Monthly Archives: March 2014

My favorite tandas: Laurenz/Gobbi – ‘Triste destino’

The star of this dramatic mixed tanda is vocalist Alfredo Del Río. As Abel Palermo notes in his biographical sketch, Del Río’s “great vocal facility, his special sense for interpretation, and his discipline and responsibility about taking care of his voice made him become a great professional.” The quality of the two Laurenz numbers–rarely heard at milongas–is not very good, but I’m not aware of any better transfers.

Update: I had assumed that combining Gobbi and Laurenz in the same tanda was uncommon, but in this recent interview renowned DJ Félix Picherna notes that he used to mix these two orchestras when DJing in Europe.

Tango in London

Every once in a while, a friend who is visiting London, or who has just moved to the city, writes me with questions about the local tango scene. As I was composing my reply to the most recent of these inquiries, I thought it would be a good idea to write a brief post reproducing what I usually say in correspondence. A post of this sort would not only relieve me from the need to write the same messages over and over again, but more importantly, it may prove to be of use to other dancers who do not know me personally. So, here we go.

First of all, to know what milongas or practicas are taking place on a given day, check the London tango calendar. Alternatively, you may consult the Facebook page tomorrow’s milongas.

I don’t usually go dancing on Mondays or Tuesdays. On Wednesdays, try Tango Light. The average age at this milonga seems lower than at most others, though I’ve been here only a few times.

Some of my friends like to visit Tango Terra on Thursdays. I’m not very enthusiastic about milongas with live music, though, so I rarely go there.

On Fridays, I recommend Carablanca, perhaps my favorite London milonga. If you want to keep dancing after midnight, you can head over to Negracha, which lasts until 3am and is within walking distance. Discount tickets for Negracha are available at the Carablanca counter.

On Saturdays there is Tango Garden in the afternoon, and on alternate weeks, either The Light or Corrientes in the evening. Please note that The Light is held on different venues on different days.

Finally, on Sundays I generally go to Etnia. From June to September, there is also Tango Fever, a nice open air milonga in Spitafields.

These are just my recommendations, which reflect my own tastes and idiosyncrasies.  Furthermore, as I have been dancing in London for only a few months, my knowledge of the tango scene is not that great, and as a result I may be omitting some milongas or practicas out of sheer ignorance.  So please don’t rely on this mini-guide as your sole source of information.