Tango In Granada

Warning: If you are not a Tango Dancer, you might want to skip this post!

I am hungry for Tango dancing, especially after our aborted effort in Loja, where what we thought was a Milonga with live music turned out to be a Tango concert with all tickets sold out. I find some info on the internet and have it confirmed by the organisers I email before coming to the city. We are told we just missed the Tango festival, but I’m not unhappy about this. I usually prefer to meet the local scene rather than the hyped up atmosphere of the kind of festival that has lots of performances etc.

So this is where I spent a week dancing in and near Granada:

Wednesday 10pm, organised by Manuel, in a small place near the river. The floor was ok, smooth flagstones. The music was traditional, the people very friendly. I led and followed. The men were not shy to come up and ask for a dance. No cabeceo culture unfortunately…

Thursday – no Tango in Granada!!!

Friday 11pm (yes, I know it’s late. I heard that there is a practilonga from 9-11pm in Jun, see Sunday info) in Café Continental, organised by Juana and Julio. This is an interesting place in the middle of club-land, fairly much in the centre of the city. One part of the café was given over to Tango, the other part had tables where people played all sorts of games, from Chess to Settlers. The café had a very nice atmosphere and Juana came up straight away and welcomed me. I met quite a few people from Wednesday there. The floor was nice, the music a little too schmaltzy at times for my taste.

Saturday 7pm outside on the band stand in the park by the river. Even though the weather was quite cool and threatening rain, there was a good crowd there. The floor is basic and can be wet if it has rained, so don’t’ take your best shoes. By now, I know about half of the dancers who come – the scene is small… The music was nice and the organisers very friendly.

Sunday 9pm in Jun (5km north of Granada). This is worth the extra 5km! A little piece of BA in the middle of nowhere! Carlos y Deborah, two Argentines, have invested a lot of love, time and money to create a Tango club in the middle of an industrial estate! They are extremely welcoming, the floor is good, the music is good and a bar serves drinks and snacks.Again, I meet a lot of people from the previous days. There is virtually no cabeceo culture but everyone is very friendly and the guys just walk up to the women and ask them to dance. Some of the women go and ask too. Carlos is the perfect host, welcoming people, serving drinks and food, Djing, and in between he finds time and energy to dance with some of the very new followers.

Monday 9pm in Dìlar, 15km South of Granada (again, it’s really worth the trip!)This Milonga is in an old industrial building that has been turned into a practice space for circus people. The dancing here is quite different from the other places I visited. It is much freer, improvisatory, more flowing. Although I love traditional music, a good Ronda and close embrace, I had been missing the verve, the flow, the daring, the pushing of limitations. It was present in abundance in this Milonga, however, it made for a bit of chaos on the dance floor. Most of the dancers are very recent beginners, but because they come from a discipline of movement, being trapeze artists, slack-rope walkers, jugglers and acrobats, they already dance really well and with experimental abandon.The floor was smooth concrete, really nice to dance on actually. The music was good, a mix of traditional and alternative, in Tandas. I met an almost entirely different crowd here to the rest of the week.

I’m intrigued to see if in future these different sides of Granada Tango will meet more, intermingle and mutually enrich each other.

For the coordinates of these places, go to El Rincon Del Tango

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