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November 30, 2008

National Museum of Tango declared of cultural interest by the legislature of the city of Buenos Aires.

Letter from Buenos Aires. October 28, 2008
By Beatriz Dujovne

Salon Dorado. Click to enlarge

Hat of Carlos Gardel at the National Museum of Tango. Click to enlarge.

Sweet and brief. That’s how it was the ceremony held in Salon Dorado of the Legislature of Buenos Aires. This is one of many French neoclassic public buildings erected in the first third of the XX century. It features a ninety-five meter high clock tower. Upstairs the Salon Dorado’s elegant glass doors opened into a charming space of sober grays and rich golds. Shedding warm light, six chandeliers along the main central hall and ten smaller ones along two side galleries are testimonies to Argentina’s economic splendor during the early 1900s.

The ceremony, by invitation, was attended by the faculty of the Academy of Tango and their guests. During the mingling I spoke with Eduardo Aquimbau about our interview at La Refinery some years ago in Champaign, Illinois. (We had spent two hours talking about the early history of tango).

As founder of the Museum, poet Horacio Ferrer, wearing a light brown jacket, a striped white and blue shirt with his usual round collar and bohemian bow tie hanging down his chest, received the certificate of honor. Then he spoke about the creation of the National Academy of Tango in 1990, and entity which, under his initiative and direction, created the Museum of Tango in 2003.

Ferrer said that the "Museum of Rock" in Cleveland, which he had visited with Gideon Kremer, was spectacular. It was built with money. The Museum of Tango was created with limited financial resources. The space and display cabinets were designed by Ferrer himself. They did not have money even to announce “We are here.”

A brief show followed the ceremony. Maestro Juan Trespiana played “La bicicleta blanca” [The white bicycle] with lyrics written by, and today recited by, Ferrer, and music by Astor Piazzolla. Maria Jose Mentana sang the next piece with an exquisite voice.

Coffee followed with ample opportunity for conversation among guests.

I highly recommend to dancers - who go to Buenos Aires for tango – to visit this museum which displays things ranging from Gavito’s shoes to Troilo’s bandoneon, dresses of famous singers, tango books, historic recordings, and about anything related to music, dance, poetry and singing.

Academia Nacional del Tango - El Museo

(Copyright (c) 2008 Beatriz Dujovne).

Posted by beatriz at November 30, 2008 10:41 AM


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