Tango, a dance form with roots entwined in the diverse cultures of the Rio de la Plata region, has long held an esteemed place in Argentine society. Over the years, it has transformed from being the music of the underprivileged to a defining symbol of Argentina’s cultural heritage. Buenos Aires, the birthplace of tango, remains the ultimate destination for those looking to immerse themselves in the captivating world of this passionate dance.
Types of Tango Dancing Venues
Buenos Aires offers a myriad of venues where enthusiasts can revel in the magic of tango. Let’s delve into understanding the different places you can enjoy this mesmerizing dance form.
Milongas are social dance events, essentially the heartbeat of tango culture. They’re where locals and tourists alike gather to dance the night away to the rhythmic beats of tango. Before attending one, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with “codigos,” or codes of conduct, as these social events have their etiquette. Learn more about Milongas and their significance in Argentine tango.
B. Tango Schools
Tango schools are an excellent starting point for beginners. They offer classes for varying skill levels, making it easier to grasp the complex moves of tango before hitting the dance floor at milongas.
C. Tango Shows
Tango shows are another integral part of Buenos Aires’ tango culture. While less interactive than milongas, they offer a chance to see professional dancers perform to orchestral music, often paired with a delightful dinner. Here’s a guide on choosing the best tango show in Buenos Aires.
Milongas are scattered across Buenos Aires, each carrying its unique charm and ambiance. Here are some popular venues:
A. La Catedral Club
A bohemian haven, La Catedral Club stands apart with its distinctive vibe. An old, atmospheric warehouse decorated with artistic flair, it’s a place where tango lovers of all skill levels come to share their passion.
B. El Beso
El Beso, literally meaning ‘The Kiss,’ is a traditional venue frequented by locals. Its vintage decor and intimate setting make it a favorite among those looking for an authentic tango experience.
C. La Viruta
For late-night tango sessions, La Viruta is the place to be. It offers lessons for beginners earlier in the evening, followed by milongas that stretch into the wee hours.
D. Parakultural at Salon Canning
A popular spot among tango aficionados, Salon Canning hosts Parakultural, one of the most attended milongas in the city. Its spacious dance floor and excellent line-up of orchestras make it a preferred choice.
Recommended Tango Schools
If you’re keen on learning tango, consider enrolling in one of the numerous schools in Buenos Aires:
A. DNI Tango
DNI Tango, with its team of expert instructors and unique teaching methodology, is a great place to learn. They emphasize on understanding one’s body movements to make the dance feel natural and fluid.
B. Escuela Mundial de Tango
Escuela Mundial de Tango is known for its comprehensive tango programs. They offer both group and private lessons, tailored to meet individual learning goals.
C. Carlos Copello Estudio de Tango
Carlos Copello Estudio de Tango is run by one of the most revered names in the tango world. The school offers a holistic approach to teaching, giving equal weight to the dance’s cultural history and technical aspects.
Tips and Advice for Tango in Buenos Aires
As you set out to explore tango in Buenos Aires, here are some tips:
A. Etiquettes and Norms in Milongas
Understand the “codigos” or social codes of milongas. For instance, it’s customary to ask someone to dance by making eye contact and nodding, a practice known as “cabeceo.”
B. Dress Code and Other Considerations
While there’s no strict dress code, it’s advisable to dress smart-casual for milongas. Comfortable shoes are a must for dancing.
C. Health and Safety Considerations
As with any travel, prioritize your health and safety. Check the latest health advisories and ensure your belongings are secure during your tango nights.
D. Best Time of Year to Visit for Tango
While tango is a year-round affair in Buenos Aires, visiting during the Buenos Aires Tango Festival in August offers a special treat.
Experiencing tango in Buenos Aires is akin to stepping into a rhythmic narrative of passion, longing, and life itself. It’s a dance that encompasses a way of life in this vibrant city, reflecting its heart and soul. So, on your next visit to Buenos Aires, don’t just watch the dance; get up, embrace the rhythm, and let tango lead the way.