In this exciting and passionate season of tango madness the city offers a extensive amount of activities which provide a good insight on what tango is all about. The Buenos Aires International Tango Festival’s activities include professional dance performances, tango lessons and clinics, milongas (dance parties) and of course the international ballroom and stage tango world championship.
However, what makes the festival truly special is that throughout the day you will be able to witness the city become one big tango stage as every corner of this cosmopolitan wonder will be filled with the hustle and bustle of tango music and dancing. What makes this festival even more amazing is the fact that most activities and shows are free; the only ones not included are the programs which take place in Treato Colon and La Usina del Arte.
All entries and access to all the other events are free, yet those that are indoors have limited seating or capacity and they require a reservation. It is important to note that reservations will also be limited in a way only two seats can be reserved by a single person. Therefore, to avoid any surprises it is recommended that you reserve in advance all shows that interest you the most.
The International Tango Festival of Buenos Aires kicks off with an impressive opening concert; a must go to place to feel the vibe of what the rest of the 14 days will be like. This event is free provided that you reserve seats in advance. This is a night event which starts at 8pm and will take place in La Usina del Arte in the Boca neighbourhood.
Days 2-7 – Dance, Music and Tango Activities
Following the opening of the Buenos Aires International Tango Festival the city will be filled with an air of passion and music as various performances and tango aficionados will be dancing day and night. It is recommended that you take your time going to the different neighbourhoods, more notably La Boca, Recoleta and San Nicolas, to see the different styles of tango in both dance and music in the wildly varying scenery of Buenos Aires. Every neighbourhood will have a different tango style and you will be able to observe the various techniques that exist for each form, it is the best time to learn about the complexity of tango by witnessing it completely. From 5pm on there will be organized events which you can attend freely. Activities include dancing lessons, expositions, concerts and a special production of the day starting at 8:45 or 9pm that varies from new wave tango (such electronic piazzolla) to prestigious tango orchestras.
The only cost of the events is the time that you invest in going to the events which is well worth it. It is difficult to do all events of the day, so we suggest that you mix the days by doing lessons and then view a concert or an exposition and then another day go to a milonga and an then one of the special productions; and in between take leisurely walks around the city, stop for dinner and wine to enjoy more music and dancing.
Days 8 -10 – Qualification Rounds for the World Championship
These two days will add more excitement to the already electrifying mood as the qualification rounds for the world championship starts. This is the opportunity that all professional tango dancers have been waiting for to prove their skill and technique before a panel of judges and impressive all viewers with the passion of their dance. In 2012, there were 482 couples from 32 countries that participated in this event and it made for quite the impressive show. These two days are highly recommendable as all kinds of tango techniques, music and moods will be demonstrated. The world championship is comprised of two finals, the first is the ballroom tango world championship and the other is the stage tango world championship. The qualification rounds start at 2pm, for ballroom tango, on day 8 and at 12pm on days 9 and 10, for stage tango. The qualifications rounds will take place in the Centro de Exposiciones and it has free entry with no need of a reservation. As well as the qualifications rounds you will be able to continue enjoying the activities that were offered previously (milongas, lessons, expositions and concerts).
Day 11 – Ballroom Tango Semi-finals
The semi-finals for ballroom tango will take place in the Centro de Exposiciones and it also has free entry with no need for a reservation. As well as the semi-finals you will be able to continue enjoying the activities that were offered previously (milongas, lessons, expositions and concerts).
Day 12 – Stage Tango Semi-finals
The semi-finals for stage tango will take place in the Centro de Exposiciones and it also has free entry with no need for a reservation. As well as the semi-finals you will be able to continue enjoying the activities that were offered previously (milongas, lessons, expositions and concerts).
Day 13 – Special Feature
This day is dedicated to presenting a special show involving a particular theme, last year’s theme it was El Tango y el Futbol (Tango and Football). The special feature changes from year to year; and it usually involves a tango dance show connected to a chosen theme. This is also a free event with no need of reservation; it usually starts around 2:30pm in the Centro de Expocisiones. . As well as the semi-finals you will be able to continue enjoying the activities that were offered previously (milongas, lessons, expositions and concerts), however be aware that this is the last day that such events will be offered.
Day 14 – Final Ballroom Tango
On the second to last day, the international ballroom tango competition comes to an end. The international festival concentrates all its attention on this event and all other activities are put to a hold. The event will take place in the stadium Luna Park and at the end of the final the first, second, third and fourth place couples will be announced. Added to the final spectacle, there is also a show or concert in homage to a great figure in the Tango world.
Day 15 – Final Stage Tango
The last day is almost identical to day 14, except that the finals are for Stage Tango. Again, the international festival concentrates all its attention on this event and all other activities are put to a hold. The event will take place in the stadium Luna Park and at the end of the final the first, second, third and fourth place couples will be announced. Added to the final spectacle, there is also a show or concert in homage to a great figure in the Tango world.
For more information about the tango finals of the Buenos Aires Tango Festival and World Championships, visit Say Hueque’s Tango Guide.
The centers where all the action will take place are the following with their respective addresses:
• Centro de Exposiciones – Avenida Figueroa Alcotra and Avenida Pueyrredon, in the nieghborhood Recoleta. This is the place where most free events will be held; it opens daily in the early afternoon and will have events such as tango lessons and clinics, concerts and expositions. It is advised that you check if the event is required to have a reservation as it varies from event to event.
• Teatro Colon – Cerrito 628, in the neighborhood San Nicolas. This beautiful theater is where most exclusive events will be held, such as the exclusive concerts and dancing expositions.
• Usina del Arte – Avenida Don Pedro de Mendoza 501, in the neighborhood Boca. In this building all special productions and milongas will take place, depending on the exclusivity of the event it will be a free (at times requiring previous reservation) or a paid event.
• Teatro Regio – Avenida Cordoba 6056, in the Chacarita neighborhood. Hosting only free events, this theatre will hold a wide range of concerts. You will need to check if a reservation needs to be made as it depends on the event.
• Anfiteatro del Parque Centenario – Avenida Angel Gallardo y Leopoldo Marechal, in the neighborhood Caballito. Like the Teatro Regio this amphitheatre will hold a wide range of concerts and special productions which will all be free, the need for reservation varies from event to event.
• Luna Park – Avenida Corrientes and Bouchard, in the neighborhood San Nicolas. The finals of the ballroom and stage tango will happen in this impressive stadium, both of these events are exclusive, yet are free, the entry to the finals will be given out for free on the 8th day of the festival starting at 11am at the box office of the Centro de Expocisiones. A maximum of two seats per person will be given out.
For further information about the Buenos Aires Tango Festival, contact adventure travel experts, Say Hueque – Tours in Argentina