Experience the breadth of tango in Buenos Aires

2010 March 24
tags:
by Simba
Salón Canning by Simba tango, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License by  Simba tango

A friend is going to Buenos Aires for the first time this week, and I sent her some information about where to go, encouraging her to experience the breadth of tango in Buenos Aires. So many people get stuck in one small part of the tango world and never experience anything else. When they come back, they believe they know how the tango in Buenos Aires is…

I suggested she visit at least one milonga in each category. Then she can find her own tango. (This list is not exhaustive, of course, only some typical examples):

Classical/traditional milonga in the centre

  • El beso
  • Gricel
  • Cachirulo (Sat) or Lujo (Sun, more open for beginners) @ Maipu 444

Barrio milonga

  • Sunderland (Sat)
  • La baldosa @ El Pial (Fri)

‘Nuevo’

  • Practica X
  • Villa Malcom
  • Viruta (fresh medialunas @ 5 AM)

See and be seen

  • Parakultural @ Canning (Mon, Tue, Fri)
  • Niño Bien @ Centro Leonesa (Thu)

Gay/Queer

  • La Marshall @ Maipu 444 (Wed)

Particularly nice venue

  • Confitería Ideal
  • Club Español
  • La Nacional

Open air

  • La Glorieta
  • Plaza Dorrego
7 Responses leave one →
  1. 2010 March 24

    Good idea!

    I just have a couple of suggestions/corrections:

    Both tradional venues listed are very small. The most gorgeous salon and floor is the Centro Region Leonesa and the best milonga there is on Saturday afternoons, Los Consagrados. A great contrast to the intimate ambiance of El Beso and Maipu. Also at Cachirulu (Maipu on Saturdays) it can be very difficult for newcomers to get a dance–better nights there are Sunday and Tuesdays, when the milongas have other names.

    And unfortunately, the milonga in Club Espanol has been gone for years. It is now held in Casa Galicia (San Jose 224), and is very nice, but not the golden splendor of Club Espanol.

  2. 2010 March 24

    Thanks, I thought the milonga at Club Español reopened, but on a different floor, but I guess I misunderstood.

    It can be hard to get dances at several of these milongas, but I think it is still worthwhile to go for the experience, for instance the Barrio milongas. Going with friends is a good solution there in my experience.

  3. 2010 March 24

    I agree with you re: the barrio milongas. To go to Sunderland, for example, alone and knowing no one and expecting to cabeceo for dances, is death.

    There was a special tango party, one night only, a few months ago in Club Espanol, as you say, on another floor.

    I think for Maipu, though, it would be better not to go to Cachirulu on a Saturday, but to other milongas there during the week. Why go to not have a seat and not to dance? Sunday and Tuesday are great there, and more friendly.

  4. 2010 March 25

    @Cherie. I second your suggestion about Cachirulo and agree fully that Maipu on Sunday (still Lujos?) will be a better choice for new-comers.

    @Simba: Perhaps it is also good to indicate in your list the actual location for each milonga? I know certainly that for my first trip to BsAs it was initially difficult to keep track of all the different milongas, until I realised that the names of the milongas and location are two different things, and milongas held at the same place can have totally different ambience.

  5. 2010 March 25

    @Louis: Good point, I updated with location where the name is ambiguous.

    There are lots of more milongas, of course, I wanted to keep it short for each category, not aiming for completeness, but I included Lujos on Sundays and Gricel under traditional. Typical is most important, I think, but as pointed out by Cherie it is better to suggest a place that is friendly to newcomers for a list for first time travel.

  6. 2010 March 25

    If one is looking for a traditional and friendly milonga, then Wednesday at Lo de Celia is my top recommendation. A first-timer will get a front row table and the opportunity to dance with portenos. The majority of dancers on any night in Lo de Celia are Argentinos, whereas the majority incachirulo, Nino Bien or El Beso are foreigners.

    Not only does your list provide a variety in dancing styles, it also has age divisions. The nuevo and outdoor places tend to be young (under 35) dancers, while the traditional places cater to older (over 65) dancers.

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