It’s always been about tango - Boedo 13th of September 2020

“You’re from Denmark, the country of the happiest people in the world. Why on earth are you living in Argentina?!”

Not a hard question to answer - it’s always been about tango. 

But tango in a broader sense. A way of living that totally blew me away. Culture and creativity that are intimately weaved into everyday life, a surrounding force that keeps Argentine culture strong and proud even though the future seems dark and gloomy. Tango is music, dance, lyrics, encounter… But it is also the most genuine expression of the culture of Buenos Aires despite the fact that not many porteños actively participate in the culture. However that happens in many places I believe, that culture at some point is taken for granted, that it represents values that we all have incorporated but might not look into or cultivate consciously. Tango is the elegant witness of the tough Argentine life. It shows how the human being needs beauty to survive. How beauty can heal, take us somewhere else, give life to that other dimension that makes it all worth it. 

Tango gathered the many people who came to Argentina 100 years ago. People with dreams, longing, doubts and courage. What made them leave everything and travel so far? You live only once, you better get the most out of it? And where ca
n you live the life that has most of what you dream about? Paradise on earth doesn’t exist, not either if you’re born in the happiest country. You’ll always miss something, you’ll always be longing. That’s the cruel truth and that’s the grief we inhabited and which we become more and more conscious about as we grow up. That’s also what gives sense to it all. And the tango embraces it. It allows you to dive into the beautiful sadness, you feel more alive than ever, knowing that it only lasts for three minutes. 

The pandemic has taken the tango away from us. We are all alone, locked up. Suddenly the Argentine reality has lost its abrazo, the place where we all find comfort and get recharged to once again fight our way through the metropolitan jungle, through life. The tango will find it’s way out I’m sure, but it’s tough to watch Buenos Aires without its dirty glory. It’s hard not being able to disappear in a dark, chaotic, humid milonga, letting yourself be transformed into hands and feet and serve the great tango spirit.  

Ph: Magu Ladrón de Guevara


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