Tango shows - Tango places, Buenos Aires
Esquina Homero Manzi is one of many options to watch good tango. I prefer the smaller, more selective restaurants rather than the big broadway like shows. But I heard some of them can be quite spectacular. So the choice is yours.
Dress Code: Smart.
Founded in 1858, Café Tortoni is the oldest coffee shop in Argentina.
Great place for people watching, having a coffee, etc and watching a bit of Tango
Definitely a tourist place but hey so is the Eiffel Tower :))
Dress Code: not too dressy but a step above jeans and sneakers
We had a great experience at the Viejo Almacen, located in San Telmo neighborhood. The old colonial building on a cobbled street provides an aura of authenticity. The show itself was fun and entertaining - not overly showy or "vegas style." The show included a variety of instrumental and vocal tangos, talented dancing, and a folkloric group also. Good, friendly service too.
Check out their helpful website.
There are a thousand and one places in BsAs to go tango. Milongas start around 1300 and go till one or 2 on weekdays and 7 on weekends. Jump from one to the next and never miss a beat, or just pick one or two per day. I sugest the later untill you get in shape, which you will need. Trust me, i burnt myself during the day the first days and couldnt make it pass midnight. Pick up the milonga schedule at the A+ BAs (tourist center) or make your own walk thru the most renown ones. There are a lot of tourist but the most of them know thier tango and the mix with the locals makes it incredible. A few to mention: La Viruta, MichelAngelo, El Viejo Almacen, Confiteria Ideal, Tango Brujo, La Catedral y mas. Quite a few of these offer free lesons and live music. Oh! Beware of Argentine Rulesof Engagement before going in. Enjoy.
Dress Code: Tango shoes are not required but they certainly help.
One of the greatest experiences I had while in BA was attending one of those gay milongas. I hired a tour with 2 portenios (www.2portenios.com) to be introduced to tango for the first time ever.
As soon as we got there a man came to us to invite us to take some tango lessons, basics steps. There were a bunch of guys already following the instructions of the teacher. Soon, after joining the class, I realised the place was almost full, all tables around the main class floor were occupied by gay/straight couples waiting for the class to be finished. Once the class was over the real milonga started. Many of those people sitting, started to dance very professionaly. It was a real tango show performed by common people. A pleasure for me to enjoy this laid back, gay/straight mix ambience.
I also enjoyed seeing people inviting others to go out for a dance as used years ago.
I cannot say I became a professional dancer after learning a few steps but I felt very proud of myself being invited many times to go out for a dance. Great experience! Must to do when visiting BA.
Dress Code: No special dress required.
Tango Brujo, Escuela de Tango (school of tango)
Live tango as you feel it.
This group of young and talented people is at the forefront of open style/ neo tango. Their improvisation and creativity makes them unique.
Intensive group lessons
Master group lessons
Thematic seminars for leaders and followers
Special group activities
They speak English
Esmerald 754, Tel (54 11) 4325-8264, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Email: email@example.com www.tangobrujo.com
Dress Code: Nope!
Plaza Dorrego is the heart of the wonderful quarter of San Telmo. Its a large, rectangular-shaped square lined with lovely old buildings that are now used as antique stores, art galleries, restaurants, cafés, cabarets, icecream shops, etc.
The inside of the Plaza is usually equipped with parasols and chairs from the adjoining cafés. It's a lively place to have a snack, a beer or some wine, and watch the world go by. But mostly, you'll enjoy watching a tango or two right on the square, or listening to some live music (of the nostalgic variety, guitar, bandoneons, violins, flutes.) The performers bring their boom boxes and show you how thrilling and intricate a good tango can be. They earn a living this way, you can show your appreciation by clapping wildly and by putting some money in their hat.
All around the Plaza, young street vendors sell incense, jewelery, wood work, maté gourds and bombilla, hand-made leather belts and other handicrafts. They are always there, like old habitués, and it was really cool to spend time hanging out with them. It helped me not to be lonely in this terribly melancholy city, and they taught me so much about Buenos Aires and beyond.
Later at night, take in the tango show at El Balcon de la Plaza, right on Plaza Dorrego at the corner of Humberto Primo and Defensa. I have a few bad pics of the show in a travelogue below (I had just bought the camera... and it was not a good one anyway.)
Dress Code: I felt safe in San Telmo. It IS quite crowded in daytime so I kept my bag and my wits about me. I walked home a few times, along quiet streets, to the edge of San Telmo and the next area, Constitucion, without any problem. But Constitucion is a different place, not touristy at all and more isolated than San Telmo. After being warned once too often, I took a cab when I headed out of San Telmo for home.
