In a report on the heavy toll of Covid-19 on the Tango culture in Argentina, AP reported how closing the borders prevented the arrival of tourists, the main source of financing for the local tango industry.
Tango tours abroad have also been canceled as Argentina continues to suffer high coronavirus caseloads more than a year after the pandemic began. There have been more than 80,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in the country, AP added.
In an interview with a dancer, historian and club organizer, he told AP “For those of us who make a living from tango, our self-esteem is on the floor”.
The empty, dark dance floor at the Viruta Tango Club, where AP took pictures and spoke to the club organizer, is a symbol of the pandemic-induced crisis facing dancers and musicians of an art form known for close physical contact and exchanging partners.
In an interview with Godoy, who earns some money by teaching virtual tango classes to foreigners, she told AP that funds for dancers and musicians from the mayor’s office are not enough to pay for expenses at the Viruta club. Of 18 employees, only three have kept their jobs.
“The city of Buenos Aires can’t offer history like Rome and Paris. It doesn’t have a beach to offer like in the Caribbean. It doesn’t have gastronomy on offer like Italy. It doesn’t have waterfalls or glaciers. The city of Buenos Aires has tango”.
AP reported, citing the Federal Assembly of Tango Workers, the cultural mainstay had employed some 7,000 people throughout Argentina. But between 2020 and this year, some 40 tango clubs out of a total of 200 in Buenos Aires have closed permanently.