What’s better than spending time in Buenos Aires? Spending time in Buenos Aires without spending any money. BA can be expensive but enjoying the city doesn’t have to cost the earth. Find free museums, gardens gratis, parks for zero pesos, and no-cost guided tours. Be part of the Buenos Aires experience for free with these activities.
Tango is a synonym of Argentina. This dance, which was included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists in 2009, originated in the harbour towns of Buenos Aires and Montevideo (Uruguay) along the Rio de la Plata as a result of the influences of Indigenous, European and African dances. Today, it is so famous and recognisable that even the international radiotelephony spelling alphabet uses the word ‘tango’ to represent letter ‘t’. Tango is danced in a close embrace, the man leads the dance steps and the woman follows. The music is a 4/4 time signature and has a binary form, while the accompanying lyrics are composed in an argot called ‘lunfardo’ and usually speak about love. Through The Real Argentina, Bodega Argento’s blog, you can discover the best places to dance and enjoy tango, which are usually called ‘milongas’. Our collaborators propose some well-known milongas, some other milongas away from the conventional routes and even some places where you can dance tango in a different way –on the outside or with partners of the same gender. We will also tell you the origins of this famous dance worldwide as well as its evolution throughout the periods of the Guardia Vieja and the Guardia Nueva. You can learn some basic moves in our blog and find out the best tango bands and orchestras. Although tango is genuine of Buenos Aires, it is also relevant in Mendoza. In fact, the wine province celebrates an annual tango festival called ‘Tango por los caminos del vino (Tango along the wine paths)’. It is a tribute to this Argentine dance, which fills the vineyards and wineries of musicians and dancers for a few days. It is celebrated at the beginning of spring in the southern hemisphere, around September. Tango is also present during the Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia (Grape Harvest Fest). The end of the harvest is completed with parades and music and dance shows.
TANGO TRACKS ACROSS THE DANCEFLOOR
Tango’s lyrics of nostalgia, passion and heartbreak are a powerful testament to the countries multicultural history. It’s a serious business for many tangueros who dedicate the twilight hours to the scene of late night milongas, dancing to the wee small hours until it’s time for desayuno (breakfast) and a snooze, before doing it all over again. So entwined is the genre with Argentine culture that much of the old tango slang or lunfardo is still in popular use today and scratchy tango tunes play over the airwaves 24/7 on dedicated radio stations. 1930s heart throb and poster boy Carlos Gardel is still regarded as the best tango singer, so don’t be surprised to hear his canciones (songs) seeping out onto the streets from taxi driver’s windows and señoras clutching stereos on doorsteps. So much more than a sexy stereotype, tango illustrates the Argentine psyche and is every bit the embodiment of a way of being.
FOLCLORE: FROM GAUCHOS TO ELECTRO BEATS
In the first of three music blogs, The Real Argentina’s guide to folclore…
Folclore embodies the wholesome earthy vibe rooted in la tierra, el campo and el corazón of Argentina’s gaucho culture. Romantic partner dances play out at peñas all night long with locals waving handkerchiefs in the air to songs, which mesh European and criollo indigenous influences. Although stalwarts of the genre still get airplay, there’s a whole new world of folclore beats banging on dance floors these days.
Yes, you can! Enjoy seafood in Buenos Aires
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Where to Buy Shoes in Buenos Aires
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Fileteado – A Porteño Art
Fileteado is as porteño as a flock of riled-up Boca fans, although perhaps a little more sedate. It is a form of decorative art that originally started out adorning wagons in Buenos Aires in the early 20th century, painted by the Italian immigrants who worked in the wagon factories. Soon, it began to appear on trucks and buses and can now be seen everywhere from shop windows to metal plates sold at market stalls to giant advertising billboards looming over Avenida 9 de Julio.
Independent Tango Music in Buenos Aires
In our own way we all have an idea of what tango is, even if that comes down to stockings, stilettos and men rocking enough hair gel to fill the Río de la Plata. But an independent revolution’s going on in Buenos Aires and the protagonists want to shout it from their barrio’s rooftops. Tango’s not a crop, it’s culture and it’s not just for export.
Tango in Buenos Aires: The Top 10 Milongas
Soy porteña. Well, not exactly – I am from Oklahoma. But what I am is a milonguera and my Argentina is late nights that spill into early mornings, the beauty of the tango embrace and lots and lots of Malbec. Buenos Aires is full of tango. Most tourists visiting the city only ever have access to smallest section, the part the city creates for them. The dancers in La Boca, the tango shows hawked by tour guides and hotel concierges. But Buenos Aires IS tango… there is so much more. And it’s way more complicated than it looks on stage.
The Real Tango Experience in Argentina
If you are a keen dancer or a curious spectator, where do you go? It’s about time The Real Argentina put together a guide for all tastes. Below is a pick of top milongas. For the uninitiated, these are the tango dance clubs, where novices and experts go to practice, rather than the made-for-tourists dinner shows. Most milongas offer lessons, too, and for different abilities, so come early for the class, then stay to dance – and people-watch – until the early hours.