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Dancing to Tango Nuevo in Buenos Aires

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Tango has been filling the streets of Buenos Aires for centuries but in recent years the milongas (dances) have been moving to a different beat. Welcome to the era of alternative tango! Nuevo tango (new…

Marvelous Night for a Moondance

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Tango Embrace

So there I was—a more-or-less intermediate level tango dancer, with all the bravura that a lifetime of other dance techniques has given me, which means the tendency to show off when I don’t know what I’m doing. I was in a very popular class of what is conveniently called “tango nuevo.” signifying that everyone is young and experimental and in this case, pretty good. We were learning some complicated steps and finding new possibilities with each different partner and I was trying to hold my own along with everybody else.

El Niño Bien: A Child of the Tango Tradition

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el niño bien tango and milonga dancing place in Constitucion Buenos AiresI have never seen anything quite like El Niño Bien, a famous milonga located on Calle Humberto Primo in Constitucion. One door down from a small restaurant of the same name, the entrance to the milonga is a wide double door which opens to an empty foyer. Follow the sound of music up the stairs and you find yourself paying your twelve pesos and walking into a large dance hall which at first seems like the antithesis of tango. The room has a high ceiling dotted with spinning fans and a few ineffective air conditioning units; the walls are covered in panels of yellow wall paper, outlined by gold molding. These panels are separated by tall mirrors, and all remaining exposed plaster is painted a deep salmon pink. The room is well lit; the dance floor is a little tightly constrained by dining tables on all sides, most of which had reserved signs on them by the time my friends and I arrived, early, at eleven.

Tango Festival at El Tasso with La Chicana

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cimg1195.thumbnail.jpgIn the heart of San Telmo, across from Park Lezama, lies the elegant tango room El Tasso. El Centro Cultural Torquato Tasso – commonly known as El Tasso – is a supper club with tango orchestras, tango classes, and performances. This month El Tasso hosts their fourth annual Tango Festival with live bands and dance performances.

Less Polish, More Shine: Tango at La Catedral in Buenos Aires

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catedral_400.jpgTango is a buzz word in Buenos Aires tourism. The promise of authenticity often is combined with a price too high for someone living in the city to pay more than a few times a year. Ironically, the price of authenticity eventually degrades that authenticity, as more and more tourists watch this cultural activity turn into a spectator sport. I am not suggesting that this is true of all expensive tango halls; a show is a good way to see the very best dancers dance tango. I will, however, suggest that the best does not mean the most authentic. And the most authentic tango I have found in the city of Buenos Aires is at La Catedral.