A Night of Tango in San Telmo
One simply cannot visit Buenos Aires without experiencing the Tango. We decided to take our budding relationship with the dance slow and watch professionals at El Viejo Almacen before attempting the sensual, intricate movements ourselves.
There are tons of venues in Buenos Aires that offer Tango shows and dinner packages, but we chose El Viejo Almacen because it was recommended by the Lonely Planet guide, moderately priced and despite being slightly touristy, seemed much less "Vegas-y" than other shows we checked out.
The official website offered tickets to the show only for $232 pesos per person ($58 US), or the option to include dinner beforehand. Although dinner and a show sounded great, it was very overpriced at $376 pesos per person ($94 US), so we opted to attend only the show at El Viejo Almacen and get dinner elsewhere. Make sure to pay online for a 10% discount!
We arrived at the intimate venue 5 minutes before the show was scheduled to start, were taken to our seats on the balcony, and each handed a cold glass of sparkling wine. Not a bad start at all!
Now, there really isn't a bad seat in the place, but we suggest arriving a tad earlier than we did since it seemed like the balcony was sat as people checked in. Thus, the earlier arrivals got the best seats.
The lights went down, we watched a brief five-minute presentation on the History of El Viejo Almacen, and then the music and dancing began.
There were four pairs of dancers, a five-piece Tango band, two singers and a solo bandoneón (tango accordion) player. The dancers were amazing and from where we were sitting, we could see the determination and focus in their faces and the beads of sweat on their brow.
When the dancers were off-stage, the two singers, though past their prime, wooed the audience with their passion for Argentina and Tango music. The band was fantastic at keeping the energy high and crowd entertained with occasional solos.
There are undoubtably glitzier, fancier and trendier shows around Buenos Aires, but to us, the 1 hour and 45 minute show at El Viejo Almacen captured the intimate, sexy, gritty strength of barrio dance, and left us with a profound admiration for Tango dancers everywhere.