Document Type

Honors Project


This paper explores the political potential of dance as a national symbol through an investigation of Brazilian Samba and Argentine Tango. Rising above repression, these dances began their ascension towards national iconic status through a process of foreign influence, political necessity and elite acceptance. This process was completed by the national propagation of these dances by Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas (1930-1945) and Argentine President Juan Perón (1946-1955) who both later used these dances as subtle propaganda to not only maintain power, but also bolster their personal popularity and foster a new sense of nationalism within their home nations.



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