Archive for the ‘Salones de baile’ Category

Salon La Argentina

June 24, 2020

I wrote posts about Salon La Argentina in the Palacio Rodriguez Pena after having a personally guided tour with tango friends.  It was a spectacular venue for the social elite of Buenos Aires.  New organizers had ambitious plans to run a milonga this year that abruptly came to a halt when a quarantine went into effect in March.

Among the El Mundo archives scanned by Michael Krugman, I found this one for an appearance by Orquesta Alfredo De Angelis in the Salon La Argentina with a jazz orquesta for alternate sets.   The organizer may have been Club Social Yunke.  Ladies always had the lowest admission charge to these dances.  It was necessary buying the morning newspaper if one wanted to dance at night.  People didn’t decide where to go dancing until reading where their favorite orquesta would be performing that night.  

Casa Suiza

June 23, 2020

I wrote a post about Casa Suiza several years ago.  Although it was a historical landmark founded in 1893, it was demolished for new construction.

I was happy to discover this ad among the scanned files of Michael Krugman.  I knew the interior of the building when someone organized a practica and class.  Orquesta Ricardo Malerba with singer Orlando Medina performed in the Salon Suiza on Rodriguez Pena 254, only one block from Salon La Argentina in Palacio Rodriguez.

Centro Region Leonesa

June 22, 2020

If you have been to Buenos Aires, you have probably danced in the salon on the first floor of Centro Region Leonesa on Humberto 1° 1462.  These ads are from El Mundo of 1941, when the dances included tango and jazz orquestas.  Several years ago the dance floor was replaced after decades of wear and tear.

Try to imagine what it was like in 1941 going there to dance to Carlos Di Sarli’s orquesta with singer Roberto Rufino.  After a tango set of 40 minutes, you could dance to a live jazz orquesta.


Organizers had names for their dances, as announced in these ads.  Centro Region Leonesa (Lion’s Club) has hosted dances since it was founded in 1916.

I would like to be seated close to the stage on the left so I could try to sneak at peak at Di Sarli playing the piano, even though he never allowed anyone to watch his hands while he performed.

Mi Club

June 20, 2020

The ad reads as follows:  Grand dances by the magazine Argentine Cinema – Today and all the following Sundays at 6:00pm in My Club (Forwarders Union) at Moreno 2967 cheered Julian Centeya and Federico (?).  In the magazine Argentine Cinema there is a gift coupon for these dances. CLIP IT.  Admission:  guests $2, partners (club members) $1.50, Ladies $0.50   Roberto Zerrillo was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and began studying violin at age 11.  He directed Orquesta Tipica Roberto Zerrillo at this dance in the Forwarders Union building that still exists in my neighborhood.  Raul Brujis was an Argentinian composer of very few tangos.

Since the building where these dances were held is in my neighborhood, I went this week to investigate the location.  On the first visit, I found a huge demolished space that looked like it had been a sports club many years ago, a common venue for dances.  I looked for Moreno 2947, which is not the address in the ad.  I went back another day to Moreno 2967 and found the Union Tranviarios with broken windows on the first floor.  That confirmed I had found the same venue of these dances by Mi Club.  My next visit will be to see if I can get more information about the building and possibly gain access to the salon used for the dances in the 1940s and take photos.

This is a photo I found on the internet, not one that I took as the building is today.

This is another ad for My Club:  Today from 5:00pm to 11:00pm, Alfredo DeAngelis and Paul Wyer (animated).  Gentlemen $2, Ladies $0.50  Sunday, May 30th – Carlos Di Sarli and Bleu Garden Jazz.

The word “animated” had me curious and searching.  I found this video of Paul Wyer and the Red Hot Orchestra.  I suspect that film footage of the orchestra was shown for dancing, alternating with tango sets.

This investigation is interesting.  I’m finding many unanswered questions about how things were in the 1940s dances.  If anyone knows more, please comment below.

Here the ad is designated Salon Union Tranviarios when Orquesta Osvaldo Pugliese performed with singers Augusto Gauthier and Roberto Chanel.  Gauthier never sang for recordings with Pugliese, but was recorded singing on the radio.  Barry Moral (jazz) had three vocalists.

I found more ads at Moreno 2967 after posting.

This is the first ad by Onyx Mutual Association using the salon at Union Tranviarios on Moreno 2967.

This was the first time “Mi Club” announced the orquestas for the following Sunday.

And this ad from April 11, 1943, for the beginning of the season with Miguel Calo, also announced the orquestas for two following nights. I think that was using the advertising space wisely for the benefit of dancers.  There was probably an announcement made several times each night during the dance.  As long as orquestas were already booked for a date, it was good business to let the dancers know.  The months of January and February were vacation time for the musicians.  Besides it was too warm those months for dances when there was no air-conditioning in those days.  This ad indicates the “beginning of the season” in April.  Dancers had to be there early on Sunday to hear the orquestas.  It appears that Miguel Calo was there “until 19,20 hs,” and the orquesta went to another club.

An update 7/15/2020

I went to take photos of the Union Transviarios Automotor building yesterday.  I was curious to see if someone on the premises would permit me to enter and view the room where the orquestas performed in the 1940s.

The man at the door said the windows on the first floor were vandalized in December.  He called the building manager about my request.  A man came out to meet me and talk with me on the street.  He said he couldn’t let me inside, but he wanted to give me a copy of a book published in 2017 about the history of public transportation of Buenos Aires, which has a photo of the movie theater where the dances with orquestas were held.  The book is a historical archive of streetcars and buses in the city’s transportation system.  The question remains for me is exactly where did the people dance and sit.  Work is being done on the building and at some point dancing could return to the salon.  Dancers here and around the world are wondering when social dancing in the milongas will return.

