Festival de Tango (Tango Festival) 2012
When: The second half of August(August 20-28 in 2012)
Where: Buenos Aires, Argentina
For many with no proper introduction to Latin dance, they confuse samba with tango when the two are as different as their countries of origin, Brazil and Argentina/Uruguay, respectively.
Argentine tango started in the brothels of Buenos Aires, parodied by delinquent immigrants at La Boca who witnessed the athletic leaps and suggestive pauses of dances performed by creoles, or descendants of African slaves. They then meshed together creole dancing with the static embraces of European dances popular in Buenos Aires in the late 19th century. The new dance form both scandalized and intrigued the Argentine upper classes, but it was only a matter of time that the lascivious contortions spilled into the city’s elite ballrooms.
In 2009, a 24-man panel of the UNESCO decided to grant tango a World Heritage status, worthy of preservation as an intangible aspect of culture.
Carlos Gardel was at the forefront of tango during its heyday, and his baritone voice will reverberate all throughout Buenos Aires on the occasion of the Festival de Tango (Tango Festival).
About the Event:
The Festival de Tango (Tango Festival) is one of the most highly-anticipated events in Argentina at par with the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro, at least among tango enthusiasts and professionals. Regardless of their country of origin and skill level, tanguistas flock to Buenos Aires to learn, practice more, and compete. The festival is scheduled on August 20-28 this year in ‘milongas’ or tango dance halls across the city, quite shorter than the traditional 18-day affair but equally jam-packed with more than 150 events.
Free classes are offered at the beginning of the festival, and it all takes as simple as showing up to take part in the festivities. For professional tanguistas, there are advanced classes and of course, competitions of varying levels.
The Festival de Tango (Tango Festival) lists schedules and free classes on their website so anybody in the area can practically turn up any day during the festival timeframe and break a leg. Even if travelers do it solo, the organizers have a database of dancers looking for partners, so the festival is also an excellent opportunity to strike up friendships. This suggests of course that there will be willingness on the traveler’s part to pair up with a stranger in such an intimate setting. So while it is exciting to jump into this opportunity without prior experience or with no partner, it is also important to bring with it an open mind and a healthy margin of tolerance.
Tango is one of those items in a traveler’s bucket list that he or she must have to cross off to experience Argentina. Some places are best experienced with their visual and olfactory stimuli, whereas Buenos Aires is best experienced with dance.