Finnish Tango is Serious Business
December 4, 2017 9:37 AM   Subscribe

A 10-year-old 60 Minutes story on Finnish tango (terrible sound quality). Fascinating. I remember seeing this and, as a dancer myself, was riveted by the national character versus the dance and its origin. Morley Safer (I think) talks with local Finnish celebrities about insight to local mores. Here is a list of 67 videos of Finnish tango, some classical, some instrumental, all interesting. popular Finn tangos. The first video seems to be about Argentine musicians going to Finland to play tango. And just for fun, I found this video by Frank Zappa: Satumaa performed live in Helsinki 1974.
posted by MovableBookLady (2 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
According to the comments, Zappa's probably phonetic pronunciation of the Finnish lyrics is less than perfect. But what the hey.
posted by MovableBookLady at 9:42 AM on December 4, 2017

As a Finn, I'm cringing out of my skin watching this (particularly when the actual tango part of the story starts). Not that tango wasn't popular 25 years ago when this was filmed, and still is to some extent, but it was always very much a subculture, if a large one at its peak, not quite a national pastime. I will say, though, that social dancing in general (and social gatherings at dance venues) did play a significant part in Finnish culture not that many decades ago, although humppa, a simpler dance, was more prevalent than tango. This was particularly true in more rural communities. It was a good way of approaching the opposite sex in a safe, almost regimented manner (there are a LOT of unwritten rules at dance venues), where you didn't have to put yourself forward too much... which really does suit Finns quite well.
posted by jklaiho at 12:00 PM on December 4, 2017

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