After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.
Monday, October 29, 2007
The Seasons of Tango
In Los Angeles, since it's always "spring" year round, we used to talk about the four seasons of earthquake, fire, flood, and mudslide. The annual Santa Ana winds marked the season of fire. So if you include the wind, the L.A. seasons are the four basic elements: earth, fire, water, and air.
In the Buenos Aires of the tango world, in which I've lived for almost four years, there are only two seasons: tourist and "quiet." Right now we're moving into the highpoint of the first tango tourist season--October and November. It's springtime, the weather is beautiful, and tango tourists from all over the globe can hit the milongas for a month and then get home to enjoy the holidays with their families. The autumn of March and April is the same. During these times there are also tango conferences, festivals, and "weeks" put on to attract foreigners to Buenos Aires. Many people I know come for the two months of each season every year.
There's good and bad reasons for visiting Buenos Aires at these times, the most obvious is the weather factor. Spring and fall are the times of the best weather; winter is chilly and summer is blazing, humidly hot. And since our winter corresponds with the summer of most of the countries of the visiting dancers, it makes sense that they don't want to forgo summer at home to endure a nasty winter instead.
The other factor is apart from the tourist seasons, the milongas are quiet with only the locals attending. There is less energy, but also less competition to dance with portenos/as. And there is more space on the floor.
In spring and fall, the total character of most of the milongas is changed by the influx of outsiders and tourist groups. Some local people only go out to dance when the tourists are in town. So there are more people to dance with--and more competition. And less space on the floor.
There's a saying that it's always summer in the milongas. So really the best time to come here is any time you can!
But as for me personally, I enjoy the visitors so much that I wish I could spread them throughout the year so that I would have more time to spend with each one. On the other hand, when everybody comes at once, it's a reason to have a party!