Tango at the Obelisko


What I love most about living in Buenos Aires is all the free cultural events throughout the year. The Summer in the City festival offered one I could not miss, even if it was held at the same time as my favorite milonga.

A quiet Sunday evening during summer is a good time for walking in this city. I live about 25 blocks from the Obelisko where the stage was set with video screens for an audience of 5,000. I never heard of a major city that closes the main street for two nights to present free cultural events.  But Buenos Aires does this often.

One has to marvel at the order and organization. I had expected to stand in the middle of Avenida Nueve de Julio, the widest street in the world. I arrived at 7:15pm to find ample seating. There was a clear sky, 74 degrees with a gentle breeze — it was perfect.

The pre-show had five couples in solo tango performances. The highlight was Max van de Voorde and Solange Acosta, 2011 stage tango champions, with an outstanding performance that made me ask myself, how did they do that? The audience did not hold back their applause during the performance.

Amor Tango is going on tour with quintet in Europe and Asia. We had a preview. Though half of the music is not traditional tango, the dancing is top notch. Mora has arms and legs that stretch as high and fluidly as those of younger dancers in the company.  She surely trains daily to stay in shape for her demanding role as headliner of the show.

There is more conversation at milongas with 200 than at this outdoor show for 5,000.  It was hard to believe, but no one smoked or talked during the show with only one exception. A man two rows back talked during an instrumental interlude of Piazzola as if it were intermission. Someone nearby told him politely to hush up, and he did. This shows how much portenos appreciate these events.


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