A History about Wheels


June 18, 2020

Tibidabo had its grand opening on April 24, 1942, on Avenida Corrientes 1244, and was open for business until 1955 when it was demolished.  The small salon on the first floor of the new building was known as Club Monte Carlo where the milonga La Pavadita was organized by Alicia “La Turca” Juan and Juan Carlos La Falce.  It was a friendly afternoon milonga which I attended until it closed in 2002.  It’s where El Flaco Dany and Muma began teaching before the milonga.

The restaurant La Churrasquita then took over the first floor space and doubled its seating capacity.  Tango lost another venue on Avenida Corrientes.

This is the first of many posts featuring advertising from the daily newspaper El Mundo from 1941-1943, painstakingly scanned in the Biblioteca Nacional archives by Michael Krugman.  I will share the work that he wasn’t able to finish.

Edificio El Molino

January 12, 2020

Restoration work on the landmark Edificio El Molino across from the national congress has been ongoing for years.  For the last year, the work appears more serious than before.

There is a beautiful salon de baile on the first floor.  During my first visit to Buenos Aires in March 1996, I went one night to the milonga organized by Juan Fabbri of Solo Tango TV. The entrada was $8 pesos/dollars — the highest entrada of all the milongas at that time.

The restoration process is far from complete, but I have hopes there is a milonguero/a ready, willing, and able to host a new milonga in the salon of this historic 1916 building.

Buenos Aires is the tango center of the world.

Confiteria del Molino

December 30, 2018

Only one block from the demolished Nuevo Salon La Argentina is the Confiteria del Molino.  This building, which opened in 1916, is a protected landmark under restoration and now owned by the state.  It’s never coming down!

I had my first visit to Buenos Aires in March 1996, when a milonga opened on the first floor of Confiteria del Molino (windmill).  This article from La Nacion has a photo of the dance salon where Madonna danced in the movie “Evita.”  The milonga closed after only six months, and then the building closed and was abandoned in 1997.  The confiteria on the ground floor is where politicians went to talk business. The national congress is just across the street.

This photo shows the windows and doors facing Avenida Callao of the salon de baile where the milonga was held in 1996.  I recall going out on the balcony through the doors on the far right. I may have danced only one tanda that night, but it was a very special place for tango, even if only for a brief period.  Perhaps tango dancing will return to the famous salon de baile in Confiteria del Molino in the not too distant future.  The city is losing venues for milongas, which are crucial to tango’s survival as a social dance and cultural interest.

Società Unione Operai Italiani

January 15, 2014

Salon de Societá Unione Operai Italiani salon de Societá Unione Operai Italiani 2


Società Unione Operai Italiani,  located at Sarmiento 1374 in San Nicolas, was founded in 1874.  The grand Salon Augusteo was a venue for tango during the 1950s.  The salon finally closed in April 2005 with its final milonga.  Law protects the building for historical preservation since 2008.  This is considered one of the most important buildings in Argentina for Italians.  Virginio Colombo, architect from Milan, renovated the salon for cultural events in 1913.  In 2012, the building was bought by the Church of Scientology in Argentina which will renovate and restore this masterpiece.

Palacio Rodriguez Pena

April 6, 2013

Two friends and I got a personal tour of Palacio Rodriguez Pena this week.  The orchestras of Juan D’Arienzo and Osvaldo Pugliese, as well as singers Carlos Gardel and Alberto Castillo among others performed there.  Built in 1902, it was the city’s first hall for important social gatherings.  It’s still as lavish as it was then.


The manager turned on the lights and walked us through the palace.  It felt like we stepped back to another era.

DSCN4856 original chandelier

The chandelier in the main salon is lowered on a pulley for cleaning and bulb replacement.

DSCN4857 dressing room as it was in 1902

The furniture is the original in the small dressing room where musicians and singers left their coats.  The wallpaper is not original, but from the period.  The porcelain sink was replaced.

DSCN4858 modern kitchen of Palacio Rodriguez Pena

The huge kitchen is equipped to handle events of 400 people.

DSCN4859 view from the stage

This floor was meticulously constructed for dancing in the salon.  It shows wear, but then it’s more than 100 years old.  This was the place where young ladies were introduced to society.  When invited by a gentleman to dance, a lady looked to her mother seated in the balcony above for her approval.

DSCN4860 the stage

The musicians sat in the area behind these red curtains when playing for dances..

DSCN4861 original bar

Many of the original lamps and artwork grace the palace where the elite of Buenos Aires gathered for dining and dancing.

Casa Suiza

May 9, 2012

I was walking by last month and stopped to talk with the young man at the entrance.  There was something going on inside, and I was curious to know if renovation plans are underway for Casa Suiza.  That was wishful thinking on my part.  The man told me that the owners are awaiting permits to demolish the existing property and build an office/apartment building with a multi-level garage.

What’s so special about Casa Suiza?  Founded in 1893, Casa Suiza is a historical landmark.  It was the place where Blacks rented the lower level and first floor salon in the 1940s to 1970s.  They called it The Shimmy Club and danced candombe there.  I learned that fact from Tango: The Art History of Love by Robert Farris Thompson (Pantheon 2005).  He interviewed Carlos Alberto Anzuate, one of the blacks who danced in the basement of Casa Suiza.