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Private Tango Tour: Tango As The Symbol Of Buenos Aires Culture

Country: Argentina
City: Buenos Aires
Duration: 4 Hour(s) - 0 Minute(s)
Tour Category: Half Day Tour

Package Itinerary

There’s something magical about Tango which is capable of reaching anyone’s heart: in places as distant as Helsinki or Tokyo, people who have never set foot on Argentina, seduced by the mystery and sensuality of this dance, suddenly feel the urge to learn it, and to visit the place of its origins. On this fantastic tour, we’ll trace back the history of tango, from its suburban origin, through its officialization on Corrientes Avenue to its internationalization.

Although there are many theories about its origins, often contradictory, it’s generally accepted that Tango was born in a context of great cultural mixture. In the late 19th century, Buenos Aires received a tremendous amount of immigrants from Europe; this caused the city’s population to increase dramatically, and for some time the native population was outnumbered by immigrants. Most of them were young working-class males. As a consequence, there soon was a shortage of women, and brothels, located on the geographical and political margins of the city, became a mandatory gathering place, and a melting pot where different languages and ways of life started to mix. Lunfardo, a sort of Porteño slang that combines words from many different languages and dialects, and primitive Tango, which was danced by men only while they waited for their turn at the brothel, was a product of this melting pot.

Our visit starts at the National Tango Academy, where we’ll learn about its rich history and its many legends and anecdotes. In a word, it will be a homage to Tango, from its roots to the present. Next, we’ll travel to San Telmo, where we’ll enjoy a typical Tango snack at the mythical Café Dorrego.

We next visit the former suburbs of old Buenos Aires, where the city met the country. We’ll then head for La Boca, a working-class port district, where the largest part of the Italian immigration, mainly from Genoa, settled in the late 19th century. There, we’ll visit its emblematic tenement houses, communal homes where many families from different places (though united in poverty) used to reside crammed together. As Tango became more popular, it moved from the suburbs to the center, and thanks to popular theatre and the apogee of the radio era, it gained enormous popularity, until it reached Corrientes Street, our very own Broadway, nicknamed “the city that never sleeps” for its frantic activity. Since then, Tango has been considered Buenos Aires’ cultural icon par excellence. When we’re done walking down Corrientes Street (which, frankly speaking, is actually an Avenue), we’ll visit the Palais de Glace, an elegant ballroom where the wealthy classes started to dance the tango; precisely, they are responsible for exporting tango to Europe. The final internationalization of tango took place when Carlos Gardel, the greatest tango singer of all times, took tango to the silver screen of Hollywood.

Finally, we’ll visit the neighborhood of Abasto, where Gardel was born. Originally a suburb, and then one of Buenos Aires’ ‘uglier’ neighborhoods, it seems to keep fighting every effort made to clean its image and to include it in the mainstream tour circuit. The neighborhood, home of many Milongas were the purest form of tango is danced, still keeps its distinctive character, and you can still see kids playing soccer on the sidewalk and people sharing a popular mate on their doorsteps. We’ll visit the house where Carlos Gardel used to live, recently declared national heritage, and the fascinating Pasaje Zelaya, where we’ll see the murals painted by Marino Santa Marina to honor Gardel.

As a corollary to this exciting journey through the history of Tango, you can choose to add a superb dinner & tango show at one of Buenos Aires’ finest establishments; a Tango lesson at Carlos Copello’s academy, where the best Argentine dancer teaches his students his every secret; or a visit to a Milonga, where you’ll be able to experience Tango at its most authentic form.

Approximate duration: 4 hours.

Included services:

• Bilingual guide specializing in Buenos Aires’ Tango.

• Transportation and transfers in a comfortable, top of the line vehicle. Uniformed driver.

• Entry ticket to the National Tango Academy and guided tour.

• Entry ticket to Casa Carlos Gardel Museum and guided tour.

• Snack at the mythical Café Dorrego.

Optional:

• Tango Dinner & Show, Milonga or Tango Lesson.

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