Wherever you are, don't ever put your bag down. Keep it on you and secured. Don't push your bag between your computer desk and the wall and think it's safe with you in front. There could be a hole in the wall across from you and believe me, that hole will find your bag and pull it through, while the hole's accomplice is tapping your shoulder and asking you if the pencil he's holding is yours... Your personal belongings are safe on you, not beside you.
ooops sorry... dress code... none for the street, on the Plaza. For a cabaret, maybe something smart. Goes without saying...
These guys are phenominal. They did a 3 month seminar in La Manufactura Papelera in San Telmo and we were lucky enough to be here to attend most of the classes. If you are a serious tango dancer and Gustavo and Giselle are teaching in BA, you must take there classes.
20peso for 3 hour class
check the website for schedule
Dress Code: none but people dress well
El Beso is a traditional tango salon. Locals dress up smartly and all tango customs apply here. It’s a bit stuffy but very interesting to watch the old style tango. It´s a really show just watching the customs of asking one to dance.
Classes offered most days of the week and before all the milongas.
Dress Code: Dress well here, it´s serious business.
This is a huge venue that is always packed full of people. Dancers tend to be beginners but classes are offered to Intermediates, and Advanced as well. The dances feel like wedding parties.
Classes of tango, milonga, rock, and salsa
– Tel 4774-6357 or 4779-0030
firstname.lastname@example.org – www.lavirutatango.com
Dress Code: People look nice here but there is no dress code.
El Motivo has the best of the new tango generation neo tango instruction. Their classes are based upon techniques learned from Gustavo Naveira and Fabian Salas. The level of dancing at the Practicas and Milongas are high.
Mondays 6:30pm Seminars with Advanced/Intermediate
Tuesdays 8pm beginners
Tuesdays 9pm intermediate 1
Thursday 7:30pm intermediate 2
Saturday Milonga 11pm/ every second Saturday with live orquestra
Monday Practica 8:30pm
Thursday Practica 9pm
Private Classes available
Valencia Batiuk 155 641 7993
Dina Martinez 4923 9283
Luciana Valle 4771 7483
Dress Code: Dress is very alternative and very casual
We had time for two tango shows while in Buenos Aires, Cafe Tortoni was the better of the two shows that we saw. Tango shows range from the small clubs like this one to the Las Vegas style glitz of the shows like Senor Tango, I wanted to see a more intimate show so we booked here for an 8:30 show on a Friday night. We were able to book by stopping by, they were booked for Thursday but had availiability for the next evening.
They have you get there about 1/2 hour early to get seated and get your drinks, the crowd seemed to be a mix of visitors and locals. There's also a snack menu, we got a cheese and sausage platter that was ample enough that we didn't have dinner.
The entire show is in Spanish, the singing, the banter, but even for us with a limited knowledge of Spanish, we could get the gist of the performance. The music here was more what I think of as classic tango music than the other show we saw, the singer alternated with the pair of dancers who were sexy and incredibly talented.
The show is performed in very tight quarters, you will likely be very cozy with your neighbors and I was sure that the female dancers was going to impale one of the musicians with her stillettos! Even the small round tables are set up for 3 or 4 people, we ended up with a solo traveler at our table
Dress Code: No real dress code, the local folks all seemed to be dressed very nicely (suits on men, dress slacks and glittery tops on the women), the tourists were a bit more casual.
Many Tango street preformers come out after dark and can be found in all the nicer areas of the city. We saw many of them with huge crowds around them which is to be expected in the homeland that dance. The street preformers are not bad and if you are only kind of interested in seeing Tango it is much cheaper than seeing a show.
We asked our hotel about a nice tango show to go see on David's birthday and they steered us to Q 1920, they said it wasn't a Las Vegas glitzy show like Senor Tango but that it was more intimate and that the food was better than most tango shows because they were attached to El Querundi restaurant.
Our evening started off on the wrong foot when all the tango show patrons had been picked up and we were still in the lobby, our hotel hadn't made our reservations. They called us a taxi and assured us we wouldn't get the worst seat in the house, "I'm a good friend with the hostess" our concierege says. Well, I'd hate to see what his enemies do to him, we did indeed end up with the worst table in the house.
We then take a look at the menu and there's only one option for dinner and we're eyeing the door looking for the escape route. But then our waiter brings over the real menu (the first one was from the large company function there that night) and there's several choices so we decided to stay.
The food was good but I really can't say much for the show, seemed to be just one notch above a high school talent show and none of the performers seemed to be excited to be there.
Cafe Tortoni is one of the oldest cafes in Buenos Aires. Time seems to have stopped when you're there, as they preserve the furniture, lamps,atmosphere, an even the waiters! in the way it was when this place was opened, in 1858. What made this caf? so important was the fact that it was frequented by artists, writeres and such.
There are excellent tango shows in a small room (which in my opinion makes the experience more cosy and personal) they have at the back, higly recommendable. Book a table beforehand! And check their webpage for timetables, as sometimes you only get musicians and singers and no dancers.
Ticket price: 25 pesos (around 8 US dollars)