Tango as all other art forms, is free from any idea of competition, certification, or truth.

The term "Tango" used in this text only refers to Argentine Tango, distinct from the "European tango" codified in the 1920’s.


Tango yesteryears

Tango was born at the end of 19th century at the crossroads of several cultures. It first developed on the banks of the Río de la Plata in Argentina and Uruguay, mostly in Buenos Aires and Montevideo.  It flourished to become a popular culture, then spreading beyond the limits of its cradle, nourished by constant add-ons and numerous exchanges with the rest of the world. It thus took shape along the years alternating periods of opulence and periods of recession.

Tango today

In the last 20 years tango as an art and a culture enjoys a renewal worldwide and enfolds across many bridges  such as music, dance, poetry, song, literature, painting, sculpture, cinema, photography…

In France, this renaissance movement developed thanks to the support and engagement of associations which broadcast this culture, created social bonding and built partnerships with local government and cultural organizations, always in a fully autonomous and independent fashion.

Purpose of the Charter

As it stands, the promotion of tango requires more than ever a worldwide global approach. However we are witness to a disappearance of original landmarks, which would render tango the object  of a consumable goods, and in time, would standardize styles and lead to academism.

To avoid such derivations, requires the transfer of knowledge and references, while all along:

  • affirming that tango is an art form with many forms of artistic expressions
  • maintaining a balance between the current evolutions and the reference to the rioplatense roots
  • establishing an active network of communication, so as to reinforce the social link that emanates form tango
  • supporting the widest possible spread of tango, away from any standardization, recuperation or denaturation

Such is the objective of the charter. Its ambition is to assemble all those who share it. It is a  continuation of the 1997 charter.

The goal being to share what we have in common with the countries of origin of tango, rather than duplicating what is being done there.

The Charter

The undersigned will keep at heart to conserve and transmit the cultural heritage of tango while enacting the following:

1. Disseminate a Culture and promote the love of an art form: Tango

They maintain that tango can not be separated from its artistic, cultural and social dimensions, recognizing that exchanges between countries and generations allow tango to develop while combining tradition and modernity.

They affirm that transferring the knowledge of tango is equally possible through exchanges, practice and sharing of experiences than through a free teaching.

So as to not loose their rioplatense landmarks, they facilitate encounters with actors of tango of all origins, as they are recognized for their qualities or experience, innovations, pedagogy or inventiveness.

2. Promote an open learning of the dance.

They recognize that learning this dance is the fruit of a popular know-how, transmitted freely for more than one century.

They remain attentive to the quality of the teachings: It must remain open, pay respect to experience and feeling, be led by individuals concerned with transmitting tools leading to the art of improvisation.

They share the idea that places and ways to learn tango are numerous, and promote the knowledge of a variety of styles, regardless of their own personal preferences.  They agree under these circumstances to help multiply the practice locations and to propose any mode of transfer that will enrich this learning process: concert, festival, conference, theatre, etc…

They commit themselves not to recognize nor promote any mandatory form of certification, diploma or training program.

3. Promote a social practice

They will facilitate conviviality, mutual respect in any location where tango is practiced, in particular while welcoming newcomers and avoiding any form of discrimination.

They will attend to the blossoming of all, whatever their musical taste.  They will reconcile tradition and modernity so as to maintain universalist spirit of tango.  They will avoid any schism, and in particular intergenerational ones.

They commit themselves not to bend these practices towards competition.

4. Equitable and solidarity based organization

So as to preserve the diversity of initiatives and practices, they shall respect individual or social organization formats, as long as they leave room for autonomy and exchange. By circulating information concerning events, technique or legal matters, they contribute to the solidarity within the tanguera community.

The undersigned recognize the need for equitable tariffs allowing the fair compensation of teachers, the fair price asked participants and balanced budgets.

The current charter is the point of reference regrouping potentially any player interested in this art form and culture: dancers, musicians, artists, organizers, etc....

Preliminary English Version (en-0.2 under checking)
Lyon, le 11 octobre 2008