The Art History of Love
By Robert Farris Thompson
(Vintage, Paperback, 9781400095797, 384pp.)
Publication Date: December 5, 2006
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In this generously illustrated book, world-renowned Yale 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.”
Thompson traces tango’s evolution in the nineteenth century under European, Andalusian-Gaucho, and African influences through its representations by Hollywood and dramatizations in dance halls throughout the world. He shows us tango not only as brilliant choreography but also as text, music, art, and philosophy of life. Passionately argued and unparalleled in its research, its synthesis, and its depth of understanding, Tango: The Art History of Love is a monumental achievement.
Robert Farris Thompson is the author of, among other works, Black Gods and Kings, African Art in Motion, and Flash of the Spirit. 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, Connecticut.
“Thompson . . . inflames us with his reverence for the form.” –Mikhail Baryshnikov
“Thompson helps us understand the way artistry and ancestry combine to make an art form of the body.” –The Washington Post
"Elegant. . . . Uplifting and timely. . . . Thompson rescues tango from a one-dimensional tristesse, mining in its working-class origins emotions of defiance, freedom, self-control, humor, love, and redemption." –Foreign Affairs
"[Thompso treats tango as narrative art, literature and way of life. . . . By extensively tracing the lines of this 'rich suite of moves,' Thompson's work gives a dance started in the early 1900s the weight of a centuries-old form." –Newsweek