Milonga Cellule 133A – Brussels – Review

Hola!  Review of – MILONGA organised by CELLULE 133A (Vincent & François) Avenue Ducpétiaux 133A, 1060 Brussels (Saint-Gilles)

Close to the prison and Barrière de Saint Gilles, Bus and Tram stop Albert The milonga is advertised as starting at 9:30. We arrived at 11, passing through a pleasant cobbled mews passageway. The milonga was still fairly quiet. The organisers were not very friendly on the door but we were accompanied by a ‘rival’(?) organiser who is hosting our workshop in Brussels. Entry6,50 € . The space is very nice, old wood floor, atmospheric lighting ( theatre lights, which generated a lot of heat. no air conditioning or fans ).  By 11:30 there was a lively atmosphere but the dancefloor was never overcrowded. The sound system was of excellent quality, really well defined sound, lots of bass!  The DJ was dancer Luis Alberto Rojas, visiting from Buenos Aires, who did a fab job with a variety of eras of music, upbeat cortinas, which he kept running if dancers got into a groove.

For my taste he could have varied the energy levels a bit, there was a milonga tanda just after D’Arienzo, which was a bit much. At one point the sound started cutting out completely but after 10 minutes of tension things continued smoothly.

What most impressed me was the standard of dancing at this milonga, a good 10 couples on the floor at any one time were dancing with sophistication, musicality and chuzpah. Some tango nuevo, mainly salon, a few dancing pure milonguero. There was only one couple who looked like beginners, out of everyone present.  There were quite a number of Argentineans present, which was nice for my husband Carlos and I, as we dont’ speak French.  I was only asked to dance once by someone other than my husband, but people did seem to be mixing with each other, though it appeared to be a crowd who all knew each other.

There is no food whatsoever available at this milonga, which was a big drawback for me as I need to eat every few hours, and if you are someone who needs refueling to keep going to 4 am, you would be wise to bring some snacks!  At 1 am Carlos headed off to our host’s house (luckily nearby) to forage for snacks to bring back, there are also no corner stores or anything nearby.

The milonga has a refreshingly ‘party’ type atmosphere, beer was flowing and people were having fun. By 2 am the crowd had thinned out significantly, only 2 or 3 couples on the floor. We asked some guys at the bar for help with a taxi, they called one for us. It would have been difficult to hail a cab from outside I think. Hope that helps anyone making a trip to Brussels on a Friday.

Review by:

Why People Travel to Argentina to Dance Tango-BBC Interview

Transoceanic Rowing – Tango

My friend Sally Blake, author of Happy Tango, was interviewed by John McCarthy along with others about travelling to Argentina to dance the ‘authentic’ Argentine Tango.

There is also an interesting interview with Roz Savage, the first woman to row solo across the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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