La Viruta Tango has been around for 15 years. It is in the fancy neighborhood of Palermo, within a walking distance to Salon Canning which allows people to walk from one milonga to another in the early morning hours.
In March 2016 La Viruta has split into two parts which actually means that on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday there is a milonga organized by La Viruta Tango Club by Horacio y Cecilia and on Monday, Tuesday and Saturday La Viruta Tango de Solanas.
The place itself doesn’t look like a typical Buenos Aires milonga at all: it is in the basement of the Armenian Cultural Centre, it is dark, with pretty low ceilings and somehow casual.
La Viruta has many faces. If you are a newbie on the tango scene and come to tango classes, you have many options to pick from. Classes start at around 6 pm and last until midnight when the milonga begins.
But the real La Viruta does not start until 2 or 3 in the morning when the real milongueros start coming in. There are some basic rules which are useful to be aware of. First, if you come late enough, you don’t pay for the milonga. Second, La Viruta is almost like a symbol for an after party milonga: the best dancers usually dance somewhere else and come here for an after milonga. There are also people who don’t go anywhere else, have a good sleep before and come to La Viruta to stay until the morning. And third, Wednesday and Sunday are known as “milongueros nights”. This means that if you happen to be there pretty late, you can have the chance to see the best dancers and teachers from Buenos Aires in action, coming there just to dance.
So for me the most enjoyable time in La Viruta are the hours from 3 am onwards when only the best dancers stay around, music is excellent and from 5 am they even serve breakfast, so you can get freshly baked medialunas and coffee. You just can’t have better time than this, if you are a real tango lover. It is almost like a tango heaven…
Music also differs from day to day, on Saturday there is a classical style of playing music with T-T-V-T-T-M system (two tandas of tango, one tanda of valses, two tandas of tango and one tanda of milongas). All the tandas have four songs (including valses and milongas!) and there are cortinas between the tandas.
The Sunday music is different: there is almost exclusively tango, maybe one tanda of valses every two hours and practically no milongas, which is a pity for someone who loves milongas a lot (me, for instance). Most of the music is basically from the four great orchestras, so it is good to be a Pugliese –Troilo – di Sarli – d’Arienzo fan, otherwise you can have a small problem. And there are also no cortinas, which is of course no problem for good dancers.
La Viruta is a place that you may not like – probably because of being too dark, casual, strange or whatever other reason you may have.
But if you fall in love with La Viruta, it is definitely for life. For always.