If you’ve ever been dragged along on a walking tour of Buenos Aires, you’ve probably heard the (not so humble) humble-brag that Buenos Aires is THE birthplace of tango. And while its music and movement have gone international, no one does close-dancing, sensual-breathing and foot-flicking like BA. If this sounds like your kind of thing, slick your hair back or grab your high slit dress, because the International Tango Festival and World Cup is here!
Starting on Thursday, August 8th until Wednesday, August 21st, the city will be buzzing along to anything and everything tango. Scheduled events include concerts, milongas, instructional classes, and a product market so you can finally dress up like your favorite tango star. Events are taking place at various venues around the city and come for the low price of AR $0. Yup you read that right, entrance to the festivals events are free with online registration on the official Festival website.
If you’re feeling brave, there are open-mic events where you can test out your best tango croon. If dance is more your thing, milongas will be popping up at iconic neighborhood venues like Usina del Arte and Centro Cultural 25 de Mayo. If you need a refresher beforehand, you can visit one of the instructional classes at the Usina del Arte or at the Academica Nacional de Tango. There are even instructional classes designed for the kiddos, if you’re looking to start off their tango career young (a tango edition of Dance Moms should be a thing, right?).
Part of what’s so great about this festival is its focus on celebrating the spirit of tango in all its forms, which means there are also events designed for the intellectual crowd. Alternative festival programing includes theater events, film screenings, book launches, talks and presentations. The festival gives voice to feminist and queer topics within the world of tango, and its screening of Tango Queerido at the Museo del Cine is a delicious prelude to the International Tango Queer Festival coming this November.
The festival culminates in the greatest spectacle in modern tango culture, the Mundial de Baile Finals. There are two final events, the final for freestyle dance on Tuesday, August 20th, and the Final for choreographed dance on Wednesday, August 21st. Last year, the trophy for freestyle went home with a pair of porteños, Carla Rossi and Jose Luis Salvo, and we couldn’t be prouder. If you’re interested in attending either of the finals, reserve your tickets soon, because they go fast!
Going into the International Tango Festival there are a few things I don’t know, like who will win in the Munidal, what a “cabeceo” is, or even how to dance tango. But what I can be sure of is that there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy! Don’t believe me? A full schedule of events can be found on the festival’s website.