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The Tango Route: A journey through the capital of Buenos Aires music. The shows that dazzle tourists and locals.




Where did you go, tango/ that I always seek/ and cannot find you? The theme sounds in the gray morning among the tables of a traditional tango corner. Behind the window, Buenos Aires moves to the rhythm of a capricious tango, composed under the melancholic rhythm of the sidewalks, coffee chats, and streets damp from the rain. But the nostalgic atmosphere behind the glass is not enough to define tango, and then the music insists from the speakers: Where did you go, tango?

Answering the question is not an easy task. Each of the hundred neighborhoods of Buenos Aires claims its titles with places where people gather to dance and listen to music, as if it were part of a ritual. The truth is that tango spreads throughout the geography of Buenos Aires and takes different forms: from sumptuous shows frequented by tourists, to bars and tango houses where music lovers gather to listen to orchestras; not to mention milongas, a popular phenomenon that brings together locals and visitors, united by the pleasure of improvising their steps on the dance floor.

In the shows, stage tango shines, with its precise choreographies, which function like clockwork. In milongas, on the other hand, salon tango reigns, where dance is a spontaneous creation between couples who - for the most part - barely share a few minutes together.

In these settings, tango legends coexist with young people who have revitalized the genre, while in milongas, old codes are giving way to more flexible rules. In many of these places, high heels and dance shoes intertwine with flat shoes and sneakers, while in others, there is a role exchange between men and women.

Beyond these novelties, from the elaborate choreographies of the shows to the spontaneity of the milongas, and from Gardel's unmistakable phrasing to Piazzolla's urban chords, tango remains the rhythm of Buenos Aires. A music with such presence that it has even earned its monument in Puerto Madero, in a multifaceted bellows that encloses infinite melodies.

We set up our own journey, among the brilliance of the shows, the rhythm of the orchestras, and the milongas where the delight of sight is only surpassed by the experience of the embrace. As we complete the list, more chords sound in the corner bar. The men continue to argue about football and the traffic light releases the traffic, on the other side of the glass. From the speakers, Eladia Blázquez's voice imposes its rhythm: One always returns to Buenos Aires to search/for that melancholic way of loving...

Below are some spaces to enjoy high-level orchestras - typical and modern style -, traditional or export-style dance shows, and a selection of tango houses and thematic museums.

Café de los Angelitos

In the mythical corner of Rivadavia and Rincón, where unforgettable artists like Carlos Gardel, José Razzano, or Florencio Parravicini once passed through, it is still possible to have a coffee and watch the city go by behind the windows. But if the idea is to have dinner while enjoying a carefully crafted tango show, one must approach the back room, decorated in blue with golden angels. If the muted colors and beautiful architecture are not enough to transport you to heaven, one must wait for the five dance couples, the musicians of the Quinteto Viceversa, led by Emiliano Greco, and the singers Ariel Altieri and María José Rojas to come out. The costumes and staging traverse different eras and culminate in a remarkable version of "Adiós Nonino," where the virtues of the bandoneonist Lautaro Greco shine.

Tango Porteño

Located steps from the Obelisco, in the heart of Microcentro, the art deco-style hall of the former Metro cinema is the setting for a spectacle with an impressive scenographic and artistic display that bears the stamp of Juan Fabbri, its creator. The old movie screen serves to evoke the sepia-colored Buenos Aires of yesteryears. The show begins with the powerful music of the typical orchestra led by the violinist Erica Di Salvo - who used to play with Charly García -, who invites you to fly with her precise interpretations. On stage, the lights of Corrientes Street unfold, a luxurious cabaret, and even a tall building with a couple dancing in each window. The elaborate staging serves as a framework for the exit of eight dance couples, " Cerrito 570

Esquina Carlos Gardel

The old Chanta Cuatro restaurant and hotel where the "morocho" from Abasto spent his childhood and adolescence has now become the luxurious Esquina Carlos Gardel. Far from the dirt floors, cockfights, and bocce courts that used to populate the old tavern, the place stands out for its chandeliers, cream-colored walls, and black tables that recreate the shine of the 1930s. Carlos Gardel will come alive throughout the show in the impressive characterization of the singer Cardenal , with the exact bearing and timbre of voice. The repertoire will not lack classics like "Mi Buenos Aires querido," "Volver," or "El día que me quieras," with a striking set of lights, scenery, and costumes. The six dance couples dancers Analia Carreño, Luis Ramirez, guido palacios, florencia zarate, sebastian alvarez vicky and the interpreter Patricia Lasala will contribute their own so that one feels like coming back. C. Gardel 3200 / 4867-6363.

El Viejo Almacén

The corner without an eight-corner at Independencia and Balcarce is synonymous with tango. In the old colonial house with adobe walls and hanging lanterns, the spirit that the unforgettable Edmundo Rivero imprinted on El Viejo Almacén, in 1969, is revived every night. Here passed the most outstanding musicians of the time such as the "Polaco" Goyeneche, Aníbal Troilo, Osvaldo Pugliese, and Horacio Salgán, among many others. The place now hosts a tango show where every night singers of the stature of Hugo Marcel and Virginia Luque parade, with music from a sextet directed by Carlos Galván and four dance couples that recreate the times of tough guys and slums. Balcarce 793 .

Señor Tango

Located in the Barracas neighborhood in an old general store, this show bears the imprint of Fernando Soler, its creator, and producer. The show, with Hollywood proportions, has more than forty artists on stage, a rotating stage, and the presence of an orchestra led by maestro Ernesto Franco, bandoneonist of Juan D'Arienzo's orchestra. Vieytes 1655

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