Tango won the heart of Medellín a century ago and to this day, this passion of the Rio de la Plata is still alive in this charming Colombian city. Carlos Gardel well aware of the fascination of this city for tango visited Medellín as well as other Colombian cities in June 1935, this is also where he died in a plane crash. For this reason and others that we will give you, enjoying tango in Medellín is one of the unmissable activities for any traveller.
1. 100 years of tango tradition
Medellín’s love for tango is not something new, for those who think that tango in the city started with Carlos Gardel, le danseur Jhonny Blandón, director of the Academy El Candombe assures that the Zorzal Criollo (it’s how Gardel was called) went to Medellín because there already was a tango tradition in the city.
But, how did the tango travelled 4225 miles from the Rio de la Plata to Medellín? Experts say that was possible thanks to the music industry with the records which arrived in Colombia in the early 20th century, these records had on one side Colombian rhythms and on the other side they had tango. These records arrived in the canteens of Medellín and in the surrounding towns, this helped to popularize tango in the region.
2. Carlos Gardel
On the 24th of June 1935, Carlos Gardel died in Medellín. The plane where he was crashed at the Airport Olaya Herrera, his tragic departure strengthened the relationship of the paisas(inhabitants of Medellín) with tango. The legend of the singer continues to live and there are statues of him and even museums with his name all over the city.
Gardel returned the love of the Colombians for him and his music, in the last musical show he gave, he said: “Before singing my last song, I want to say that I have felt great emotions in Colombia. Thanks for the amability. I found in the smiles of the children, the looks of the women and the kindness of the Colombians a great source of joy (…) This land that welcomed me is so enchanting that I leave feeling like if I was his son, I can’t tell you goodbye, only hasta siempre”.
3. Cultural spaces to live tango
The third reason to enjoy tango in Medellín is that the city possesses many cultural spaces to dance and learn the history of this rhythm in the city. In El Patio del Tango, created in 1958, are musicians and dancers to create a great party. It’s a very intimate show where it’s possible to listen to old school tango songs.
The second famous place of the city is the Museo Casa Gardeliana, founded in 1973, declared Historical and Cultural Heritage of Medellín, it is situated in the Manrique suburb, crossed by the Avenida Gardel (The 45), an area full of tributes to the artist. There, valuable objects related to tango are exhibited and tango lessons are given for children and teenagers.
Two places which also have a tango spirit are the Salón Málaga, a bar-restaurant decorated with old photos and there is music which brings us back to the middle of the 20th century and, the Casa Cultural Homero Manzi, where you can often see live music, social gatherings, and celebrations associated with tango.
Travel tip: Discover in first person the influence of Carlos Gardel in the city with the Medellín Tango Tour.
4. Festitango Medellín
If you still need more reasons to enjoy tango in Medellín, this one should convince you, especially if you are travelling in Colombia during the month of June. The Festival Internacional de Tango de Medellín (Festitango) has been held for 12 years, close to 80 events are organized for tourists and locals.
This year, it will take place from 18 to 24 June and events will take place in the Teatro Metropolitano, the Teatro Pablo Tobón Uribe and the Plaza Gardel. The tributed of this festival will be the Argentine composer Homero Expósito, to remember the 100 years of his birthday. The principal event of the festival is the Campeonato Mundial de Baile de Tango where more than 350 competitors from different cities will show the talent of the Colombians to dance the 2×4 rhythm.
Discover this and other interesting aspects of the Colombian culture with Daytours4u. Make your trip to Colombia a unique opportunity to know the tradition of this lovely country especially through his music.
By: Daytours4u’s Content Team