Friday, May 1, 2009


By Roy Heale

It's sexy. It's sultry. It's exciting, and it's distinctively Latin American. It has even been described as the vertical expression of horizontal desires. In a word it's Tango!
Although I spend a great deal of my time in Buenos Aires and I have seen Tango dancers on the streets at the Recoleta Craft Market, at the San Telmo Antique Market, on outdoor stages in La Boca, and I have even attended the Wednesday night Gay Tango Nights, I just recently went to my first professional Tango show at El Querandi.
Not all Tango is equal and this becomes a personal judgment the more performances one is able to watch. At El Querandi they have been staging Tango shows since 1920 and obviously this is an art form where practice makes perfect.
The show is preceeded by an excellent three course a la carte dinner which is efficiently served, accompanied by wine or soft drinks, and completed in a timely fashion just before curtain call.
Let the music begin!
As an absolutely first class quartet welcomes the audience with a Tango medley, the lights are dimmed and anticipation electrifies the room. What follows can only be defined as a masterpiece of musical accompaniment for great singers and Tango dancers. The show itself traces the history of Tango in Argentina with four historical quadros: El Arrabal, El Cabaret, La Milonga, and Modernismo.
I only wished my understanding of Spanish were a little more advanced to truly appreciate the lyrics, but fortunately the language of Tango is universal.
Also, it is not necessary to speak Spanish to appreciate excellent musicians, dancers and singers as they each display their unique and perfect talents to the fullest throughout the show, not only with their ensemble performances, but also through their solos and individual highlights.
It's hard to describe the audience's captivation during the continuous, uninterrupted show. But the appreciation is abundantly clear during the applause and the buzz when the lights go back up.
All I can say is that Tango is an art form unto itself and one of the most enjoyable experiences of any visit to Buenos Aires.

Come see for yourself!

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