israeli scientists have brewed beer with ancient yeasts that were discovered in 5,000-year-old pottery.

Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood Photocall - 72nd Cannes Film Festival

Cannes, France, May 22 (efe-epa).- Quentin Tarantino said Wednesday that he is obsessed with the story of American cult leader Charles Manson at the...

Kenyan writer, LGBT activist Wainaina dies

Nairobi, May 22 (efe-epa).- Kenyan writer and famous LGBT activist Binyavanga Wainaina died in a hospital in Nairobi after suffering from a stroke, his...

Star Wars Canyon: where enthusiasts go to watch fighter pilots practice

By Ivan Mejia

Beekeeping organization in Israel aims to protect bees, promote practice

Yossi Aud has been housing bees in his back yard and teaching people about keeping the insects in a bid to help save them from extinction.

UK's Prince Charles and Camilla visit Ireland

Dublin, May 21 (efe-epa).- Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla were given a "warm and friendly welcome" to Ireland.

Victoria: an exploration of the UK queen to mark 200th birth anniversary

London, May 21 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's Queen Victoria often evokes images of a stern-looking monarch dressed in head-to-toe black, but a new show...

Italian airline Alitalia cancels more than 280 flights due to strike

Rome, May 21 (efe-epa).- Italian airline Alitalia has canceled more than 280 flights on Tuesday amid a national 24-hour strike called by air sector unions.

Austrian Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda dies at 70

Vienna, May 21 (efe-epa).- Three-times Formula One world champion, racing team manager and airline businessman Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70, his...

Austrian Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda dies at 70

Vienna, May 21 (efe-epa).- Three-time Formula One champion and businessman, Austrian Niki Lauda, has passed away at the age of 70, his family announced...

Watching "Aladdin" as a boy, Mena Massoud saw himself reflected on the screen

By David Villafranca

Alain Delon presents his memories at Cannes but avoids controversy

By Alicia Garcia de Francisco

Chile to be main country at Berlinale European Film Market 2020

Cannes, France, May 19 (efe-epa).- Chile will be the featured country at the Berlinale European Film Market 2020, which will allow it to prepare its own...

Chelsea Flower Show features garden by Duchess of Cambridge

London, May 19 (efe-epa).- Green-fingered exhibitors are gearing up for this year’s Chelsea Flower Show in London, which will feature a garden designed by...

Netherlands wins Eurovision Song Contest, Spain comes in 22nd

By Javier Herrero

25Th death anniversary of Jackie Kennedy

By Javier Romualdo

Almodovar gets carried away in Cannes by emotion, memories and kisses

By Alicia García de Francisco

Stars, fans flock to San Juan for Puerto Rico Comic Con

San Juan, May 17 (efe-epa).- The 17th edition of Puerto Rico Comic Con got under way Friday at the San Juan Convention Center, kicking off a busy weekend of...

Almaty, Kazakhstan, May 17 (efe-epa).- Springtime takes on a special meaning along the foothills of the Alatau mountains surrounding the southern Kazakh...

Spanish play about role of poetry, beauty in a sick society comes to Uruguay

Alejandro Prieto

Lemon, cilantro and schnapps are chef Arbelaez's ingredients to success

By Alexandro Mojica

Two hundred years after Queen Victoria's birth her legacy lives on in London

London, May 17 (efe-epa).- Queen Victoria’s name lives on in London's architecture two hundred years after the birth of the British monarch.

I agree Welcome to We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.