BALLROOM DANCING is enjoying a renaissance not only on the dance floors, but also on the stages of this country. "Tango Argentino" is playing to packed houses on Broadway, American Ballroom Theater will be back in Washington next month for its third appearance, and more than a few contemporary choreographers have worked their own magic on these popular forms.

One such artist, Mark Taylor, has used the tango to hilarious effect in his "From the Archives: Social Dances (Vol. XXI), the Tango," a piece first performed here by Maryland Dance Theater, and featured in this weekend's concert at The Dance Place by Taylor and his New York-based company.

As a sophisticate lectures on the history of the tango, three dancing couples' partnerships begin sedately enough, but gradually evolve into downright hostile and sexually aggressive displays. By the end, the men have turned to mush, and the women have taken charge.

The tango is only one of Taylor's movement metaphors. "Freefall" stems from the choreographer's recollections of his childhood flying fantasies, and involves quite a bit of risky business on the part of its seven performers. The program also includes "Ups and Downs in the Rococo," duet created for Washington dancers Donna Gangloss and Mary Williford; "Bermuda Shorts," a suite set to popular West Indian music; and "Precin," a new work to music by Irish vocalist Paul Brady.

MARK TAYLOR & FRIENDS -- Friday and Saturday at 8:30 at The Dance Place, 2424 18th Street NW. Tickets $8, $7 for students and senior citizens. Call 462-1321.