Tango comes to Downtown Vancouver

Photo credit: parakulturado | Flickr

Photo credit: parakulturado | Flickr

Ready to tango?

Few dances are as sultry, as storied or as elegant as the tango.  Now, Vancouverites can  get a taste of sensual Argentine rhythms on the heart of Granville Street at downtown’s Vancouver FanClub.

Every other Sunday, the New-Orleans-style supper club transforms itself into an authentic afternoon milonga – a tango dance hall.  Traditional tangos and valses echo through the atmospheric club, while dozens of dance partners – many done up in dapper suits and sensual dresses – step across the floor.

True to milonga etiquette, three to five songs are played, then all of the dancers change partners.  On a recent afternoon, the scene inside the FanClub looked and sounded more like downtown Buenos Aires than downtown Vancouver.

Tango music and dancing originated in Argentina and nearby Uruguay in the late 1800s, a unique mix of European and African rhythms.  The dance became an international sensation in the early 1900s, spreading to Paris, London and New York.

Over the last century, tango has evolved into numerous styles, from formal ballroom tango to the more somber and sensual Argentine tango and even so-called tango nuevo, which incorporates electronica music.  Tango is danced either with an open embrace or, more commonly, chest to chest, with rhythmic, syncopated steps and stops.

Tango Sundays is organized by Vancouver’s own Downtown Tango, a dance school that specializes in the sexy Argentine dance.  The event is held in the Vancouver FanClub, whose high ceilings, worn wood floors and conspiratorial interiors make a convincing backdrop for a classic tango hall.

The events also feature live painting by local artists, to round out the cultural offerings.

Tango and Art Sundays are every first and third Sunday of the month, from 2 p.m.-5 p.m. at the Vancouver FanClub.  Tickets are $10 and no experience is required to get out on the dance floor.

Any tango fans in Vancouver? What do you think of Tango Sundays? 

For more updates on Vancouver and beyond, follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza.  

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