Buenos Aires is the birthplace of the Tango, a dance loosely based on Flamenco that first became popular in the lower class neighborhoods of the city, like San Telmo, sometime in the 1880s.
As Dale discovered when she tried to fill a dancer’s shoes, it really does take two to tango.
A visit to Buenos Aires would not be complete without seeing the Tango danced by the professionals, so last night we booked an evening at El Viejo Almacen in San Telmo. The excursion began with a shuttle bus picking us up at our hotel at 8:00 p.m.
Dinner at El Viejo Almacen is served in one building and the dancing takes place in another building across the street. Here’s the restaurant:
The meal was good and ended in gluttony with a huge flan served with a giant scoop of dulce de leche.
After dinner, we crossed the street to the dance hall where we had a table for two just one seat back from the stage, a benefit of buying the combination package, rather than just the show.
The dancers were fantastic. There were several tangos performed by individual couples…
…and others involving the whole dance company:
The music was different from anything I was familiar with, the band consisting of two accordions, a piano, a stand-up bass and a violinist.
And there were solo vocalists, a man and a woman, singing, of course, in Spanish. The singers were very expressive and we could feel the emotions of the songs through their performances, even though we couldn’t understand the lyrics.
The show drew to a close at midnight and we were ready for the last dance. It was a late night for us, although the locals were just getting warmed up – they usually don’t even start their evenings out here until 10:00 p.m.
The music and dance is fast-paced, yet seductive.
For me, though, it’s purely a spectator sport. Dale could probably do it; but I’d sprain an ankle and fall flat on my face, for sure.