It Takes Two To Tango

El Tango


We arrived at Bar Sur, one of Baires longest running tango bars in sultry San Telmo, the artist’s quarter. Its corner position was marked out by dim yellow globe shaped lanterns reflecting a bygone era. Knocking on the curtained glass door a chink in the velvet appeared revealing a bow-tied waiter with a guest list. We were duly checked in and seated at our café table, one of maybe a dozen or so pushed back to the edge of a diamond tiled floor whose black and white slabs were lacerated and buffed by the passionate stomp of stilettos and the smooth graceful manoeuvre of leather soles. The dinner suited trio, consisting of pianist, double bass and a squeeze box accordion, transporting us into an era of smoky glamour lit by candles and solitary bar lamps.

Bar sur tango

The staccato dance of the accordion player’s fingers struck notes of pride, pomp and pleasure, slowly the bar filled and a mature chanteuse bellowed a controlled silky ballad. The tango dancing couple carved the air with impressive high kicks, threatening to decant our glasses with their dexterity. She pouted, oozing sex appeal and sophistication, slicked hair, cherry lips and lithe movements all synchronized with her partners masterful moves, always in control never hinting at emotion or exertion. A single squeezebox crooner with jaunty expressions and throaty lyrics threw us back once again to a perfectly preserved piece of BA’s art deco history. We took to the dance floor, dancing mawkishly and 1am arrived unwelcomed by all, hoping to stay for more. Our eyelids resisted gravity no longer and it’s never a good idea to be the last to leave a party, we embossed the evening into our memory, a night of polished glamour at Bar Sur.

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