I decided to pull out a few of my favourite photos that I took at the Carlos Gardel Show a few years back in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“What makes the dancing different in Argentina, compared to here?” a few people asked me when I got back from my trip. “I mean, tango is tango, right?” they often commented, “Why did you have to go all the way there to dance it?”
The best way I can explain it is to say that yes, tango could be danced anywhere. But it’s not just about the people and the movements and the dance. It’s also the atmosphere that surrounds you when you’re there. I felt as if even the walls in all those high ceilinged, old buildings at the milongas in Buenos Aires whispered secrets built up over so many years and years. And they invite you to listen- to become a part of those generations of secrets oozing through the walls as you stand in those very same spaces where it happened. Dancing, observing others dance, and being intoxicated by the music in the city where it all began, it is hard not to get drawn in. Even outside, despite the litter and pollution, there is something alive in the music on the streets, and faces of the Portenos who pass by (the people born and brought up in Buenos Aires). It’s like a silent acknowledgement that they still carry somewhere with them the energy of their ancestors- that it has never really died. And in fact, tango seems to be what has helped it live on.
It was an amazing feeling, that I think only Buenos Aires, with all its history, passion and depth of stories, could stir up inside us and around us. And all of this gets brought back out through the dancing.
These photos from the Carlos Gardel Show help me to hold onto that feeling in my memory- a memory of how a dance- the Tango- drew me to a city that should have been completely foreign to me. But instead, it made me feel so at home, alive, and inspired. And I still miss it and think of it often, even after all this time.