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Tango and Prostitution

Who never heard « tango is borned in the brothel » ? One of the numerous lies round the Tango unfortunately... The prostitution arrived in Argentina together with Pedro de Mendoza, in 1536, the builder of Buenos Aires. Tango is borned, for his part, round 1870 in Buenos Aires. The massiv immigration from Europe, mainly men young and alone, will have as consequences a big increase of the business of prostitution. In 1887, we could count 20 000 prostitutes only in Buenos Aires. In reality, noboby went to the brothel to listen or dance tango. For the lack of espace, in these houses, priority was given to rooms. The myth of tango borned in the brothel is more due to the imagination. However, influenced by the reputation of the « maisons closes » of Paris, places of all pleasures, some few houses of the same style opened in Buenos Aires, dedicated to high classe gentlemen. In these « maisons closes », they could stay in a pretty livingroom with drinks and offently, background music. Mendizabal, the author of « El entrerriano » was pianist in « La casa de Laura ».

In the other hand, it is obvious that prostitution, girls, Madames, pimps, men of bad life have been source of inspiration for tango composers. You can listen, here, to one of the most famous, Madame Ivonne of Enrique Cadicamo

Madame Ivonne - Enrique Cadicamo
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