In Buenos Aires, the tango is everywhere. It determines the soul of this city. Just like The Mothers at the Plaza de Mayo or the eternal rivalry between the football clubs Boca Juniors and Riverplate. The tango is like life itself, full of passion and melancholy. Walking through the characteristic district of San Telmo, the sounds of tango are never far away.
Photo: Jurriaan Teuling, November 2019, Florida Lavalle Tango
Dutch tango dancer in Buenos Aires
In Buenos Aires the Dutch Willemijn van der Linden has found and embraced her great love: the tango. In 2015 she decided to move to the Argentine capital for an indefinite period of time.
By now she is a professional tango dancer and works every day, together with about 15 other professional dancers, in the famous street show at the intersection of the streets of Florida and Lavalle. Together with her dance partner José Carlos she regularly performs in important tango bars also called milonga's and she teaches tango to Dutch tourists. At the beginning of February 2020 Willemijn could be seen in the successful Dutch TV show 'De Bauers in Argentina', where they learned Frans and Mariska their very first tango dance steps.
Photo taken by Monteleone in the tango café Salon Canning on 21 February 2020 during their last performance
Photo taken by Nikolay Chigirev in October 2019 during Florida Lavalle tango show
The origin of the Tango
At the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, Buenos Aires experienced tremendous growth when many migrants from Europe moved to this city with the hope of a better life. In those days, Buenos Aires was one of the richest cities on earth. In the poor, desolate suburbs of the city, which were mainly populated by young men, the tango finds its origin. Just as the culture of Buenos Aires was shaped by the customs, the food and the language the immigrants brought from all corners of Europe, the tango was also shaped by the dance and music styles brought from the old world. Initially, dance was considered obscene, but in the first decade of the last century this changed and the dance steadily grew to become a symbol of the Argentine capital.
Icon Carlos Gardel
Argentine tango is inextricably linked to Carlos Gardel. This singer, songwriter is considered the embodiment of tango. Born as Charles Romuald Gardés in Toulouse, France, he travelled to Buenos Aires with his mother at the age of three. He grew up in the district of San Nicolas, not far from the old centre of the Argentine capital. He started his career as a singer in bars until his performance of Mi Noche Triste (my sad night) became really famous. Although Gardel is seen as one of the most important persons in Argentinean history, he is not from here and he is still mentioned in the same breath as Evita Peron, Maradonna, Messi and Che Guevarra. Not only was he not born in Argentina, but he also died abroad. In 1935 a plane crash near the Colombian city of Medellín killed him. However, his name is forever connected to Argentina and his body was eventually buried in Buenos Aires.
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