On the suburban streets of Buenos Aires during the latter part of the 19th century, the passionate and nostalgia-driven Argentine tango took its very first dance. As a city with such deep tango traditions, and as the most visited city in South America, the Argentine tango has inevitably become one of the most popular tourist attractions and things to see/do in Buenos Aires.
The question is: with such an abundance of tango shows to choose from in Buenos Aires which one should you pick for your tango experience?
One of my deep dark secrets as a travel writer is that during my childhood I used to be a ballroom dancer. From the ages of 2 until 12 I was waltzing and rumbaing my way around dance floors in competitions at both national and international level on the ‘Baby Ballroom’ circuit of the UK. Now, whilst it has been a long time since I’ve donned any dance shoes and whilst the ballroom tango is a bit different to the Argentine variety, fundamentally the technique and the basics are something which I have an awareness of. It’s definitely something that reminds me very much of my childhood and so with that in mind I was very excited to go along recently to the intimate ‘We Are Tango’ show on Marcelo T. De Alvear (street) 977, Buenos Aires.
If you’re taking part in the We Are Tango experience then you’d be as well to pay the extra 35 USD and get the show plus a three-course meal. For the show on its own prices are US$100-115, but for the three-course meal included it’s only $135-150. This also allows you the opportunity to experience two of Argentina’s most famous exports in one go – tango and steak!
What was the quality of food like?
Typically the food served at tango shows in Buenos Aires isn’t very good, so I was surprised to find the meal at We Are Tango was to a decent standard. I wasn’t necessarily over-awed by it but it was certainly a good feed (and the wines they choose to accompany the food were very good.)
The best thing about this show was that it is very intimate. There are only four or five tables situated around the dance floor and it is one couple who dances rather than a cast or ensemble. This means that everybody who books a table gets to see the dance up close and personal rather than being placed at the back of a larger venue where you may not be able to see. As they move you really see everything, including the detail on every costume change. Some of the lifts were also particularly impressive to see so close too.
With the Argentine tango being fundamentally such an intimate dance I think a show like what We Are Tango provides is really the best way to see it. I also think this type of show would be a great romantic date night for a couple. I personally took a friend, and whilst we had a good time we couldn’t help but think how great it would have been if we had both brought a guy along! It would also have helped with the dance lessons at the end too!
The dance lesson
At the end of the We Are Tango show there is short dance lesson in the basics of the Argentine tango. The small venue (and therefore small size of the group) lent itself very well to tango lessons. You can see and hear the teacher very well and there’s not too many people so everybody gets some attention and individual tips on how to improve.
The only major improvement I felt that the We Are Tango experience needed regards the amount of information they have on their website. For example, the address listed on the company website is for their office and not the show venue. As a result my friend and I initially ended up going to their offices instead of the real venue when they forgot to send us the venue address in the information pack! There are also no prices listed on the website either.
From a customer information point of view I imagine a lot of people would probably just click off the site and not book the show if there is no way for them to A) immediately see the prices and schedules, and B) book right there on the website without having to send an email first to make a booking. Making these necessary changes to the We Are Tango website would enhance an excellent show and provide value to both the company and the customer.
The price – how much does it cost?
The total price, including a three-course meal, is US$135-150 (from Dec 2013); for the show only it’s US$100-115. In my opinion for the extra $35 it’s worth taking the three-course meal on top!