The Tango Buenos Aires Festival 2010

By Roy Heale

Despite the chilly winter weather at this time of year nothing can dampen their spirit as thousands of dance enthusiasts converge on Buenos Aires for the annual Tango Festival. Recognized as the Tango birthplace, Buenos Aires offers a year-round Tango extravaganza but every year the last two weeks of August provide an in-depth experience of this Argentine cultural and historical identity. This is the global Mecca for dancers who enjoy watching or performing milonga and tango plus the opportunity to meet and observe the masters of the art form as they compete in the Dance World Cup.

Tango knows no boundaries as young and old join together in celebrating their dance heritage. Throughout the city nine different official venues host a variety of musical, dance, and educational performances during the nineteen days of festivities. These buildings themselves are a part of Buenos Aires history and include Teatro Ribera, Galileo Planetarium, Recoleta Cultural Centre, Teatro Coliseum, and much more. Each year a Meeting Point is created which is open every day of the festival holding Tango classes, a permanent art exhibit, a main entertainment stage, and a marketplace. In 2009 the Meeting Point was the historic Harrods store on Florida Street where passers by could window gaze at dancers in action. This year the Meeting Point is the historic Art Deco former El Hogar Banco building at Bartolome Mitre 575 in the heart of downtown Buenos Aires.

With exciting performances like the concert with 87 year-old Juan Carlos Godoy performing tango songs from the 1920s and 1930s or the Tango Music under the stars at the Galileo Planetarium and the special children's shows at the Meeting Point it is a true festival for all ages. Plus all over the city and particularly in La Boca, San Telmo, Recoleta, and Palermo local bars, cafes, restaurants, and small theaters celebrate dance in all forms.

The Dance World Cup commencing on August 23rd will award the best dancers in the categories Salon Tango and Stage Tango with over 400 couples from around the globe competing for the prizes.

In addition numerous special activities including conferences, book presentations, films, workshops, exhibits, and more provide something for all dance fans to enjoy.

For all of these reasons the Tango Buenos Aires festival is renowned as the ultimate celebration of dance and music in the world. In 2009 UNESCO recognized the festival as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In the 2010 event---the tenth annual fete---approximately 150 programmed activities with over 500 artists will be staged during the nineteen days of activities.

Tango Buenos Aires is without a doubt one of the most awaited and anticipated events of the city's cultural calendar. During these nineteen days the locals and visitors are treated to the most diverse Tango jubilation of songs, music, and dance. With or without your dancing shoes come and live this unforgettable Tango experience!

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