12 October 2016

Tango at Café Tortoni

The Parisian ambiance lured us to the grand Café Tortoni, but the tango show was cause for our extended stay. Founded in 1858 by a French immigrant, the café is quintessentially porteño. The irresistible combination of wood, marble, glass, and mirror elements evoke a European flair, like the tango itself. The performance, the establishment’s foremost asset is held in the basement. We are part of an intimate crowd, modest in number and delightfully international. The singer, lit by spotlight through the dimness, is an interactive host. As an audience, we respond to his survey of our home countries. When a member of the crowd declares himself the representative of los Estados Unidos, A.C. and I silently evaluate his inexperienced pronunciation. The dancers, who seem to have no fault, embrace, whip, hook, and sweep to the narration of the singer’s storyline. They glide, kick, and float across the stage effortlessly in unison.  At the close of the spectacle, we spend many minutes photographing ourselves on stage. Filled to the brim with chocolate, churros, and Chandon, we walk east on Avenida de Mayo, still in the midst of the dance. 
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M.J.C.

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