An expat Californian building a new life via the tango in Buenos Aires since 2003, including information on learning the tango and where to dance it in Buenos Aires.

Monday, January 22, 2007

La Chacarera

Ever since the horrible tragedy of Cromagnon in December 2004, and the resulting several months closure of all dance clubs in Buenos Aires, including milongas, some reopened tango halls no longer play tandas of other rhythms. Traditionally the DJs break up all that tango with one tanda of "tropical" (mostly cumbia and merengue), one of "rock" (mostly Dixieland jazz and Bill Haley), and a tanda of folklore, or Chacarera.

Here is a video of Ruben and Victoria dancing La Chacarera at the Milonga de los Consegrados:



And some photos of me:






6 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Ever since the horrible tragedy of Cromagnon in December 2004, and the resulting several months closure of all dance clubs in Buenos Aires, including milongas, some reopened tango halls no longer play tandas of other rhythms."

can you explain why the reopened tango halls stopped playing other kinds of music? trying to understand how that's related to the fire at Cromagnon.

Cherie said...

Dear Anon,

Thanks for your question. Sometimes it's easy to forget that the whole world doesn't know what happens down here.

After the Cromagnon fire, in which hundreds of kids lost their lives or were injured, the city closed ALL dance venues, pending safety inspections.

The time-frame for the inspections dragged on and on, and finally frustrated tangueros danced in the streets to protest. Their point was that tango is serious cultural heritage, and nothing to do with rock clubs over-filled with young people shooting off fireworks.

So tango clubs were allowed to reopen, as long as only tango music was played. Even the cortinas changed to undanceble tangos (Piazzola, for instance) instead of the usual snippet of jazz or rock.

Some milongas went back to the old system, though, and played other tandas on occasion, and if the police happened to wander in, the milonga was closed down. Owners, organizers, and promoters were scared because tango is big business in Buenos Aires. During the three months or so of closure, many tour groups cancelled and tourists changed their plans and went elsewhere. Lots of people were out of work because of it -- waiters, DJs, bartenders, bouncers, remise drivers, hotel employees, and on and on. It was a terrible period of tango life here in Buenos Aires. Some people refer to that night in Cromagnon, December 30, 2004, as The Night The Tango Died. But that's something for another Post.

Cherie

cruelenelcartel said...

Dear Cherry:
I wish you could understand some portuguese so that you could visit my blog, and know about the point of view of ather stranger living in argentina.
Love your blog.
I.ll come visit you often.
MAybe we will meet in a milonga.
I have a curiosity.
How is tango in canada?
Is it acepted?
Many people dancing?
wich part of canada are you from?

Cherie said...

Saludos, Cruelenel,

I went to your blog, and it looks very interesting--what a shame I can't read it! (But the pictures are great.) Maybe after I master Castellano, I can learn Portuguese. :)

Anyway, I'm not Canadian, but born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I lived a while in Paris, and 2 1/2 years in Mexico before moving to Buenos Aires three years ago.

I'd love to meet you at a milonga. Where do you go?

Besitos,
Cherie

Anonymous said...

Hi Cherie,

I'm dying to go to La Catedral but i can't figure out if it's open/closed....

Any advice? thanks

Ef.

Cherie said...

Dear EF,

Unfortunately, La Catédral is part of history. The milonga there on Tuesday nights was organized by Omar Viola and Parakultural. (http://www.parakultural.com.ar/)

The upstairs milonga in the old wooden warehouse was an accident waiting to happen, so maybe it's a good thing nothing tragic occurred, like in Cromagnon.

Now we can dance there only in our dreams...

C.

P.S. If it makes any difference, at the end it had become touristic and wasn't the same anyway. Whatever is?