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.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Teatro Verdi En La Boca

Built by Italian immigrants, Caruso performed there as well as other stars of opera, theater, and music. Now it's in constant use for classes in dance, music, yoga, acting, and for political rallies, events, concerts, and milongas. But it's a ruin of what it once was.

When the photo (above) of the facade was taken, the theater was already 125 years old. In the last four years it has deteriorated even more. Ruben used to dance Chamame there 30 years ago, and the only improvement he noticed when we went last week was the rotten wood floor had been replaced with tile.

Last Wednesday night, Ruben and I went to hear the hot new young orchestra, Fervor de Buenos Aires.

Another orchestra like Orquesta Típica Fernandez Fierro (seen playing on the streets of San Telmo). Pianist Javier Arias directs Fervor de Buenos Aires (name inspired by Borges) that plays in the style of Di Sarli.

We arrived early, I incredulous over the beautiful art nouveau lobby, while two tango classes were in progress under the auspices of Pedro "El Indio." My jaw dropped inside the hall at the colorful swirling art nouveau boxes on the three sides of the proscenium.

There was an occasional viejito, but most of the many dancers were young. Ok, so I didn't like the classes of the Dreaded 8-Count Basic with low-volume DiSarli coming from the computer, nor afterward, how they all danced in the milonga.

But they were having fun. Mostly tourists, they were experiencing Tango in Buenos Aires and would never forget it.

The orchestra took the stage, the tourists danced in their sandals and tennis shoes, there was an over-abundance of youthful tango energy in the ancient crumbling theater. I liked it a lot.


Tina said...

I have kind of a soft spot for ancient crumbling theatres. :-)
You know, I'm glad you posted about this beautiful and historic piece of architecture in La Boca. My ex (yeah, ex) brought me to that neighborhood very hesitantly, and after about 20 minutes I was bored and ready to leave.
So it brings me relief and much curiosity to learn about Teatro Verdi (being descended from Italian immigrants myself, I also have a soft spot for that...)... I suppose I'd still have to be careful, but I'm glad to know that there is more to La Boca than what little I saw. Thanks for this!

Sans said...

I think it's your turn to get tagged:

TAG, You're it! It's a blog game and you can read about it on my blog.

tangocherie said...

Hi Tina,
You would never notice the Verdi unless you knew it was there. (BTW, they call it the Teatro Jose Verdi, which just cracks me up!)

But even so, La Boca is not a place to go at night. Ruben drove and parked right in front, and so I felt secure, but a woman never never should go there alone!

tangocherie said...

Thanks, Sans, for the tag.
But I've done a couple of these, and the truth is right now I just can't. Maybe later, ok?
At least your tag let me peruse your fun blog!