“The forms of tango are like stages of a marriage,” explains Barbara Garvey as she rests on the sidelines. Garvey, a true tanguera, and her husband Al go on an annual pilgrimage to Buenos Aires just to make the rounds of the milongas. “The American tango is like the beginning of a love affair, when you're both very romantic and on your best behavior,” she says. “The Argentine tango is when you're in the heat of things and all kinds of emotions are flying: passion, anger, humor. The International tango is like the end of the marriage, when you're staying together for the sake of the children.” As she and Al ocho crisply over the parquet, it's clear that after 34 years of marriage, they're still in the Argentine phase.
The tango is more than a dance - it's a moment of truth. Smithsonian 24.n8 (Nov 1993): p.p152(9).