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Dance on!

Posted by Patricia Harris  October 8, 2009 11:56 AM

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Instructor shows basic steps to a novice tango student at Confitería Ideal in Buenos Aires.

I have to concur with the judgment of UNESCO in naming the tango of Argentina and Uruguay part of the world’s cultural heritage (although it could be hard to trust the conclusion of a group burdened with the unfortunate moniker, the “Intergovernmental Committee of Intangible Heritage”). While there’s a whole tango subculture in Buenos Aires, I was surprised at how easy it is to gain at least a little entrée through classes and public dances. Probably the best place to begin is at Confitería Ideal(c/ Suipacha 380-384, Buenos Aires, http://www.confiteriaideal.com), a once-glamorous cafe. Inexpensive classes and dances take place daily in the fabulously seedy upstairs dance hall. The instructors show the patience of Job when teaching the ocho basico, or basic eight-count, to rhythm-impaired Americans, even the ones who show up in running shoes or flip-flops.

Posted by Patricia Harris, Globe Correspondent

Photo by Patricia Harris for the Boston Globe

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