Gabrielle Ray

'Gabrielle Ray said, 'I am always dancing; I love it! When I don't dance, I sing. What else is there to do?'

The Tango – Dance Archives – 2012

 Tango Postcard - 1920

So how did the tango go from brothels to the ballroom?

Arthur Franks answers that question rather marvellously: “At first a dance of the riff-raff, it was not long before it was tamed sufficiently to gain wider approval.”

During the early years of the 20th century, the tango was danced among Argentinian émigrés in Paris, and spotted by Camille De Rhynal, “who was very important,” says Theresa, of the highly influential dancer, teacher, choreographer and competition organiser.

In 1907, De Rhynal proposed to theatre manager George Edwardes that the tango should be introduced on to the London stage. The story goes that Edwardes sent for Gabrielle Ray, a famous musical comedy singer and dancer, and that, with her assistance, De Rhynal gave the impresario an idea of the dance. However, the reaction was, as Kele laughingly puts it: “Ooh, lovely dance – couldn’t possibly do that.” London was not ready for the close embrace and sinuous allure of the tango in 1907.

At that time the dominant dance form was the waltz,” says Theresa, “and with the waltz there’s a sense of romance, but with the tango there’s more a sense of danger and eroticism. The audiences in the West End were quite prudish really – the fashionable ones, at any rate, the middle classes – then there was an outcry when it finally arrived in the UK in the season of 1912–1913.”


This is an extract from an article by Nicola Rayner – Dance Archives 

September 26, 2013 - Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] The Tango – Dance Archives – 2012 […]

    Pingback by The Tango (Reinthal & Newman 806) « Gabrielle Ray | May 23, 2015 | Reply

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