Visitors drawn to the Tango Buenos Aires festival
BUENOS AIRES, Aug 14 — The Tango Buenos Aires Festival and World Cup, August 14-28, combines two big events: a festival comprising nine days of tango shows, lessons, book signings and film screenings, and the Mundial de Tango, a worldwide championship among the world’s leading dancers.
During the celebrations, the city is filled with 200 free shows and activities, including open-air milongas gathering more than 10,000 tango-lovers in the streets at a time.
For tango enthusiasts, classes catering for all levels from beginner to serious dancers are offered in venues around the city. The finale of the festival is the Tango World Cup final, held in front of around 8,000 spectators.
The festival has become one of the main attractions for tourists coming to Argentina. According to the city of Buenos Aires, more than 400,000 people, 86 per cent of whom came from foreign countries, arrived for the festivities in 2011.
According to a survey carried out by the Buenos Aires Tourism Board, visitors came mainly from Europe, North America and neighbouring South American countries. The survey reveals the favourite activities among foreign tourists were watching a tango show (33.9 per cent), watching a milonga (23.7 per cent) and taking a tango lesson (22 per cent).
Tango is deeply engraved in Argentina’s history and national identity. Starting back in the 1880s in Buenos Aires’ Le Boca neighbourhood, tango made its way to the city’s ballrooms and parties of Argentina’s elite. The complex steps were choreographed to accompany the melancholic melodies of leading figure Carlos Gardel, whose voice and lyrics will be all around at this year’s festival. Other leading figures include composer Mariano Mores and performers Osvaldo Pugliese and Ástor Piazzolla.
Maria Laura Carlucci, press officer at the Buenos Aires Tourism Board, told Relaxnews: “The city contains a large number of places to dance tango and learn how to dance it, some of them with free entry, like the legendary Glorieta, located in Barrancas de Belgrano.” Tango, she said, is “an identity stamp for the country but especially for the city of Buenos Aires.” — AFP-Relaxnews