A ‘must do’ while you are in Buenos Aires is go to a dinner and tango show. My Spanish tutor has been to several different Tango Dinner Shows in Buenos Aires and her favorite is Senor Tango because of the flashy dancers and variety of performances. Senor Tango claims to be the city’s most popular Tango Show, but if you are looking for a more traditional performance without the Hollywood Glam of Senor Tango then check out the show at the Carlos Gardel tango house.
Transportation and Tickets
We arranged to see the Senor Tango Dinner Show through the BYT travel agency. The entire cost for dinner and transportation to and from Senor Tango was $80 USD per person. It was very convenient; a shuttle picked us up at Hotel Alvear then picked up the other guest at their apartment in Recoleta. After the show we simply looked for our driver who held up a number for our group, and we were dropped off at our apartment in Palermo.
The tango house of Senor Tango was amazing. The front was lit with an enormous sign, and a mural of tango dancers was painted on the building's side. The inside was decorated with pictures of tango dancers, statues of people serving wine and dancing, and art from the famous barrio, La Boca. The stage was a circular platform in the center of a three story room. The bottom floor had large round tables that could seat eight people each. The second floor had private tables on the back wall and chairs next to the balcony for people to sit as they watched the show. The third floor was closed, but I assume it was designed similarly to the second, you could see a row of chairs near the railing.
Finding the Best Seat
Every seat in the house offers a great view, but I think the best seat would be on the right center of the second floor. The dance stage is circular and the dancers are choreographed to provide great views for the entire audience, but the band plays facing the right center portion of the audience. The seats on the left of the tango house are probably the worst; also the front left corner can be uncomfortable because a spotlight from the opposite side shines on the dancers and can blind the guest in those seats.
How to Dress
At the dinner and tango show there were many people dressed very elegantly, but if you only brought casual clothing for your Buenos Aires tour don’t feel that you must miss the popular Senor Tango Dinner. Along with long evening dresses, there were many people in blue-jeans and khakis. The dancers and sales girls are the people to watch for stunning attire. There were ladies selling photographs dressed in skimpy outfits which reminded me of a 20’s cigarette vender costume or a flapper dress. The dancers outfits varied for the different performances, there were traditional costumes of the native Americans, long colorful Flamenco dresses and a variety of sexy dresses on the tango dancers.
The performance was absolutely amazing. The band was wonderful, the singers were great and the dancers were beautiful. It began with a man floating down from the ceiling to land in the arms of a gorgeous woman. They danced to a popular tango song, then disappeared. Next, horses were marched onto stage and a traditional song of the Native Americans was played. The show seemed to be going through the ages, because after the native song we were delighted by some local folk music and dancers. It was a little like swing dancing, but a less flashy. In-between each dance performance there was either a singer or a song played by the band. There was a short flamenco piece then the rest of the evening was a variety of tango dances. Each dance made me want to go out and start taking lessons.
The tango performances were absolutely stunning. The ladies were gorgeous and the men were in perfect shape. I loved the slow sensual dances that only featured one couple at a time. I couldn't believe the dresses on the women! Long evening wear, with daringly high slits, and neck lines that plunged down to their waist-lines. Those thin bodies covered in nothing but black silk and fishnet combined with interlocking legs made me think I was at a high class exotic dance club, instead of a family-friendly dinner show.
After several minutes of intense and slow dancing, the music would speed up and about a dozen dancers would fly onto the floor. They would all whirl around each other so fast it was hard for my eyes to keep up. At times they were all synchronized and perfectly spaced to form a circle, then they would fall back and allow one couple to take the spot light. My head began to spin from all of the movement, then a girl would be raised into the air, pulled by two invisible ropes.
The performance ended with a song made famous by the movie Evita, "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina". It was sung in both Spanish and English, and all of the performers gathered on stage to spin blue and white streamers into the Argentinean Flag. When the sparkling confetti fluttered down over the dancers the crowd could no long contain their excitement and joined in, singing in which ever language they felt more comfortable. Luckily for me I had consumed enough wine to make the mixture sound beautiful. Apparently I wasn't the only one who thought the crowds cries passed as music, because on the ride home our entire group tried to serenade our driver.