WE ARE TANGO
IN ARGENTINA TANGO IS MORE THAN A DANCE, it is the language of romance, a push & pull between partners that is ever changing and unpredictable. To tango, in a way, is to learn how to love – how to communicate in a relationship.
I found myself longing to learn the art of tango as a visitor of Buenos Aires, Argentina. On a stormy night, I approached the doorstep of We Are Tango eager to take in the art form and scandalous history.
Shrouding each other from the torrential summer rainstorm, Luis and I buzz the door of We Are Tango, an intimate tango dinner show. A friendly-faced man opens the door and ushers us in, thanking us for coming despite the menacing weather.
“What would you like to drink?” he asks, as we are lead to a bar cloaked among graffiti covered walls. “The traditional drink here is Fernet and coke.” I politely decline as I’ve failed to enjoy it before. Luis, however, eagerly accepts. He pours me a white wine instead and leads us to our table.
As someone who has worked in the performing arts for years, I have always preferred a show for a smaller audience compared to a performance for thousands. We Are Tango delivers that desire. We are comfortably seated in one of the nine tables in the performance space – each with a crystal clear view of the dance floor.
To start, our host serves us a plate of assorted Argentinean meats and cheeses – all of which are savory in their own way and pair well with my wine. Then the show begins.
A traditional Argentine band of four takes the stage along with our host for the evening. To my surprise our host is the bartender who made us drinks moments ago. For me, it made the experience more exciting since we had already met one of the cast members. Our host begins the show by guiding us through history to the time when tango was born.
Originally tango was a dance between sailors and prostitutes, which makes sense since it is sensual. As time went on tango became more accepted in society. Tango clubs emerged and the scene eventually evolved into the touristic and cultural industry it is today. One in which I found myself as our waiter cleverly served our dinner between scenes.
Our feast consisted of baked empanadas, which was paired with more wine: Hooray! For dessert, we were served a delectable chocolate crepe, a surprisingly common dessert for a country with little French influence. In between bits of our tasty meal, we enjoyed a visual feast watching professional tango dancers guide us through the history of tango. Each scene brought a unique period in the dance’s past. As we approached modern tango, I knew what was coming next, our tango lesson.
As the show came to a close, we were greeted by one of the tango dancers who welcomed us to the floor to learn the art ourselves. We began with the basic steps and then joined hands with our partner to test out our skills. I’m proud to say that Luis and I were able to do the steps after practicing for a few minutes. Yes, we did step on each other’s feet a few times, however, that is part of learning process.
Learning tango is like learning how to love. The push and pull between partners requires respect and trust. We left We Are Tango with a new appreciation for the art form as we ran through the rain back to our Buenos Aires home. It was a night of traditional tango from a modern perspective.
We Are Tango has shows on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night. They are located at Avenida Medrano 688 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Prices begin at $49.99 per person. To learn more visit WeAreTango.com.
We were guests of We Are Tango, however, the opinions are our own.