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Buenos Aires Tango Festival and World Championships 2013

Photo credit and copyright Rebecca Travaglia 2011


It´s that time again! The city is buzzing with all that is tango, bringing warmth and excitement to a notoriously chilly time of year. August heralds the arrival of the annual Buenos Aires Tango Festival y Mundial and it is not just for dancers. There are more than two hundred shows and activities including: orchestra performances, singers, professional dance performances, classes and workshops, milongas and, of course, the international stage and salon Tango Mundial Championships.


This festival runs from the 14th August until 27th August and with something special happening each day, visitors to Buenos Aires have no reason to not delve into this event and take in some amazing live music performances. At the Centro de Exposiciones (the hub of the festival), you’ll find the one-stop-market for all products tango. Take time to visit the Centre and feel the excited hum given off by the people browsing shoes, watching tango performances, meeting old friends and planning which class to take next.


This year showcases a focus on the Bandoneon (To Bandoneon, With Love), an instrument once described as having a voice of melancholy and loneliness as if it had been abandoned and ignored in the gutter of a cobblestoned street, left alone in its lament as the cold, grey rain pours down around it.  Arriving in Argentina in the late 19th Century thanks to the German and Italian immigrants, the bandoneon (type of concertina) has made itself home within tango music. An essential to the tango orchestra, it captivates the audience with the power and beauty of its haunting, sensual voice which arises from the concertina being stretched and squeezed.


The last singing legend of the golden era of tango, Alberto Podestá, is also giving a concert which promises to be nothing short of amazing, full of nostalgia and the voices of tango past.  From a younger generation, El Tango Vuelve Al Barrio (Hernán “Cucuza” Castiello, voz

Maximiliano “Moscato” Luna, guitarra) is a duo who perform regularly and are taking tango right back to its grass roots. It’s not unusual to find their small barrio concerts still going (complete with audience singing), as a sun comes up over the streets of Buenos Aires.


For further details, head to the Festival website. The page is in both English and Spanish and gives details about event locations, a day-by-day programme and information on how to obtain tickets. Nearly all events are free and available to both locals and tourists.  Be warned. Getting tickets can be a chaotic process. In a city this large (plus an additional 400 000 visitors expected), queues for getting tickets start forming early morning. To avoid being disappointed, be prepared to head in early (with puffer coat and hot coffee) to grab the best spot in the line. It is not unusual for the ticket queue to form a snake several blocks long.


What: Buenos Aires Tango Festival and Mundial (World Championships)

When: 14th - 27th August

Where: Various venues including Centro de Exposiciones (Av. Figueroa Alcorta y Av. Pueyrredón)

Website: http://festivales.buenosaires.gob.ar/tango/festivalymundial13/web/en/index.html

Admission to events: Mostly free



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