Tango & Milongas
Buenos Aires is the birthplace and the world capital of tango, a rhythm that was created by the banks of the Río de la Plata, at the end of the 19th century, as a fusion of European and African music.
The tango is manifested in the lyrics - many of the words used in the tango come from lunfardo (porteños' slang); in the music - the bandoneón provided the music from the Río de la Plata with that melancholic and somewhat sullen sound that characterizes tango today; and in the dance - tango classes last between one and two hours. It is ideal to take four or five lessons. From the first lesson, teachers train beginners in the mastering of the basic steps: eight simple movements that may be learned in a few hours.Buenos Aires is full of tango houses with live orchestras and dancers. The most important places that offer live shows usually include dinner (with options in Argentine beef or international menus).
Traditional milongas -dance nights which at best combine the neighbourliness of a social club with the faded elegance of a 1930s ballroom- mostly attract an older generation who prefer to dance al suelo; that is, feet pegged to the floor, legs discreetly doing triks as couples shuffle through steps called backward-eights, little sandwiches and sit-downs with ghostly subtlety.
Any Milonga worthy of the name plays tangos according to the following ritual code: three sets (tandas) separated into straight tangos, more playfu milongas and waltzes. Nods and signals are used to find a partner -the man leading the way, as he does in the dance. While the couple waits for the first few bars to be over, they locate each other´s eyes - anything more obvious is considered amateur and unrefined. The music us usually piped in -which mught sound cheesy, but it can add to the nostalgic, scratched-record atmosphere. Milongas go on late- like bars and clubs, generally until the last dancers leave (5-6am at weekends, earlier on weeknights).
At what time
Many dancing couples share the milonga dance floor. To dance without bumping into each other, you should choose – either you get there early or leave late.
What to wear
It is necessary to have some of the following elements of the basicTango KitAn extra T-shirt or shirt, hairdressing (for a retouch), an extra pair of socks, make up (for a retouch), dancing shoes (in a bag), a pair of heelless shoes (to rest), talcum powder for the soles (to avoid slipping).
For a man:
How to invite a woman to dance
The milonguero has two options:- Cabeceo (nodding). The man and the woman look at each other, and only if she continues to stare him out, he will very delicately nod to her.- The boldest method: the milonguero approaches the table where the woman chosen is sitting and invites her to dance.
For a woman:
What to do to be invited to danceFirst, you've got to put on your dancing shoes. Then, sit looking at the dance floor with your legs slightly extended so that a man may stumble on your feet. This is how the encounter (and invitation) occurs.