The Definitive Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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Street Performers Dance the Tango at El Caminito

I think of many things when I think of my time in Argentina. I think Carne Asada with new friends and meat piled high on a sizzling iron. I think of the unique taste of Malbec trickling down my tongue. I remember the friendly faces, the endless night life, and a European flavor full of Latin spices. How is it possible to describe the many facets of my time in Buenos Aires? TANGO!

I myself am not a dancer. I've been complimented sure, but I'm just a white boy from rural America. Sure I've got some rhythm, and I can hold my own at clubs, but I was absolutely dazzled by the ubiquitousness of Tango in Argentine culture. It captivates dancer, partner, and even spectator.

My first experience with this foreign dance was at a beginners class with some friends. We all walked in step in a circle in order to capture our first "feeling" of Tango. Amidst the mix of beginners and intermediates, I had fun meeting new partners and trying something different. After 40 minutes or so, class was over, and we all gathered around a table. Enjoying some Quilmes, we watched our instructors put together all they had taught us.

The lights dimmed as we focused on the lone couple. All were silent in mild curiosity when the sound of accordions seized the room, and the instructors began their sensual dance. The orchestra, bathed in a swath of dim light, voiced their presence with their up-tempo beat. The male dancer, erect and confident, held his partner close and locked her gaze. The woman, colorful and wild, flared her legs left and right in short kicks I hadn't seen done before. And all this to a rhythm!

But this example is one of many different forms. Street performers on El Caminito dance in full dress for passersby and mere pesos. Others of more expensive taste can go to a show at a grand theater and watch the professionally acclaimed. Tango is a dance that reaches across many classes and barriers. It's colorful, unpredictable, and anything but tame. Wildly confident and flamboyant, yet endearing and unique, and I have no better way to describe Buenos Aires and the porteños that call it home. And, like any culture, Tango is better experienced in person than second-hand.

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Street Performers Dance the Tango …
Street Performers Dance the Tango…
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