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November 17, 2005

New Book - "Tango: The Art History of Love"

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"Thompson performs a fascinating dissection of tango, picking apart its history with an enthusiast's passion and a scholar's authority. Pulling references from poetry, painting, and most potently from African dance, he shows us tango as an ecstatic manifestation of life's emotional dynamics and inflames us with his reverence for the form."
—Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Robert Thompson’s Tango indeed is an aesthetic history of that dance of heterosexual passion. The book has gusto, and its own deep song of eloquent erotic ecstasy and sorrow. It will inform readers until they are wild with all regret.”
—Harold Bloom

"I was startled to find how interesting this subject can be. What a fine book."
—Norman Mailer

“In language no doubt inspired by the lyrics of its subject, this serious volume examines and celebrates the cultural history of the famed Argentine dance, conveying its real passion and the author’s passion for it. Thompson, the renowned Yale Africanist and art historian, convincingly evokes the often-obscured African roots of the dance, whose name comes from the Ki-Kongo word for ‘moving in time to a beat’.… Hollywood versions of the dance pale once Thompson beings to mine the riches of tango’s rhythms, lyrics, philosophy and steps…for fans of dance, music and cultural history, this is the real deal.”
—CPublishers Weekly (starred review)

Publisher's Description

In this generously illustrated book, world-renowned art historian Robert Farris Thompson gives us the definitive account of tango, “the fabulous dance of the past hundred years—and the most beautiful, in the opinion of Martha Graham.”

From its syncretic evolution in the nineteenth century—partaking of European, Andalusian-Gaucho, and, unbeknownst to many, African influences—to its representations by Hollywood and dramatizations in dance halls throughout the world, Thompson shows us tango not only as brilliant choreography but also as text, music, art, and philosophy of life.

As he did in his classic Flash of the Spirit: African and Afro-American Art and Philosophy, Thompson, in this book, “takes his subject in the round, not in any specialized or compartmentalized manner. He is part anthropologist, part art critic, part musicologist, part student of religion and philosophy, and entirely an enthusiastic partisan of what he writes about” (The New York Times).

Passionately argued; unparalleled in its research, its synthesis, and its depth of understanding; and written with revelatory clarity, Tango: The Art History of Love is a monumental achievement.

About the Author
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Robert Farris Thompson is a world-renowned Yale art historian and author of the now-classic Flash of the Spirit: African and Afro-American Art and Philosophy. He is also the author of, among other works, Black Gods and Kings and African Art in Motion. He has been a Ford Foundation Fellow and has mounted major exhibitions of African art at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. He is Col. John Trumbull Professor of the History of Art at Yale University, where he is also Master of Timothy Dwight College. He lives in New Haven.

TANGO: The Art History of Love
By Robert Farris Thompson
Pantheon Books
September 20, 2005 / $28.50
ISBN: 0-375-40931-9


Posted by joegrohens at November 17, 2005 09:24 AM


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