By Bob Schulman
Try to imagine 600 dancers -- that’s right, 600 – dragging their feet across the ballroom floor, then clutching each other while, er, romantically gyrating around (and separating long enough for shy looks over their partners’ shoulders) -- all to music described as “the world’s most sensual rhythm.”
It’s going to happen next month down in Argentina (of course) at Buenos Aires’ Annual Tango Festival & World Cup. Set to kick off Aug. 10 is a jam-packed schedule of concerts, shows, dance classes and milongas (tango parties featuring more relaxed – if that’s possible – leg and body movements). After two weeks of all this, judges will award the coveted cup to the best of the best dancers.
Among highlights of events at 42 venues across the city are shows by previous winners from around the world, “electro tango” entertainment and the ever popular “intimate live tango performances” at some of the city’s historic bars.
What’s more, the festival and its events are all free to guests.
There’s a lot more fun and action set for visitors to Buenos Aires over the next few months. Major events on the calendar include:
- The city will put out its rainbow carpet for a week of LGBT-themed events Aug. 14-18. On a full slate of a “celebration of diversity” in tandem with the tango festival are LGBT cultural gatherings, sports activities, business talks and a travel conference. (In November, more than 100,000 people are expected to turn out for Buenos Aires’ annual National Pride Parade.)
- Scheduled for Sept. 14-17 is Latin America’s largest design fair, called Puro Diseno. More than 400 exhibitors will display the latest trends in fashion, accessories, jewelry, decorations, graphic design, home furnishings, textiles, photography and illustration.
- To be held Sept. 15-17 will be an annual wine festival at which connoisseurs can sample over 1,000 different labels and specialist tastings. Also on the agenda are seminars and demonstrations of wine and food pairing by master chefs.
- The city’s streets will come alive Sept. 20-24 during Buenos Aires’ festival of new and alternative music, dance, theatre and arts. Called Ciudad Emergente, the event showcases the best of the city's emerging young talent covering everything from alternative rock and electronic music to photography, film, stand-up comedy, poetry and dance.
- Among popular events set for October is a bi-annual international theater festival (Oct. 5-21), this year with some 25 venues across the city. Also, the annual Buenos Aires Marathon (Oct. 15) is expected to draw as many as 12,000 runners from around the globe.