La Garufa International Tango Festival

Comments 28 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Next month dancers and musicians from around the world will spice up Vancouver during La Garufa International Tango Festival.

Argentine tango is a social dance and musical genre that originated in Argentina and Uruguay in the late 1800s. Recently it was designated by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage and important to preserve.

In the social tango, there is a special connection between partners as it is all based on improvised steps. It is a conversation between partner using the body instead of voice. Tango can be danced by people of all ages from 8 to 88. In fact, studies have shown that Argentine Tango can increase memory, multi-tasking skills, self-esteem, balance and motor coordination in seniors — and more fun than Suduko puzzles

You can learn to dance, watch the pros, and enjoy live music at the festival from September 8 to 11, 2011.


  • Claudio Villagra & Romina Levin (Maestros from Buenos Aires)
  • Ruben & Sabrina Veliz (Maestros from Buenos Aires)
  • Gustavo Rosas & Gisela Natoli (Maestros from Buenos Aires)
  • Sexteto Milonguero (Buenos Aires)
  • Lorena Bouzas (DJ, Buenos Aires)
  • Meng Wang (DJ, Vancouver)


  • The quality and esthetics of the movement.
  • Forgotten steps and figures of the ’40s and ’50s.
  • Navigation on the dance floor. Walking, turns and traspies.
  • More Workshops

Milongas (Where the tango is danced)

  • Opening night September 8, 2011 from 9:00pm: “Blue & White Night” with live music by Sexteto Milonguero & performances.
  • Wine Tasting Night September 9, 2011 from 9:00pm
  • La Noche De La Garufa September 10, 2011 from 9:00pm with an All‐Night Milonga from 1:00am to 5:00am A Media Luz, 2155 Commercial Drive @VancouverTango on Twitter.
  • More Milongas

Tickets to hear, learn, watch, and be entertained by the artists start at $30 and are available online now. All events are at the Croatian Cultural Centre (3250 Commercial Drive). I also have a special prize package to give away to a reader.

The prize package
2 tickets to “Introduction to Tango” with instructor Angel Coria at the Croatian Cultural Centre followed by admission for 2 to the opening night milonga featuring performances by Sexteto Milonguero and 3 dancers (just across the hall). I have been asked to note that it’s not just a concert. It will be a night of music and dance in which you can (and are encouraged to) participate. Dancers from around BC and the Pacific Northwest will be cheek-to-cheek at this opening night party.

Whether you love to dance already, want to learn, or just want to get closer to that special someone, here’s how you can enter to win this prize:

  • Leave a comment on this post about why you want to learn to tango (or why you tango already) (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • I entered to win a tango prize pack from #LaGarufa International Tango Festival & @Miss604

    I will draw one winner on Friday, September 2, 2011 at 10:00am.

    Update The winner is Reen!

    Current Contests on Miss604
    *All contests are open to residents of Canada only, unless otherwise stated. Contest timelines are published on each individual post along with entry methods. Some contests may only be open to those 19 years of age and older. Winners are announced on the contest blog posts. Contest policy »

    28 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

    1. JuliaMonday, August 29th, 2011 — 2:01pm PDT

      I love tango for its music, passion, warmth and embrace, and I`d love to win a ticket! Thanks Rebecca!

    2. SanazMonday, August 29th, 2011 — 2:07pm PDT

      Cause I’m planning to visit Argentina soon and would be good to know some of the basic steps

    3. MariaMonday, August 29th, 2011 — 2:47pm PDT

      Tango gives me so much through its music, the dance, the stories behind each one of them, the connection with my culture and my history, the connection with others on the floor while dancing, it is very difficult to put in words.

    4. loriMonday, August 29th, 2011 — 3:28pm PDT

      I love how tango tells an emotion laden story to the viewer.

    5. ParkerMonday, August 29th, 2011 — 3:34pm PDT

      I love the fire of tango, and would absolutely love the chance to learn a bit of it!!

