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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores Argentina’s Campeonato Mundial de Baile de Tango (World Tango Dance Championships) in the context of tango’s history in the English-designed ballroom dance competitions that have defined tango’s international image since the “tango-mania” of the early twentieth century. Use of the Mundial by the Argentine government to advance commercial and national branding agendas is examined in conjunction with the Mundial’s use by dancers to launch careers and expand acceptance of same-sex dancing. It is argued that Argentines are redefining tango competition on their own terms in ways that both reclaim the dance from foreigners and simultaneously reproduce some of the same aesthetic shifts that were effected through tango’s inclusion in ballroom dance competitions, resulting in a whiter, more homogenous, and externally focused expression.

Keywords: tango, Argentina, Mundial, ballroom dance, same-sex, competition

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