Blue Tango (Version with Nine Images)

Artist: Miguel Rio Branco (Brazilian (born Spain), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 1946)

Date: 1984

Medium: Silver dye bleach print

Dimensions: 60 x 43.9 cm (23 5/8 x 17 5/16 in.) each

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Purchase, The Howard Gilman Foundation Gift, 1998

Accession Number: 1998.206a–i

Rights and Reproduction: © Miguel Rio Branco


Rio Branco is a photographer and filmmaker who has been a Magnum correspondent since 1980. In this work, the artist depicts two boys engaged in capoeira, a highly stylized form of fighting in Brazil that has been compared to a combination of karate and ballet. Practice fights are pantomimed and accompanied by the lutelike berimba. Most important, the object of the jousting is not only to conquer your opponent but to vanquish him using elaborate tricks and singsong verbal taunts.