Is There Such Thing as a Tango Color?

by Tango


Color of Tango | From work by Willow Bader

If you ask someone what color they associate with Argentine Tango dance, many will guess Red. Must be because of  the image of a woman dancer with a red rose in her teeth. Just Google “Tango and Red Rose” for images and enjoy a few nice ones :). Yes, I know, cheesy, but what can one do? Somebody started the trend, and it stuck.

Yet, red is not the color of Argentine Tango. Most experts will state that there is no such thing as the color of Tango. If so, I’ll say that they might have missed a little known tidbit of history. It turns out that there Was a color of Tango, albeit around 100 years ago.

Here is the short story: in the beginning of the last century Argentine Tango came to Europe from Buenos Aires with children of wealthy Argentinians, who were sent to study in prestigious schools of France and other countries. Tango became very popular in Paris almost right away, it became a craze. Tango music was everywhere, Tango lessons, Tango dance, Tango everything…

It was during that period of time when a well known fashion designer got stuck with a lot of orange fabric. It’s just wasn’t selling. Being of a creative mind, he decided to draw attention to his unsold stock by naming that color Tango Orange. In no time the orange fabric inventory was sold, as everyone wanted to be a part of that craze – if not by dancing, at least by wearing a “Tango color”.

So there, while there might not be an official color of Argentine Tango, if history is any indication, in the beginning of the last century in France there was one. And it was Orange.

Now, fast forward to May 2, 2011: the color is no longer important, but Tango still is. You have the opportunity to join our Beginner Tango Course in Atlanta starting that day at Oglethorpe University Museum of Art (a beautiful place, the best kept secret in Atlanta). Tango Classes start at 7p and go for an hour. After that you will enjoy 15 min of practice time before the intermediate class begins at 8:15p.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

how to tango August 17, 2011 at 1:20 am

Yes many people think red is real tango color.. I also think red is real.

tango ILONA von Toronto August 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Nice article on Color Tango. As an addendum, and another nice tidbit for your story, for 2012 Pantone the color company has chosen the color Pantone 17-1463, Tangerine Tango, as the color of the year 2012! It celebrates the 100th anniversary of Color Tango’s existence! Happy Dancing! :)

Tango ILONA von Toronto :)

Polly McBride September 3, 2012 at 5:24 am

Thank you for posting the info about The Color of Tango. With your permission I will quote you (with credit of course) for promoting the Grande Ball of this year’s Tango Fest, and refer folks to your site. I will use orange for the primary focus with green and gold accents (fall colors) and want to let folks know the significance of orange. Had heard the story but forgot the details and can now provide them, with your assistance.
Entered tango in ’91 and it changed my life. (Understatement of the millenium.) lol

Polly/Portland Oregon

Alicia Jumar-Loffler October 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Very interesting! It is true that now days, in Argentina, there is not a “color” for Tango. Neither the local dancers nor the Milonga organizers wear “red” on purpose the night of the Milonga. In general the ones who wear red are the “First Timers” to Buenos Aires. I was born and raised in Argentina and I consider the “Rainbow” the color of tango, just the same as its music, which evokes in my heart all the colors of the Arco Iris!

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