El Tango

This past weekend, Cafe Liberia presented a “Tango Night” featuring Oscar Lopez Salaberry and Radha Kunja. I expected to go see a Tango show – a dance show, however I was pleasantly surprised by the nontraditional Tango night that was about to unfold in front of me.

The Set-up

Cafe Liberia’s courtyard was transformed into a romantic dining area, where only torches and candles were au rendez-vous. On the left hand side of the courtyard, an illuminated and simple stage was set-up. We were about to have a music and dining experience under the stars. On the menu – two choices of appetizers, main courses and desserts. By the way, I really loved my goat cheese salad.

The Show

At about 8pm, in a very soothing and subtle voice, Oscar Lopez Salaberry started the story – Tango. In the next two hours, we were about to learn about Tango and its evolution in a very unique way – music, dance and storytelling. What a fabulous way to learn about something!

Tango is a dance and music with European and African influences originating from Rio de la Plata, a region between Uruguay and Argentina. Its popularity started at the beginning of the 20th century, when dancers and bands traveled to Europe. France was one of the first European countries where Tango became popular as Argentinian sailors would dance with local girls in bars near the port of Marseille.

Throughout the night, we were exposed to a variety of Tango styles while Oscar was playing the bandeneon, the traditional accordion used in songs. We were also fortunate to hear Radha Kunja sing – Malena. (Check video)  Radha’s voice is clear like crystal and just beautiful. I love the emotion and passion she puts in all her songs.

The vibe, the music and the emotion I felt on Saturday night is just inexplicable hence, it confirmed how much I want to go to Argentina and live the real Tango experience. I think I will add it to my 2013 travel list. As Oscar said it so beautifully

“El Tango es Buenos Aires y Buenos Aires es el Tango”

Tango is Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires is Tango

Lartigue Tango picture from 1926 by Nick Goodey on Pinterest

About Oscar Lopez Salaberry

Oscar Lopez Salaberry came to Costa Rica in the middle of the 1990’s as the new ambassador of Argentina. During his mandate, Oscar fell in love with Costa Rica and after a short return to Argentina he decided to come back and establish himself here, as a businessman. He also wanted to spread his love for Tango to this Latin American country where Tango was not very well-known. He started a radio program “Simplemente Tango” – it was a success and it spread the fever. In 2009 he released three CD’s one of which with Manuel Obregon and Malpais, one of Costa Rica’s most famous bands. Now, Oscar still dedicates himself to spread the word and participates in different cultural events just like the one we had this past weekend at Cafe Liberia.

About Radha Kunja

Radha Kunja is originally from Panama, she arrived to Costa Rica several years ago. She is a singer, a passionate of arts and culture. As the owner of Cafe Liberia, she has tried to bring art and culture to Liberia. The new location of Cafe Liberia permits this more than the former as she has dedicated part of the building to an art center “El Centro de las Artes” where music, theater and painting classes are taught. Radha has given several concerts in Latin America – “Tangos, Valses y Boleros”. As a graphic designer, I really appreciate the posters of her concerts. I thought I would share one with you. 

I wanted so much to go to this concert, but unfortunately I was out-of-town.

Finally, last Saturday was a night to remember and I am really looking forward to other events like this one, Radha’s next concert and of course my trip to Argentina.

For more information about the Centro de las Artes or Cafe Liberia you can call: 506-2665-1660


About Mrs. Sasu

Expat from Montreal, now living in beautiful Costa Rica. I am a travel addict, a photography passionate and wine & food lover.
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