Argentines pariticipate in mass street tango

Argentines participate in the annual Great National Milonga, a mass participation street tango performance, to celebrate the sultry dance.

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (DECEMBER 12, 2015) (REUTERS) – Argentines came out on Saturday (December 12) to pay homage to their national dance – the sultry tango.

The centrally located Avenida de Mayo in downtown Buenos Aires became an outdoor street tango dance salon — known as a “milonga” — for the annual Great National Milonga. The annual event comes a day after National Tango Day, which takes place on December 11. The outdoor salon includes three stages.

The outdoor celebration is timed perfectly to take advantage of the austral summer and also is pegged to the December 11 birth of tango legend, Carlos Gardel.

The origin of tango is in fact disputed between both Argentina and Uruguay as is the origins of Gardel.

Tango is now a global phenomenon.

“The truth is that the true star in the performance is the tourist, the person who comes out to dance. You see behind me the people dancing, they are tourists, visitors, it’s a form of interactive art in which the spectator is not a passive witness, but plays an actual role,” said the director of the Great National Milonga, Dante Camano.

Bands including the Kings of Tango, the Tipica Tanturi Orchestra, and Sciammarella Tango – the Ladies’ Orchestra are performing. Many bands are making use of the traditional tango accordion, known as the “bandoneon,” that’s responsible for many of the dramatic, nostalgic tunes that characterizes tango.

The tradition of dance and music has its roots in the lower class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay.

Events related to the annual tango celebration run through Sunday (December 13).