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THE TANGO

The tango is the music of Buenos Aires, it is the icon that distinguishes this city in the world. In its melancholic lyrics, Buenos Aires neighborhoods, its streets and porteños’ misfortune are described.
This type of music had its period of creative splendor last century and there were great singers such as Gardel and Goyeneche and famous large accordeon players like Troilo and Piazzolla. In October 2009, the Tango was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO

 

BACKGROUNDS:
It is the porteño music by excellence, it is a type of music which isessentially for dancing. It was born in the last years of the XIX century, it had influence of some black rhythms and the folklore from the province of Buenos Aires, among others.
It started to spread inbrothels, and eventually different groups of musicians began to play there, so the dance was born and more and more people started to dance it.
The first groups were composed of the flute, the violin and the guitar.

The large accordeon  was incorporated later. This wind instrument was created in Germany in 1835, with its complaining and melancholic sound it became a symbol of tango. His best performer was Aníbal Troilo, known by his nickname “Pichuco”.
With the passing of years the tango started to adapt the porteño way of talking and its lyrics expressed everyday and normal topics. Since then, the lyrics and the music of the tango have been the most representative artistic expression of our country in the area of popular creation. Nowadays it has a great success, specially with the dance, among porteños and foreigners tourists.
The most representative, emblematic and outstanding symbol of Argentine tango is Carlos Gardel. There are two versions about his birth: one is that he was born on Thursday December 11th, 1890 in the city of Toulouse in the south of France with the name of Charles Romuald Gardès. Another says that he was born on  December 11th, 1887 in  Tacuarembó, Uruguay. His parents were  Colonel    Carlos Escayola and María Lelia Oliva. He died on June 24th, 1935 in a plane crash. His voice quality and his premature death helped to make him into a popular myth and an indisputable symbol of the popular songbook.

THE DANCE:
Along with the traditional rhythm of the tango there are other dances which are closely related: the milonga and the vals.
The three rhythms are danced in a hugged couple, where the man guides and the woman follows him feeling the subtle male indication through the contact of the torsos and the hug. In the tango, steps (lined-up or crossed) are combined with figures like the eight, the twists, and the voleos. These are the most common. The tango is danced clockwise.
In the milonga, with a faster rhythm, dancers show a greater skill with the traspié, corrida, taconeo and punteo.
In the vals, inheritance of the Viennese waltz, twits and voleos are the most important figures in the couple.

MUSEUMS AND TYPICAL PLACES:

World Tango Museum (Museo Mundial del Tango):
830 Rivadavia Avenue. Tel.: 011-4345-6967. The museum was inaugurated on December 22nd, 2003. It was built on the idea, architectonical project and historical guideline of the master Horacio Ferrer.
 In the museum you can see the history of tango through noticeboards, showcases and documentaries. Apart from the Olympus with the glories of the tango which has gigantographs, personal objects and showcases for poets, singers, musicians and dancers, the museum presents the performance of young orchestras, exhibits of artists related to tango and several activities.

 Carlos Gardel House Museum (Museo Casa Carlos Gardel):
735 Jean Jaures. Tel.: 011-4964-2015. The house where Carlos Gardel and his mother lived. It is in the traditional Abasto neighborhood. It was recovered by the General Direction of Museums to transform it in a museum which recovers, keeps, shows and transmits the civic cultural patrimony that Gardel’s works represent.
The company Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 S.A donated the house and the remodelation works.
The General Direction of Museums, the General Direction of Infrastructure and the General Direction of Public Works of the government of Buenos Aires were in charge of the architectonical project. It was inaugurated on March 4th 2003, within the framework of the V Festival of Buenos aires Tango.

Vicente López y Planes Museum– SADAIC -:
1547 Lavalle  1P. Tel.: 011-4379-8600. Among many other musical instruments, you can see here Carlos Gardel’s guitar, Julio de Caro’s bugle violin, Osvaldo Fresedo’s large accordeon,  Discépolo’s piano and a very important collection of photographs that illustrate the history of the tango  and its great authors and performers.


