Argentinian Folk Songs and Dances

"Argentina has a rich and varied repertoire of folk dances, which were the result of the blending of two distinct streams of culture. First came the serious and somber dances of the Altiplano Indians, who came to Argentina from the north. Then came the Spaniards, who brought with them the colorful and animated rhythms of flamenco, the fandango and the bolero. Later, immigrations brought European court dances, and all these elements blended together, the criollo made his own..."

Ronnie and Stu Lipner

History of The Gato

Gato is a highly popular type of Argentinian folk music and dance. The lyrics of Gatos are usually humorous and dancers frequently stop to improvise any irony in the lyrics.

Traditionally, the dance is performed in pairs, with each dancer on his/her own, not embracing one another. The dance is a display of the showmanship of the Argentinian horseman, known as the gaucho. The male pursues the female, trying to impress her with his impressive tap dancing steps, called zapateos, and incredible jumps.

Argentinian folk dance: Gato

Why called "The Gato"?

In Spanish, Gato means cat. You may be asking yourself, why would someone name a dance after a cat? In this dance, the man's pursuit of the woman is compared to a cat pursuing its prey.