Argentina: Tango Showcase

Submitted by Adamari Rodriguez on the 2020 winter session study abroad program in Argentina sponsored by the Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures…

By the third week, we have become pretty accustomed to the routine and schedule of an average day. On our last excursion for our study abroad program, we went to the Carlos Gardel Building which is known for its tango showcases. Our dinner was similar to the U.S. where we have an appetizer, main course, and dessert. However, the steak was so soft it could probably be cut with a spoon. After the dinner, we watched a tango showcase that was unbelievable.

As a dancer myself, I was very eager to compare the dance to what I practice. Argentina’s traditional dance of tango is extremely emotional and very sexy. Even though in the United States, dance couples rely on a lot of trust and precision, the level of trust these dancers in Argentina had was inexplicable. The female partner was thrown at incredible heights and was caught very close to the ground. In addition, in my dance company, we often have a story behind why a dance is the way it is from the song choice to the costume and dance moves. Similarly, the tango couples had a story behind each dance, but there was more emphasis on theater as well. Even the transitions went along with the story behind the showcase. The most interesting part of the performance was that all the music was performed live by an orchestra instead of being played from a recording. Overall, the dancers did what they intend to do which is to be entertainers. I had the opportunity to see their most cherished piece of art unfold on stage which was a great opportunity because the dance styles I practice are not what I would dance at casual gatherings whereas tango is danced both casually and professionally.

Carlos Gardel, San Nicolas, Buenos Aires, Argentina