    6. GazzaMonday, August 29th, 2011 — 5:40pm PDT

      The Tango has sooo much passion and there’s nothing wrong with a little passion in life 🙂

    7. annemarie slaterMonday, August 29th, 2011 — 9:25pm PDT

      A good way to begin the Autumn summer. Throwing salt over the shoulder to go! Thanks Anne Marie

    8. ElCentroTangoMonday, August 29th, 2011 — 11:49pm PDT

      It’s not fire and bursting-at-the-seams passion that I find in tango. The experience is more subtle yet expansive, as if one has tapped into a life force. Tango allows you to express every emotion–it’s a profound experience of the universe. Sound too flaky? I’m actually serious, and I could really use the prize ’cause I’m strapped for cash. Thanks for the chance to enter. Festival pass or no, I dance in my heart always.

    9. DilaraTuesday, August 30th, 2011 — 12:32am PDT

      I’ve always wanted to learn to tango! It’s such a sensual dance and I just love the music.

    10. Jessica R.FTuesday, August 30th, 2011 — 9:24am PDT

      I used to be a dancer and so did my best friend, but not ballroom dancing. I’d love to learn how to tango, so we could do it together!

    11. Tyler CTuesday, August 30th, 2011 — 9:40am PDT

      Ive always wanted to learn to tango!

    12. Pimon martellTuesday, August 30th, 2011 — 2:52pm PDT

      Learn tango is a life time, tango to me is yesterday , today and and tomorrow.

    13. ReenTuesday, August 30th, 2011 — 3:07pm PDT

      I learned a little bit of ballroom style tango years ago, and since learning to salsa, I’ve decided that I love social latin dances. I’ve been meaning to learn social tango for ages.

    14. JustinTuesday, August 30th, 2011 — 3:59pm PDT

      The tango is a great way for the sexes to meet!

    15. shaunaTuesday, August 30th, 2011 — 4:01pm PDT

      i started to learn in a dance studio in madrid, with rats…an argentinian teacher, and a spanish love. i wore heels for tango, even. 5 minutes of tango can make your heart burst…and break.

    16. TeresaTuesday, August 30th, 2011 — 6:03pm PDT

      It looks like so much fun. Out of all the dances out there. This one is one of my favourites.

    17. BonnieTuesday, August 30th, 2011 — 7:45pm PDT

      I used to dance tango. Loved it then but have a new partner in my life. It would be wonderful to learn to dance tango with him.

    18. LBWednesday, August 31st, 2011 — 10:12am PDT

      tango – and dancing in general – is the ultimate in living in the present moment. As a follower you have to patiently wait, staying tuned into your partner, to see what will happen next. You can’t go daydreaming, or thinking about your grocery list, or it won’t work. You have to just be present. That’s why I love it. It quiets the mind and works the body. Argentine tango is one dance I haven’t tried and would love to.

    19. CathyKWednesday, August 31st, 2011 — 10:23am PDT

      For me, tango is a big warm hug. Hugged by your partner, hugged by the music and and a metaphoric hug with fellow dancers on the floor. Any worries or stress of the day completely dissolve when I dance to the music embraced by a wonderful partner. Ah… no wonder it’s so addictive!

    20. HayleyWednesday, August 31st, 2011 — 1:27pm PDT

      This would be a great way to meet (sexy) new people!!

    21. belindaWednesday, August 31st, 2011 — 2:30pm PDT

      The movie step up made me wanna learn tango

    22. carlyWednesday, August 31st, 2011 — 4:38pm PDT

      I am primarily a tap dancer, but would love to learn Tango!

    23. JulianaWednesday, August 31st, 2011 — 4:48pm PDT

      Every time I’ve seen the tango danced, I’m mesmerized. I’d love to experience it, just for the thrill of it.

    24. TriciaWednesday, August 31st, 2011 — 10:43pm PDT

      I’ve only done standard ballroom tango, not argentinean. I love the feeling of being swept off my feet by my partner!

    25. MichelleThursday, September 1st, 2011 — 12:29pm PDT

      I’m hoping to move to Argentina very soon!

    26. LindsayThursday, September 1st, 2011 — 12:45pm PDT

      I want to learn to tango so we can show off at weddings!

    27. katherine parungaoThursday, September 1st, 2011 — 8:05pm PDT

      i would like to learn tango since it is the dance of passion!
      it is someting worth to learn before one dies!

    28. IvyFriday, September 2nd, 2011 — 9:38am PDT

      WOW! I’d love to win. I’m getting married and this would be a very dramatic first dance!

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