The Argentinian tango, a passionate dance every one is familiar with that appeared in the 19th century in Argentina and Uruguay developed in working-class neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires, in other words in the street. And that is exactly where Joaquin Braga’s crazy animation ‘Tanguito Argentino‘ takes place.
Basically, a broken street lamp awakens from its stiffness on the music sang by a stray orchestra made out of rats, a cat and a dog and falls in love with a luminous perfectly working ‘she-lamp’. Using a scarf to establish not only the sex genre difference between the two lamps but also to distinct most probably between their social statute, the director sets up an environment for a subtle yet dramatic and conflictual love context. As the socially disadvantaged ‘personage’ is trying to win the ‘light’ of his wealthier partner with a scarf he invites her to a dance of passion in the silent street. But as soon as he declares his true feeling of love he gets rejected in a clearly discriminatory way; sad and unacceptable of course. But before he gives up he pleads for one more round.
In Joaquin Braga’s short animation it becomes clearer than ever that tango is a dance of love. Exploring and testing the ground, trying different approaches – sometimes rough, sometimes delicate but always firm – love requires patience and tenacity. The street turns into a battle ground against social preconceptions and love is once more challenged to stand up for its remarkable ability to out-rival any prejudices and prevail upon them. By the end of the film the broken street lamp gets illuminated as well; it comes with the acceptance of his condition from his beloved extravagant companion. Can this be a testimony about love’s talent to help one grow and develop their own statute? Love for sure implies some kind of harmonising between the two partners so it is easy to imagine that at some point it will entail some kind of social and intellectual evolution on the disadvantaged side as much as it will entail tolerance and patience on their counterpart.
Ultimately, ‘Tanguito Argentino’ is an affirmation of the proficient skills and talent of the director who unleashes this animated epic spectacle.