La Milonga de los Consagrados
Tango dancing in the south of Buenos Aires
*If you want to check out some authentic tango salons in Buenos Aires, the easiest and most fun way to do so is on a private tango nightlife tour, where your personal guide will show you the local scene and explain everything that is going on to you, taking you to the best places on the night of your choice. For more information, click here.*
La Milonga de los Consagrados is just one of the many places in Buenos Aires where you can spot locals dancing tango in a more traditional setting. Different from the professional Tango Shows in Buenos Aires, a milonga is full of regular Buenos Aires residents who come out to dance tango for their own entertainment!
Same venues, different milongas…
As mentioned in the excellent overview on Tango in Buenos Aires, even if a milonga is in the same salon as another, each event will still have its own character depending on the day of the week, the organizer, the crowd, and if it’s in the afternoon or at night.
Los Consagrados is in the same salon as the famous former Niño Bien of Thursday nights (in the wonderful Centro Region Leonesa, which is in the barrio of Constitución, just a few blocks away from the adjoining San Telmo), but it is a totally different experience. The fact that it’s held on Saturday afternoons, the traditional “difficult” day for singles, makes it even more of a plus.
A perfect tango salon
For one thing, the salon is perfect: large wooden dance floor, high high ceilings with a skylight, a bar, red velvet curtains at each end, a balcony for smokers. It is old and elegant at the same time, with the faded ambiance that foreigners especially love about Buenos Aires.
This is not a tourist milonga by any stretch of the imagination, despite the fact that several tourists do find their way there. The majority of the dancers are locals and regulars – sitting at the same tables week after week.
The atmosphere is friendly and open (although the strict codes of tango – or codigos – do apply). Men sit on one side, women on the other, couples and mixed groups at either end. It is necessary to cabecear (nod) to get a dance. There is very little of the snobbishness and elitism that permeates milongas such as El Beso and Maipu 444. There are also very few of the “bottom feeder” types, who come to prey on foreigners, such as can be found in La Ideal. The level of dancing is fairly high.
Tango with a twist
Unlike many milongas (Chique, for example), tandas (blocks) of other rhythms are always played during the afternoon. You can expect a tanda of tropical rhythms (merengue and cumbia), rock ‘n roll (Dixieland to Elvis) and folklore (La Chacarera). The DJ is capable, but tends to be a little unoriginal and repetitive.
Finally, for added excitement, each week there is a sorteo, an entrance ticket prize draw, for a bottle of champagne or a snack plate. Best of luck!
[Article written by Cherie Magnus]
Location of La Milonga de los Consagrados
Humberto Primo 1462, between San Jose & Saenz Pena, Constitución (a few blocks from the neighborhood of San Telmo)
If you want to attend Los Consagrados on your own:
- Opens Saturday afternoons 4.30pm-10.30pm
- Reservations are necessary (see below for telephone number)
- Organizer: Enrique “Gordo” Rosich