Film

Documentary About The African Roots Of Tango Hits Select U.S. Theaters

Dom Pedro's Tango Negro explores the major, yet oft-unrecognized role that African culture played in the birth of the ballroom dance style.


Still from 'Tango Negro'

Dom Pedro's documentary Tango Negro: The African Roots of Tango shines a light on the major, yet oft-unrecognized impact that African culture has on the popular ballroom dance style and music.

As Shadow & Act reports, the film "details the dance’s early cultural significance as a depiction of the social life of captured African slaves and provides an expansive compilation of musical performances and interviews from tango enthusiasts and historians alike."

Tango Negro will begin a one-week theatrical run this Friday, August 14, in New York City (MIST Harlem) and Chicago (Facets Cinematheque). The film will also be screened at the 9th Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival on Aug. 23 in Washington, DC.

Pedro, an Angolan filmmaker, was first inspired to make the documentary more than two decades ago, after watching Cameroon beat Argentina in the 1990 World Cup. The match led him to question why Argentina and Chile had so few Black players, unlike the other Latin American teams.

Ultimately, it was acclaimed Argentinian pianist Juan Carlos Caceres and his interest in the origins of drums in tango that prompted Pedro to explore the depth of the art form's sub-Saharan African musical influence, "a presence that has crossed oceans and endured the tides of forced bondage," reads a description for the film.

"The tango is made up of three sadnesses, three memories," Caceres says in the film. "The immigrants' sadness. The gaucho's sadness, people who lived in the country. And finally the Blacks' sadness, who didn't come here as immigrants, but who were brought here, leaving their lives in Africa." In addition to being interviewed, the late musician also served as the film's composer.

For more information on upcoming Tango Negro screenings, visit the film's website here.

Popular
Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Qatar Museums

Influential Louis Vuitton And Off-White Designer Virgin Abloh, Dies at 41

The popular Ghanian-American designer had been battling a rare form of cancer in private for several years.

The fashion industry has lost a talented, unique, and boundary-pushing influence this weekend.

41-year-old Ghanianian-American designer Virgil Abloh has died after a 2 year battle with a rare form of cancer, a statement from his associates LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said on Sunday. Abloh, founder of luxury streetwear brand Off-White, and artistic director of men's wear at French fashion house Louis Vuitton leaves his wife Shannon, and 2 children - Lowe and Grey. Chairman and CEO of LVMH Bernard Arnault said in a statement, "We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom." "The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother, or their friend," he added.

After the news broke on Sunday, Abloh started trending on Twitter, with fans of the designer remembering his influence on music, art, and fashion. The 1990s saw Abloh DJ and the creative director once told The Guardian in a 2016 interview, "When the phone is off, I play my favorite songs really loud for myself, and I'm not talking to anyone. I'm not managing anything. It's just like a time when I can listen to music… I'll be DJing after I'm done designing or doing anything else." Virgil got his hands into designing album artworks after strumming up a friendship with American rapper Kanye West before becoming the creative director of West's DONDA Creative House. More recently known for his creative streetwear brand 'Off-White' the designer became popular among fashion-conscious youngsters and will forever be immortalized.

A statement posted to Abloh's Instagram explained that "Virgil chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture"

Friends, fans, and colleagues took to social media to share their well-wishes for Virgil as he transitions to his next destination.



get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Relocating to Ghana Helped Reinvigorate Jewelry Designer Aisha Asamany's Work

Moving to Ghana gave Aisha Asamany's luxury jewelry brand, inspired by Adinkra symbols that traditionally project strength, fearlessness, love and power, renewed verve to tell personal stories of her growing clientele.