The History of Tango in Colombia

by | Jan 16, 2018 | Videos | 0 comments

Join me as I get local in Medellín at the Casa Gardeliana and Salón Málaga to explore the rich history of tango in Colombia and how it's forever linked to Medellín through the story of Carlos Gardel.

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VIDEO: The History of Tango in Colombia – Copyright by 2018

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If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that Tango is passionate. And for a dance style originating in Argentina and Uruguay, Tango has an interesting history in Medellín, that took it from relatively unknown, to one of the most famous and popular music and dance styles in Colombia.

To learn about tango in Colombia, you've got to do 3 things. The first is to learn the history, and that includes the story of Carlos Gardel, the most famous tango singer and composer of all time – whose name, to this day, embodies the passion and soul of tango.

If you're unfamiliar with the name Carlos Gardel, you'll definitely recognize his music from a few classic movies.


On June 24, 1935, Gardel was on a plane en route from Bogotá to Cali for a performance when his plane crashed, resulting in his death as well as that of his lyricist and several of his guitarists. Gardel's death and the publicity that came next for his music forever linked Medellín to the world of tango and spawned a country wide love affair with the music and dance.

To learn more about Carlos Gardel, I visited Casa Gardeliana, a charming museum in the Manrique neighborhood of Medellín which showcases some of Gardel's earliest records and memorabilia.

The Gardeliana House Museum was built in 1972 as a joint venture of Leonardo Nieto Jarbón and a few other local tango enthusiasts who founded the site as a symbol of Medellín's ongoing passion for tango.

Down the street from the museum, you'll also find a life size statue of Gardel himself, which to this day, still provokes sentiment from tourists and locals alike.

The second thing you need to do to learn about tango in Colombia is watch it in action, and to do this I visited Salón Málaga, the oldest tango bar in Medellín which has been featuring live music and performances since 1957. With award winner dancers who have won international tango dance competitions around the world, Salón Málaga offers one of the most authentic tango experiences you can get in South America.

The owner of the club, Carlos Arteaga, told us about how the club has been packed full every weekend since its opening, which shows how tango continues to capture the hearts of Colombians to this day.

And as further testament to Carlos Gardel's influence in Colombia, the walls are lined with photos and memorabilia of the singer.

You can read about tango and you can watch it in action, but the third, and the most imporatant thing you need to do if you want to learn tango… is to dance.

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Intimate Tango by Doug Maxwell
TANGO by Mauro Caiazza
London Tango Festival 2011 by Reza Kaz
A. Piazzolla. Libertango by Moscow City Symphony – Russian Philharmonic
Cuesta Abajo (1934)
True Lies (1994)
Easy Virtue (1998)
Scent of a Woman (1992)
Fashion Horizons by TWA & Paramount and Mary Martin
El Dia Que Me Quieras – Carlos Gardel

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research.

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Paul @ Travel is Life

Paul @ Travel is Life

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