This is not fake news

The milongas of Buenos Aires are in jeopardy.

  1. Cancellations are frequent.  The number of milongas is declining steadily.
  2. The closure of Confiteria Ideal in March 2016 is one example when seven milongas closed, and only one of those organizers moved to a new venue.  Salon Canning (newly remodeled in 2016) and Obelisco Tango host milongas seven days a week.
  3. Some organizers are operating during the winter months at a loss, yet they stay open for their regular customers.
  4. The increase in the entrada for milongas is necessary to cover costs, and those on a fixed retirement income attend less often.
  5. There are more practicas than in recent years which aren’t required to pay for music licensing fees, wait staff, etc.  Needless to say, serious dancers don’t attend practicas where the codes are non-existent.
  6. A milonguera said to me last night: “There are only five milongas.”
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7 Responses to “This is not fake news”

  1. tangogeoff Says:

    Oh no…

  2. jantango Says:

    Hurry back before your favorite places are closed.

  3. L. Says:

    The bottom line is that milongas where so few people are well behaved and practice any decorum aren’t at all fun. Sadly, it sounds like even BAs is subject to the metastasis of rude boorish people who have little or no interest in the music, or even the dance and in conducting themselves in such a way that makes being together a pleasurable experience. And tango and the milonga is still another temple where the money changers have prevailed. Not long ago a couple who are quite close friends excitedly tried out a few tango events after giving them some good orientation and being reasonably well prepared… Their reaction? “You’ve got to be kidding me! I’d rather go to the dentist than spend an evening with those people!” [sigh…] When I came into the tango community many years ago, it wasn’t the music or the dance that initially appealed to me so much. At the milongas, in spite of being quite inept as a dancer, I was always received extremely graciously, warmly, I was gently schooled in the “codes” or etiquette and I enjoyed myself immensely in spite of my ineptitude on the dance floor. I was shunned by no one. No one insulted me. I was never struck or kicked by another dancer. I ultimately, by way of example and patient tutelage (NOT paying for lessons from anyone), at very casual and social practicas with friends), became quite capable as a partner and leader. We all enjoyed each others company in a wide variety of ways, whether we choose to dance with each other or not, while the primary focus was always on the music and the dance. I thought that I had found a micro-utopia! A few hours of a good milonga, even as a rank beginner, was fabulous medicine for the woes brought by much of the remainder of life. Any milonguero viejo describes essentially the same. No more. Most of those milongueros whose company I enjoyed are either no longer in this world or are choosing to stay home or take up another pastime in disdain of what the milonga has become. Now, more often than not, the milonga, no matter where it is, is most likely to be an exercise in masochism.

  4. Colin Brace Says:

    Really sorry to hear that Confiteria closed. Like I’m sure a great number of others, I have fond memories of that memorable place. Claude took me there the very first afternoon I was in BA.

  5. jantango Says:

    I, too, have fond memories of Confiteria Ideal. That’s why it’s a shame that it won’t be used anymore for milongas once the renovation is completed. Today, Marabu (aka Maracaibo) is the only downtown venue hosting dances with orquestas.

  6. Tango Tails Says:

    This is tearfully sad, and many people think that tango is at a renaissance, growing. In March 2015, at Confiteria Ideal for the 1st & last time, they told me that they were on the verge of closing. This news really saddened me, and in fact the place was nearly empty. Now it is reality. I must continue to believe that there is hope for us that love this culture, art, history, “therapy for me”, etc.

  7. jantango Says:

    It’s sad to see a beautiful building with spacious dance floors in the city center not being rented out for milongas, as Confiteria Ideal was since 1996.

    I passed by Nuevo Salon La Argentina this week where an organizer held his last milonga in February after 16 years. It was rumored the owners sold the building to developers for a high-rise. There is a “FOR RENT” sign on the building. There is only one use for the salon — dancing.

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