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Traditional milongas in Buenos Aires - Sin Rumbo

(image credit Sin Rumbo La Catedral Del Tango)

No trip to Buenos Aires is complete without a night out at one of the traditional and oldest milongas in Buenos Aires.  A place where everyone dresses to impress and a cabaceo must be used to ask someone to dance. A place where the lights are bright and the embrace is traditional. A place which exudes the sentiments of times gone by and the true spirit of tango is tangible in every corner.

One of the oldest milongas in Buenos Aires,  Sin Rumbo (which means aimless) is nestled in the heart of the residential Villa Urquiza. It is one of the milongas in Buenos Aires that proudly maintains the traditions of tango.  It was run for a long time by the famous Julio Dupláa, well known within the tango community both as a tanguero, teacher and as the organiser of traditional style milongas.

Having a strong sense of tradition and respect for the codes for tango for around fifty years, means Sin Rumbo is popular with some of the stars of the tango world.  On the particular night that we attended, we were in the company of some great milongueros. Alberto Podestá was enjoying a soda while observing the dancing couples from his table. Osvaldo and Coca Cartery, famous milongueros and teachers to the teachers of tango, took to the floor often and provided  beautiful interpretations of the music. Natchaya Poberaj was enjoying her evening of dancing tango, smiling and approachable. She won the Salon Tango final of the Mundo Tango in 2006 with Fabián Peralta, whilst 7 months pregnant.

These dancers use a traditional style of tango.  There are several names used for traditional styles including tango salon and urquiza style.  They use an embrace that is closed but loose. The woman usually turns her head more towards the hands, and creates a slight v  between the two bodies of the couple. Her left shoulder is closer to his left shoulder than her right shoulder to his right shoulder. Coupled with a detachment between the upper torso and her hips, this figure allows the woman to complete movements such as ochos without needing to loosen the embrace. It is an embrace that embodies the sentiment of connection.

All these people have been names and youtube videos for me for so long, it was an experience to see them all in one room in such an environment.  The best part was the sense of family and community that saturated the milonga. Verbal acknowledgements and welcomes were extended to these celebrities, not because they are famous, but because for their role as a leaders in this community and the respect they have earnt for their dance.

The evening ended with the usual flurry of kisses and hugs farewelling our fellow dancers, leaving me with a sense of nostalgia and kinship.  All in my local neighbourhood. This is grassroots tango as its best.

Things to Know


Sin Rumbo

José P. Tamborini 6157, Villa Urquiza

10pm until 4am - table reservations are recommended but are only held until 11pm.

Website: http://elsinrumbo.com.ar/

Reservations and Information: 4574-0972 // 155-922-7922

How to get there

Villa Urquiza is a barrio (or neighbourhood) of Buenos Aires that is located to the northwest of the city. It is largely residential and streets are lined with large graceful old trees that provide much needed shade during the summer months.  It has a distinctly relaxed feel to it compared with the rush of the inner city, and this is reflected in its milongas as well. It is the home to several traditional tango salons including Club Sunderland and Sin Rumbo.

Located on the edge of the barrio at José P. Tamborini 6157, Villa Urquiza, Sin Rumbo can be difficult to get to with public transport but it is definitely worth the effort. Villa Urquiza is located at the end of the subte Linea B (Rojo). Linea B runs from the central city and intersects with other subte lines at Diagonal Norte (Obelisco).  From the station Los Incas, you can take several buses including 110, 111, 112, 127, 140 and 176, that will take you to near Sin Rumbo. You will need to walk several blocks depending on which line you take.  From the last subte station Las Rosas, you can take a taxi. Check www.comoviajo.com for details.

Since the subte closes around 11pm, you will need to take a taxi back to the city. As current taxi rates are increasing, this will cost you at least $90 pesos but this is subject to change. Please double check with your driver to ensure you know before hand what the cost will be.


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