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Tango in Argentina

El Querandi Tango Show

Buenos Aires is littered with shows spotlighting the city’s flagship art form: the tango. That said, many of these can be heavily geared toward international tourists and lack authenticity. The El Querandi is one of the exceptions. It’s a good choice if you’re interested in seeing this dance performed to a high standard and in an unapologetically entertaining way. You’re presented with a lively and very well-executed dinner show set in an intimate venue in the Monserrat district of the city. A three-course meal with wine is included in your experience, as is the transport to and from your hotel.

After being picked up from your hotel and arriving at the venue, you’ll sit down to dinner at 8pm (which is, incidentally, early by Buenos Aires standards: locals won’t eat until 10pm, often later).

The show starts at 10pm, after your meal, which you’ll order from a choice of set menus. Your main meal will likely be Argentinian steak, but vegetarian options are also available. You can also upgrade to a VIP dining package please speak to your specialist for more details.

Your table will face the stage, where much of the dancing and big set pieces take place, but the dancers will also move in-between the tables, sometimes even dancing on the bar.

The show tells the story of the development of tango through the years, using a mixture of live performance, audio-visual presentations and archive footage.

It begins with the dance’s origins in the impoverished migrant quarters of Buenos Aires and ends at the present day. Along the way, you can expect multiple costume changes to reflect different historical periods.

A live band and vocalists provide the music, which features heavily on songs by Carlos Gardel, one of Argentina’s most beloved tango singers.

This version of the tango might be quite different to the styles you’re used to in Europe or North America. The dance here is often said to be grittier, rawer and slightly less glitzy, but it’s also more faithful to tango as it’s traditionally performed in Argentina.

You can, though, expect plenty of thrills and spills. You’ll see dancers executing trademark tango figures and moves, including lightning-fast ganchos (‘hooks’), and jumps and lifts.

The show usually finishes by 10.45pm, at which point your guide will meet you to take you back to your hotel.

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Tom King

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