Nostalgia and sensuality
Some people come to Argentina just for that: Buenos Aires is, without a doubt, the world capital of tango.
Our favorite activity: Tango show, dinner and dance lesson
This dance, which was only practiced by a few rather old amateurs, is now back in fashion, both in Argentina and in the rest of the world. These last years have seen the proliferation of courses and milongas, these traditional balls where tango and folk dances are danced, and a rejuvenation of the public.
A little history
The tango was well and truly born here, at the beginning of the XNUMXth century. The waves of immigration from southern Europe populate the city with single men, nostalgic for their country of origin.
It is in the bars and shady places of San Telmo that this dance appears, which had a very bad reputation at first, and which is danced only between men.
It was not until several years later that it was taken over by the bourgeoisie, that women also began to dance it and that it became a symbol of Argentine identity.
It is a very particular dance, concentrated in the Porteña soul, which can only be practiced in couple: both nostalgic and sensual, it is difficult to learn it but it is a fascinating spectacle, which gives off a magical aura to which you will not remain insensitive.
The bravest can take advantage of the opportunity to take their first steps...
Street performance in San Telmo
There are a large number of tango shows, especially in San Telmo.
Often accompanied by a dinner, they are of good quality but often touristic and therefore rather expensive – from 80 pesos per person (20 euros).
Better to choose the old tango bars for better value. To find the names and addresses of these establishments, inquire at the Tourist Office or in travel agencies.
But it is also possible to see tango in the street: on Sundays in San Telmo, during the market or on weekdays on Calle Florida, it is common to find outdoor performances, sometimes even with musicians.
To see salon tango, less spectacular but closer to the original tango, the best solution is to attend a milonga.
These balls are frequented by both amateurs and professionals, people come there to train, to watch.
It is also a very codified and fascinating ritual to watch: invitations and their acceptance or refusal are made through eye games. Find out about the news: several tango festivals throughout the year give you the opportunity to see very high quality shows.
the Ideal Confectionery
To try your hand at a few steps, it is possible to take lessons. Most milongas offer classes in the early evening.
The best known are real institutions, such as the Confiteria Ideal and the Tangueria El Beso in the center, or the Viruta and the Estrella in Palermo.
As with nightlife in general, everything starts late: the milongas open around 22 p.m. at the earliest, unless they offer dances in the afternoon.
For those who stay a long time and wish to take lessons more regularly, it is possible to obtain a list of recognized schools from the Tourist Office. Classes are almost always given in Spanish…
Tourist office: at the beginning of Calle Florida, at the D Catedral metro level
Florida Street: Subway B Florida
Confiteria Ideal: Suipacha 384, metro B 9 de Julio or D Carlos Pellegrini – www.confiteriaideal.com
Tangueria El Beso: Riobamba 416, metro B Callao
The Chip / The Star: Armenia 1366, Palermo – www.lavirutatango.com