Last spring, nearly 180 tango enthusiasts from cities across the northeastern U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico came to Buffalo for the first annual ESO! Buffalo Tango Marathon. On April 25, 2014, many of those dancers and local participants will return to celebrate the second annual ESO! event at Dry Gulch Dance Hall.
Travis Widrick, local dance instructor and tango diehard, is the organizer behind the ESO! marathon. Widrick has been teaching tango for almost seven years and is passionate about cultivating a vibrant tango scene here in Buffalo. He began his exploration into tango in Geneva, NY, eventually moving to Buffalo about 10 years ago and discovering a small tango community here.
Since that time he has traveled to cities all over the U.S. and even to Argentina to study tango, spending three months in Buenos Aires. “While I was there I was going to milongas, which are places to go for social tango. It’s an interesting lifestyle there. On a typical day, I would go out to lessons, come home to eat and change then head to a milonga at midnight, go to another milonga until about 3 a.m., then to another until 6 a.m. I’d take a bus home when the sun was coming up, sleep, and get up to do it again.”
Now Widrick is bringing his experience into organizing an event that will mimic that milonga experience he had in Argentina. The Buffalo event will run April 25-27, with non-stop dancing from Friday at 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Saturday from noon to 5 a.m.; and Sunday from noon to 1 a.m. Guests are welcome to participate in one, two, or all three days of tango. Registration is currently set at $100 for dancing and food for the entire weekend and is open until April 19 at www.esotango.com. Guests attending Friday or Saturday evening only will pay $25 and those attending all day Saturday will pay $55. Sunday’s rate is set at $40 for the entire afternoon and evening. Spectators can attend for $5.
Access Tango will be at the event selling tango shoes and clothing. Each day will have a different dress theme, explained in the schedule below:
Friday evening: “Red Carpet Party” – Think style, think elegance, think Hollywood. Red, black and white. Don’t miss an opportunity to get a sassy picture on a red carpet in front of the ESO! banner.
Saturday afternoon: “Gypsy bash” – Wild, colorful and free-spirited! Anything colorful and bohemian!
Saturday night: “Glitz and glam of roaring 20s” – White, silver and gold will reign the night (but you never can go wrong with black)
Sunday afternoon: “Peace. Love. Tango.” – Anything hippie (whatever your interpretation of it may be)
Sunday night: “Rhapsody in Pink” – We will close the weekend with another night of elegance in the shades of pink.
Guests are welcome to bring their own beer and wine. DJs will be alternating throughout the evening, including Avik Basu (Ann Arbor), Ekaterina Klepikova (Buffalo), Adam Ashton Hoopengardner (NYC), Hernan Prieto (Chicago/Buenos Aires), Milton Azevedo (Boston), Edmond Bardhi (Ann Arbor) and Xavier Vanier (NYC/ Montreal).
“About 70 people coming from out of town are being hosted by community members in their home. The community is really coming together to help put this on,” Widrick said. “It’s just amazing to for the first time have so many friends and people that really are passionate and love tango in Buffalo and bringing it to the city. It’s something that’s kind of unique,” Widrick said. “Even though there is tango in Buffalo, it’s usually not to that size. To have that kind of experience in Buffalo is pretty special.”
Those interested in taking tango lessons can visit Studio 990, located at 990 Kenmore Avenue, Buffalo. Widrick teaches beginner and intermediate classes every Thursday. University at Buffalo’s Argentine Tango club also offers a free tango class every Monday from 7-8 p.m. at South Campus.