Manoblanca Museum (MUSEO MANOBLANCA):
1371 Tabaré St. Tel.: 011-4918-9448. It was created in the year 1983 by Gregorio Plotnicki. It is named after Homero Manzi’s tango Manoblanca (White hand). It keeps, researches, and shows testimonies of Pompeya neighborhood and popular music from Buenos Aires. There is an important collection of fileteados by León Untroib, Martiniano Arce and Luis Zorz, among others.

Tango Street (PASEO DEL TANGO):
Pasaje Carlos Gardel between Jean Jaures and Anchorena,  Abasto neighborhood. It was opened in March, 2002 as a pedestrian street with lamps, benches, restaurants and bars. It is 100 meters long and during the weekend, you can enjoy free tango performances. On the corner of Anchorena Street, there is a monument in honor to Carlos Gardel
known as “The Bronze that Smiles”, made by the sanjuanino sculpturer Mariano Pagés.

 

Pasaje Zelaya:
Between Agüero and Jean Jaurés. The plastic artist Marino Santa María, the same artist that painted with colors the gray walls of Pasaje Lanín in Barracas neighborhood, painted on most of the facades of this Street  the lyrics and the music of the most classic tangos by Gardel and Le Pera.

Tango Monument (MONUMENTO AL TANGO):
On Azucena Villaflor and Av. de los Italianos, Puerto Madero. It was oficially inaugurated on November 22nd, 2007. It is an open large accordeon made of  stainless steel. It is around three meters tall and it weighs two tonnes. It is placed on a 1.70-meter-tall base built by the artists Alejandro Coria and Estela Trebino. It is an abstract work that represents the spirit of the tango since the large accordeon is one of the emblematic instruments of this kind of music.

Tango championships (CAMPEONATOS DE TANGO):
The city of Buenos Aires, faithful to its tanguero tradition is venueof important international championships and festivals, such as the Metropolitan Championship of Tango dance  between May and July; The Buenos Aires Tango Festival in August 2008 and the World Championship of Tango Dance also in August.

DORREGO SQUARE: it is a characteristic place and a must for tourists. It is surrounded by Defensa Street, Humberto 1º St, Bethlem Alley and Anselmo Aieta Alley. This square is considered the oldest green space after May Square and it has been declared National Historical Monument. In this place, every Sunday San Telmo Fair takes place. Defensa street becomes pedestrian, and you can see tango dancers, payadores and other artists. You can also visit stalls where old things and antiques are sold. The houses that surround the square maintain their original aspect, although most of them became antique stores. During the week, the square is full of tables and chairs from all the surrounding bars and cafes.

THEMATIC RESTAURANTS:
In the city of Buenos Aires there are restaurants with orchestras and performances with dancers.


ABASTO:
ALMATANGO: Sarmiento 3501.
ESQUINA CARLOS GARDEL: Carlos Gardel 3200.

BARRACAS:
EL BARRACAS TANGO: Villarino 2359.
SEÑOR TANGO: Vieytes 1655.

BALVANERA:
CAFE DE LOS ANGELITOS: Av. Rivadavia 2100
COMPLEJO TANGO: Av. Belgrano 2608.
SABOR A TANGO: Tte. Gral. Perón 2535.

BOCA:
BOCATANGO: Brandsen 923.

BOEDO:
ESQUINA HOMERO MANZI: San Juan y Boedo.

CENTRO:
PIAZZOLLA TANGO: Florida 165 - Galería Güemes.
TANGO PORTEÑO: Cerrito 570.

MONSERRAT:
CANDILEJAS: Estados Unidos 1500.

PALERMO:
LA VIRUTA: Armenia 1366.

TANGO PALACE: Av. Santa Fe 4363.

PARQUE CENTENARIO:
VIEJO CORREO: Av. Diaz Vélez 4820.

PLAZA MAYO:
EL QUERANDI: Perú 302.

PUERTO MADERO:
MADEROJO TANGO: Av.Alicia Moreau de Justo y Brasil.
ROJO TANGO: Martha Sallotti 445.

SAN TELMO:
BAR SUR: Estados Unidos 299 esquina Balcarce.
EL VIEJO ALMACEN: Av. Independencia y Balcarce.
LA CUMPARSITA: Chile 302.
LA VENTANA: Balcarce 431
.
MICHELANGELO: Balcarce 433.
TACONEANDO: Balcarce 725.