GLOSSA RY
Arrabal: A slum or sketchy neighborhood.
Bajo: The area of Buenos Aires where the city meets the Río de la Plata.
Bajofondo: underground, lumpen
Bandoneón: A small box- shaped button accordion or concertina popularized in the
early twentieth century in relation to the growth of tango music in Argentina and
Uruguay.
La Boca del Riachuelo (or simply La Boca): A working- class Italian immigrant
neighborhood in the southern outskirts of Buenos Aires, located along the banks
of the Riachuelo, where it meets the Río de la Plata.
Boedo- Florida: The names of two different streets in Buenos Aires, each used to
identify a different aesthetic or literary tendency in the vanguard period of the
1920s. Left- leaning writers were identified with Boedo, a main street and name of
a working- class neighborhood in which they published a magazine titled Extrema
izquierda (Extreme left). Cosmopolitan writers became identified with Calle
Florida, a more upscale, commercial avenue in the city center where their favorite
café was located.
Candombe: Afro- Uruguayan drum music and dance form that contributed to the
formation of tango.
Canyengue: 1. Low- class, related to the slums. 2. Expressive style of tango dance
developed in the early twentieth century, characterized by a close embrace in which
the couple does not directly face each other but forms an inverted V, both dancers
maintain bent knees, and the steps are typically short.
Compadre: A man who acts in an arrogant, provocative, or presumptuous way, ready
for a fight.
Compadrito: A street thug or pimp, known for his strut or forward- bent gait as well as
a signature style that included a hat, specific hairstyle, and high- heeled shoes.
Conventillo: Tenement or boarding house that typically catered to poor or immigrant
renters and was characterized by overcrowding, substandard sanitary conditions,
and lack of privacy. Most had an interior patio, associated with the development of
early tango dance.
Corte: A pause, break, or embellishment in tango dance.
Cortina: Literally, curtain. Used in tango to refer to a short musical interlude that
separates tandas during a milonga.
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