Tango Night Is Back at Buena Onda in Santa Barbara

La LoCA Milonga Returns to Haley Street Eatery’s Courtyard on October 1

Master bandoneon player Hugo Satire will perform at LaLoCA Milonga on Friday, October 1. | Credit: Patrick Alcerro

La LoCA Milonga, the tango event co-hosted by Alejandra Folguera and Geraldine Freitag at Buena Onda on Haley Street, is back on Friday, October 1, with live music by bandoneon virtuoso Hugo Satorre and tango pianist Winnie Cheung. You will want to score tickets in advance and get there early for this exciting evening, as it was filled to capacity last month. From 7 to 11 p.m., the lovely courtyard at Buena Onda will be adorned with festively dressed patrons of all ages, many of whom will take to the dance floor when the music hits.

The devoted following these nights have earned both here and in Los Angeles stems from the high quality of the music and the fascinating, immersive experience of tango dancing, which, while associated, of course, with Argentina, has now spread all over the world. Wordless communication never looked so enticing as when these tangueros navigate the large dance floor, their steps tracing graceful figure eights as they gaze into one another’s eyes.

When I visited the milonga in August, I was immediately struck by the range and sophistication of the crowd. You don’t have to be an expert dancer to participate. Despite the presence of some exemplary dancers, tango is not about showing off or calling attention to yourself. What matters here is to be fully in the moment; the rapt quality of attention lavished on every number by dancers and spectators alike left the strongest overall impression. If there’s anything that can cure the pandemic blues, it’s the sight and sound of 20 or more couples moving together under the stars to this enchanting live music.


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