Sultry. Seductive. Sexy. Sensual. No, I’m not talking about me. (But based on the above photo, I can totally see why you might think that). I’m talking about the sensational city of Buenos Aires and its tantalizing* tango. Lucky for anyone who visits Buenos Aires, this alluring dance seems to be everywhere you turn: from performances in the middle of the streets and at outdoor markets, to historic warehouses converted into modern-day venues. This ubiquitous dance dominates Buenos Aires and is an essential part of the city’s culture and history.
It was love at first sight. Within hours of our arrival in Buenos Aires, we witnessed our first tango performance at the vibrant San Telmo Antiques Market. Held only on Sundays, this lively event spills out from Plaza Dorrego, the beating pulse of San Telmo. Antique stalls, street performers, tango dancers, souvenir vendors, and food stands fill the bustling streets of this spirited market. We immediately joined the crowd of spectators and were instantly captivated by the beauty and grace in front of us.
Can’t make it to San Telmo Market on a Sunday? No worries–you’d have to stay cooped up in your hotel room or living in a hole (or maybe too drunk off of too much Malbec? No judgment here, by the way) to not stumble upon tango somewhere in this city. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s everywhere.
One of the oldest and most popular venues to see a tango show in Buenos Aires is at El Viejo Almacen. Included in our ticket price was roundtrip transportation from our hotel, dinner and drinks. Maybe it was our low expectations, but our dinner was surprisingly good and the steady flow of drinks didn’t hurt either. The hour and forty-five performance consisted of four pairs of dancers, each expressing an element of romance in their synchronizes movements, a live orchestra, a brief intermission with live Andean music, and a reenactment of Eva Peron’s Don’t Cry For Me Argentina. Touristy? Um, yes. But I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a tango show in Buenos Aires that does not cater to tourists. We loved every minute of this show–highly recommend.
Surely, Eva has never left us.
Who are these young kids, anyway?
We became somewhat obsessed with tango (The Hill’s becoming obsessed with something? That doesn’t sound like us at all…) and immediately booked a second show at another popular venue, La Ventana. Their show was very similar to El Viejo Almacen in terms of duration, cost, and performance lineup (minus the Eva Peron tribute). This was definitely a great show (and maybe it’s because it was our second show and the novelty had worn off at this point), but we preferred the show at El Viejo Almacen.
Tango in the colorful and vibrant neighborhood of La Boca (more about this lively neighborhood in a future post)
We were so intrigued (read: infatuated) by tango that we immediately signed up for a class when we returned home to D.C. I mean, I don’t want to brag or anything, but T and I can MOVE. If you have ever witnessed our EPIC dirty dancing sessions to LL Cool J’s Doin’ It (and other similar incredible 90s jams) on the TKE dance floor, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. I DARE you to tell us otherwise. But, let me just say that this tango $h*t is hard. Like, really hard. As in, T, um, has a lot of, um, natural rhythm, if you know what I mean, and it was even hard for HIM. So I think the Hill’s will go ahead and leave tango to the professionals and continue to drink our Malbec while being mere spectators. We’re totally okay with that.
In my mind, this is what T and I looked like during our tango lesson. Totally hot, am I right?
Catching a Tango Performance in Buenos Aires:
*Thing to know: I really wanted to use the word “titillating” in this post. I swear I typed and deleted it at least fifteen times…it just never seemed right…and it kind of made me feel icky. So although this is the only time you’ll be seeing this glorious word, please know that it literally dominated my thoughts throughout this entire post.
To read more about our favorite South American adventures: