Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Aires Buenos Aires - cultura para respirar

Many of you might have noticed the amazing amount of festivals held here in Buenos Aires. Well here we go again! One last festival full of free frolics as far as the eye can see. Its the summer festival aptly named Aires Buenos Aires - cultura para respirar. My best translation guess is Airy Buenos Aires - culture for breathing. I can't make any promises though. But as the name promises all the events are outdoors and they occur all over the city. So far I've only been able to go to one, but it was amazing and I have to share.
I've described Puerto Madero several times, but for new readers or the skimmers its the newest neighborhood in Buenos Aires celebrating twenty years as we speak. As I jogged down to the outdoor amphitheater I passed the warehouses turned swanky restaurants, the dikes filled with oily water, the new skyscrapers, and the buildings that are so new they have yet to be protected by walls and roofs. The pedestrian walkway that leads to the Costanera Sur is lined with funny bloated trees with spikes and water fountains until it turns into a grassy hill on the right and a wide concrete walk lined with mouth watering parillas to the left. The grassy hill gives way to a large oudoor stage with a grassy field and concrete stadium seating which were filling up with people as the sun slipped behind the skyline.
There were two acts and I unfortunately stayed for one of them. Her name is Mavi Diaz. She sings Argentine folklore with her own flair and she is the daughter of two very famous Argentine performers. She kicked butt. She sang accompanied by the piano, guitar, ukulele, percussion, and other singers with angelic soaring voices.

we are totally on a first name basis

I sat on the hill and listened and watched the pan relleno, soda and bug spray venders and then was tickled when a young couple began to do the chacarera or Agrentine folk dancing. If you remember we stayed up very late learning this dance in some plaza in Cordoba with our favorite folk singer Vicki and its my favorite and most Argy dance ever. Forget about tango. I'm trying to Chacarera. So you can see it for yourself here is a video that uses my favorite folk song!:

It was all this old couple sitting next to me needed to see and they hopped out of their seats like kids at a high school dance when they hear Lady Gaga comes on. They ran to the empty space in the middle of the small field and chacarera-ed it up. They even had scarves with them to do it proper. They were joined by another couple and everyone dancing looked so happy! And it made me happy because I finally realized why Argentines are always wearing silky scarves no matter what the weather. You never know when some spontaneous Chacarera is going to begin!
I left after Mavi finished her encore and vowed to come back to this venue with friends and a picnic as I jogged back into what had become night.

I leave you with this amazing video I found in my searchings on Youtube. It seems to be some type of high school performance that resembles a Mexican standoff more than dancing. I love Argentina.

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